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What are the benefits of working as an agency nurse in the UK?

A nursing staff working as an agency nurse stands in a hospital corridor.

Top 9 benefits of working an agency nurse in the UK

Have you considered working as an agency nurse in the UK but are unsure if it is the right move for you? Nursing professionals have many employment options. Nursing agencies help healthcare workers find short-term, contractual work in a variety of settings. Nursing agency  can be a very rewarding way of working for nurses at any stage of their careers, from newly qualified to established, permanent or NHS nurses. 

What is agency nursing? 

The NHS is always looking for nurses to fill positions that haven't been filled, cover for staff who are sick or on vacation, or meet rising demand. When an NHS trust requires a nurse, they first try to cover the shift or job with permanent or temporary staff, but this isn't always possible. In such cases, they approach nursing agencies such as Nurses Group for temporary nurses. The agency will then offer the position to qualified nurses who are registered with them. 

If you are not an agency nurse, it is highly unlikely that you will even hear about these temporary roles, even if you are currently working with the NHS. Agency nurses work across all areas of the NHS, as every department needs nursing staff to handle the daily care of patients as well as more technical duties. 

Agency roles aren’t just for registered nurses! There is a wide variety of agency positions for all kinds of nurses, including paediatric nurses, neurological nurses, and specialist mental health nurses. 

Some nurses choose to only work through agencies, while others prefer to keep their permanent jobs as salaried nurses and supplement their income with agency shifts, doing both NHS and agency work. 

What are the benefits of being an agency nurse in the UK? 

There are numerous benefits to working as an agency nurse in the UK. They include: 

1. Flexibility and shift selection 

Working as an agency nurse in the UK allows you to choose the shift that fits your preferences. You can choose whether you want day or night shifts, permanent or temporary work, a specific location, and pay rates that suit your needs. Thus, you have control over when and where you want to accept a shift, and even how you schedule your shifts around further study, childcare, holidays, and much more. All you have to do is communicate your availability with your nursing agency, and they will source the roles and positions that align with it. 

2. Easy to accept shifts 

The booking process for agency nursing in the UK is generally simple and straightforward. Nursing agencies typically have multiple platforms that showcase various shifts and give you multiple opportunities to book the shift that is best for you. 

3. Higher pay rates 

Nursing agencies in the UK typically pay more than working directly for a hospital or facility. Nursing agencies, such as Nurses Group, offer the highest pay rates in the industry with multiple job opportunities to choose from. If you have lots of availability and are willing to commit to night shifts or last-minute placements to cover sick leave, you can earn a decent sum by the end of the month. 

4. Constant skill development 

Learning and skills development are crucial in the healthcare industry in the UK, no matter your profession. As an agency nurse, you may have to deal with a wide range of systems, processes, and requirements, from the kind of care you give to the computer system you use to keep track of appointments. The more experience you gain, the more opportunities you will be exposed to, allowing you to adapt to a new environment quickly and hit the ground running on every job you pick. 

5. Growing your professional network 

Working as an agency nurse in the UK will allow you to expand your professional network in the healthcare industry because you will be working in a variety of work environments. Working in various settings allows you to collaborate with people from various disciplines. 

6. Ongoing career support 

Working with a nursing agency in the UK, especially over a long period of time, allows you to have access to specialist consultants who are familiar with you, your skills, the areas you want to grow and develop in, and the direction you ultimately want your career to take. This means you have better focus and guidance in picking the jobs that are going to contribute to your career goals. 

7. Variety of working environment

Sometimes everyone feels like they need a change. That is one of the best aspects of agency nursing! If you, as an agency nurse, opt for temporary placements, that will help you develop your skills in a wide variety of scenarios, healthcare environments, and specialties. This is particularly useful if you are newly qualified and looking to find an area you might want to specialise in for the future. You will be able to work in a variety of settings, such as nursing homes, hospitals, and clinics. 

8. Better work-life balance 

As an agency nurse, you can choose your shifts. If you need a day to spend with your children or run errands, you can do so. While this is not available in all permanent positions, temporary shifts may allow for it. 

9. Career opportunities 

When it comes to agency nursing, you will have wide opportunities to further your career as healthcare staffing agencies spend years developing deep networks both in the NHS and with private healthcare providers across the UK. You get exposed to different departments and areas of nursing, which could be an advantage when moving up your career ladder. 

Nurses Group is the best nursing agency in the UK because it has the highest-paying jobs in the healthcare industry. We provide our nursing staff with a wide range of benefits. Visit our career page to learn about the various benefits we offer to our agency nurses. 

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