Permanent contract or full time bank nurse?

  1. Hi everyone,

    Havent posted on here before but would like a bit of advice. Ive been an a&e nurse registered for 2 years on a permanent contract. So near the bottom of my band although i have gone up a couple of increments. I do bank shifts every single week to make more money to try to pay off student debt / pay rent / afford to have a life outside of work. I also live at the other end of the country from my family meaning i rarely have the time off or the money to go home and visit them. Ive been thinking more and more about going on the nursing bank solely and quitting my permanent contract. I know id get shifts as we have agency nurses every day and night at our work so i could effectively do the same job just on bank and not permanent. Im just worried that obviously i wont get training through work / no job security etc but im not sure that is a big enough con to not do it.
    (The trust pays bank at the middle of their band so more than i get now.
    I wouldnt want to do agency at this time as i love the department i work in i feel i just need more flexibility)
    I do have a level of guilt about leaving my permanent contract too as i know my team so well and know they struggle for staff. However i would still be working solely there.

    Has anyone done this? Do they feel financially better off? Do they feel they have more quality time with friends and family? Or do they feel they work the same or more?

    Thanks for any advice
  2. Visit rosmbre profile page

    About rosmbre

    Joined: Oct '17; Posts: 2


  3. by   EllaBella1
    Is bank like float pool? Most of the terms you use are unfamiliar to me. Assuming you're in the UK?
  4. by   rosmbre
    Sorry yes so you are automatically put on the nursing bank meaning you can pick up extra shifts anywhere in the trust or you can do solely bank and just choose the shifts where and when you would like. Yes sorry in the uk!
  5. by   XB9S
    Things to consider is no paid annual leave, no paid sick leave or any other leave for that matter

    There's no guarantee of work in areas you would like to work and there is less support should you need it

    If you make an error then areas will just not book you again and although we would all like to think we wouldn't your only human

    Should you need support with practice areas through capability or disciplinary there will be less support
  6. by   skylark
    Quote from EllaBella1
    Is bank like float pool? Most of the terms you use are unfamiliar to me. Assuming you're in the UK?
    Bank is the term for what American nurses call Registry.
  7. by   skylark
    I have done that in the past, but only in areas where I have worked previously and built up a good relationship.
    It works well in the sense that its flexible, I can even go back a work a few shifts now even though I'm overseas, but the downside as already mentioned is the lack of vacation, sick leave etc.

    In the current 'climate' of closures, I don't think I would risk it again.
    The last two A&Es I worked in have both closed, and the permanent staff were found other positions elsewhere in the trust each time but the bank nurses just disappeared.

    How flexible is the scheduling where you are?

    You might be able to get a fixed schedule, with a group of days off together to permit travel. I know folk who work 7 nights on 7 nights off, which is good if you want to travel, because one week's leave allows for 3 weeks off!
  8. by   Phil-on-a-bike
    Hi Rosmbre,

    The voice of experience here: I did this for eight years, and I loved it.

    BUT: there are a couple of points you might want to bear in mind.

    First, your reluctance to join an agency. Seriously - get over it.
    Why? Because - I cannot stress this enough - DO NOT GO ZERO HOURS WITH ONLY ONE SOURCE OF WORK.
    I was on the bank at my local NHS Trust - I was also on the bank at our neighbouring Hospital Trust - and registered with an agency.
    With those three sources of work, I was never once in the position of wanting to work, but without available shifts.
    With only one source of work, things are entirely out of your hands - you have to take what you can get, and go without when there's nothing available. That's like crossing your fingers and calling it a viable career plan.

    Second, your lack of interest in working other departments - get over it.
    A major part of bank nursing is the ability to walk in to an unfamiliar department - make a good impression - orient quickly - fit into the team and the system - and start contributing right from the off.
    It takes some front - but you're an A&E nurse - you've definitely got the bottle for this.
    I reckon it does wonders for your confidence as a practitioner.

    Plus - how are you going to find out what clinical areas and specialties you enjoy, if you don't try them? I guarantee you'll find other units you enjoy working on. You'll find others less satisfactory.... and you need never go back to them again!

    I would not worry about lack of access to training. Make enquiries - I'm sure your trust gives their bank staff access to training. (Ive never met one that didn't) And since you can pick and choose your hours, you can attend whichever training sessions are most convenient.
    Similarly, any agency will have training - usually via an independent training contractor - to keep you current with your mandatory subjects and your revalidation.

    And not all agency work is a last-minute night shift at St. Incontinentia's.
    I did my fair share of that stuff, but I also did shifts on a movie set, Occ. health shifts at shipyards, Steelworks and a Police training facility, nurse practitioner at a walk-in clinic, annual vaccination programs at a college and an army base, health promotion work at Uni Fresher's week, my first taste of clinical research - loads of fun stuff.
    Not just one-off shifts, either - six month contracts, I year contracts, holiday cover, maternity leave cover - it's not all "a day here, a day there".

    IF you're going to do this - and it's not for everyone - then forget working for one bank at one unit. You'll get nothing but crumbs from the table.
    Go big - register with multiple sources of work, and try different things.

    Hope that helps!
  9. by   Burnvegas
    I also did this for a few years, and I really enjoyed it. I agree with phil pretty much entirely and had a similar experience.

    Just want to say though... You absolutely can't just work in one area and refuse all others, especially if you're limiting yourself to one trust. I started only working in my old unit, but then they hired tons of new staff and went into quiet season... ergo, no work. I then would only take surgical wards, but again the work dried up. Ended up working in paediatrics one night because rent was due (something i'd vowed never to do) and now i'm several years into my paediatric career. You don't know until you try.

    Conversely, be prepared to be out your comfort zone and do things you might not enjoy so much. I worked in a prison for three weeks, and decided it really REALLY wasn't for me. But I had to do it a few times, because bills don't pay themselves. ultimately, they are giving you a lot of flexibility, it's only fair you have to give them some flexibility in return. nothing worse than a bank nurse who is digging their heels in about being moved because they'll "only" work in a&e. It's part of the gig, just get on with it.

    Long story short: if you want guaranteed shifts in one particular a&e and are unwilling or unable to work elsewhere, just stay where you are, you're not ready.