Agency Nursing

  1. I'm an ICU nurse in Central Scotland. I'm considering leaving my job and doing agency nursing. I have a lot of critical care experience, including experience abroad. I have a lot of courses. I drive and I'm prepared to travel for shifts. Money IS very important to me. I'm sick of being relatively unrewarded as an E Grade. I don't want to move onwards and upwards, I "just" want to give excellent care to critically ill patients and get good money for doing it.

    What do you think of that? Do you think it would be a crazy risk to give up a dependable NHS income? Full-time critical care agency nurses, if you are flexible do you get enough work?

    Scotty
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  2. 12 Comments

  3. by   suehp
    Hi Scotty,

    I have not worked with an Agency, but I have had to use Agency at times where I work. From what the Agency Nurses tell me they do get good pay, mileage etc. BUT, they are not guarenteed work either. From past experience they do tend to have dips in their work - I cant remember when they are, and they are also inundated with work always round Xmas.

    Ultimately it is your choice, but do consider the above - I have heard it over and over about the fact all the agency nurses are fighting for work for a few months and then all of a sudden there isnt enough of them!!!

    Sue
  4. by   Scotty
    Thanks Sue,

    I am thinking about it VERY carefully.
  5. by   karenG
    hi

    I have worked agency in the past, the money was good. the down side was that I tended to get all the jobs no-one on the wards wanted! such fun. but I did learn a lot and work in some interesting places!

    Karen
  6. by   Scotty
    Thanks Karen
  7. by   DETTA
    Good quote!! must remember it.
  8. by   UK2USA
    Quote from Scotty
    I'm an ICU nurse in Central Scotland. I'm considering leaving my job and doing agency nursing. I have a lot of critical care experience, including experience abroad. I have a lot of courses. I drive and I'm prepared to travel for shifts. Money IS very important to me. I'm sick of being relatively unrewarded as an E Grade. I don't want to move onwards and upwards, I "just" want to give excellent care to critically ill patients and get good money for doing it.

    What do you think of that? Do you think it would be a crazy risk to give up a dependable NHS income? Full-time critical care agency nurses, if you are flexible do you get enough work?

    Scotty
    If you head to a large city such as London (I am in London so forgive the sassenach bias) then you are able to command reasonable rates of pay and there are always shifts to be had. Some of the agency nurses at my hospital travel from far afield and stay in a staff hostel (remember the old nurses homes) for 15 per night. If you are ICU trained you can qualify for a specialist rate... (23 - 28 per hour).

    An example of one of my colleagues pay on PICU:

    She cut her hours from 13 shifts to 8 per month to safeguard her regular pay, pension etc. She fits these 8 shifts into 2 weeks. Then for the second two weeks of the month she works 8 agency shifts.... and takes home 3k per month. Not bad huh? Just need to watch out for that tax man!!!
  9. by   Mike RGN
    Quote from UK2USA

    She cut her hours from 13 shifts to 8 per month to safeguard her regular pay, pension etc. She fits these 8 shifts into 2 weeks. Then for the second two weeks of the month she works 8 agency shifts.... and takes home 3k per month. Not bad huh? Just need to watch out for that tax man!!!
    If you leave the NHS, make sure you check out your pension requirements, doing as above means your may get the best out of both worlds
  10. by   Kaylesh
    Hiya Kaylesh here..(edited for advertising)
    I'm currently working agency full time.. Yes there is the occasional times where i don't get called and yes if you say you are available they might call you last minute.. As happened to me last night for a night shift.. got called at 2045 and was asked to get to the ward as safely and quickly as i could..
    I know the speciality rates are QUITE good and the rates just went up starting this april..
    I find that the difference in pay rates more than makes up for the times where i don't get called..
    However I've only worked with them since beginning of Feb.. so not sure how the dips will be over the year..
    Kaylesh.
    who also got tired of NHS pay ..
    Last edit by canoehead on Apr 11, '04
  11. by   minifish
    Hey Scotty,

    Like kaylesh I work full time for an agency. Ive been working for them since october and I can safely say I dont regret it for a second. The staff are all very helpfull and friendly. The wages are excellent and make the job that I love doing so much nicer. I personally enjoy travelling about to the different hospitals and have learned so much in the last few months. There are times when the agency can be a wee bit quieter but the wages mean that you can get by nicely on less shifts, less polotics and less hassle. I find with the guild if your are flexible then it works in your favour. Ive been as far as inverness for a few nigths for them so...

    Just my thoughts. Let us know wot you decide to do scotty.

    Jillian

    edited for advertising
    Last edit by canoehead on Apr 11, '04
  12. by   yousev
    Hi Scotty,

    You're lucky for having that job but if that makes you feel incomplete and unhappy, go on and find your happiness. If that would make you happy then u shouldn't have a second thought at all. You're blessed! Be thankful about it. And if by means of going to an Agency would make you a better person, much as you have been in your current job then good for you.. that means you're growing into a higher ground as a being. It doesn't actually matter what kind of job you are into or should i say what kind of position you're seating in, what matters is how much you value it... and that includes your sanity.
  13. by   bulletproofbarb
    I have signed up with the agency and start work in May, I have come from Australia, however, I have also applied to the NHS bank at a hospital near to me and compared the pay rates which are a difference of between 1.5 to 2 pounds per hour. I'm now taking on a job at the bank, I can then ask for what I want and it's guaranteed. My plan is to do 3 x 12 hour shifts, friday saturday and sunday, then work a few days with the agency and have 1 day off per work. I know I will pay more tax, but I have worked out I could live and travel on what I earn from the agency, assuming I get the work and sent the money I earn from NHS home to Australia.

    Also, the NHS nurse bank is offering me E grade after a while, so they say, which pays higher than D grade Agency. I was quite stunned by that.
  14. by   christine mcquaker
    are you looking to move to the states? if you are then it takes up to 2 years, I am hoping to be there in august after signing up with an agengy 2 years ago but the immigration takes such a long time

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