Is agency nursing for you?
Agency nursing, whether full time or part time as a way to supplement your core job, means nurses can be flexible with choosing what shifts they want to work and where. Agency nursing allows nurses to have control over their schedules and assignments, which in turn can allow them to focus more on patient care than on facility politics.
What are the advantages and disadvantages of being an agency nurse?
– Agency nursing is flexible with scheduling. Nurses can pick up shifts when and where they want to. Agency nurses can avoid night shifts if they choose.
– Schedules can be organised around family and personal obligations.
– Most agencies pay higher hourly rates than fulltime core facility positions and many offer excellent penalty rates and holiday pay.
– Agency nursing means nurses can often work in a range of different departments and this experience can help improve nursing skills.
– If a nurse chooses to work in a rural area, many agencies pay travel and accommodation expenses.
Some disadvantages include being in unfamiliar environments and not getting the support or explanation of how the systems work. Some other disadvantages are:
– Not having a guaranteed income (for fulltime agency nurses)
– An expectation that you are always independent and flexible.
– As agency staff, there is no association with the hospital and therefore the challenge of being accepted by permanent staff.
– The difference in pay rates can cause issues between agency nurses and permanent staff.
What are some of the other pros and cons of being an agency nurse? What is your experience as an agency nurse? Is it for you?