Whether you’ve recently graduated or are a nurse assessing your professional options, we’ve listed several reasons why you should consider becoming a locum nurse.
- Greater flexibility – being a locum nurse provides you with flexibility and control over your shifts, number of working hours and the type of work you do, giving you the chance to pick and mix your shifts as you wish. You are also free to book holidays whenever you like, without worrying that they will not be approved.
HCL explored the view of agency nurses and their motivations for choosing agency work over a permanent role in our research paper, Agency nursing under the microscope: understanding flexibility in the NHS, created in partnership with the Royal College of Nursing. The results of our research confirmed that the flexibility to pick when and where to work is the primary reason for which nurses turn to agency work.
- Better work-life balance – having full control over your working patterns might contribute to a better work-life balance so you can continue to give best levels of care without the risk of feeling stressed or overworked. Being a locum nurse also allows you to combine working with other family and caring responsibilities, adapting your work needs to your family needs.
- Enhancing your professional skills – you might be able to take on placements that aren’t limited to one particular area/specialism. That way you will be working with a variety of patients and colleagues while gaining valuable experience in a new area. There is a unique opportunity to develop your professional skills while being a locum nurse by learning news skills. This will inevitably enhance your CV, helping you to advance your medical career.
When asked What is the main reason for working through HCL, 18% of the nurses we surveyed in our research paper answered that they prefer to work extra shifts at a different location to their main job.
- Better rates of pay – you might consider going locum because of the increased pay rates, compared to working as a permanent nurse*. When asked What is the main reason for working through HCL, 24% of the agency nurses surveyed stated that agency working pays more than extra shifts through the NHS bank.
Do you want to give it a try?
*Pay rates depend on the role and stage of career and they might vary. For more information, please check with your HCL consultant