Career advice

Succeed as an agency nurse

Agency nurses have to adjust to new environments while juggling clinical responsibilities and prioritising the care of their patients.

Agency nurses have to adjust to new environments while juggling clinical responsibilities and prioritising the care of their patients. Five qualities will make for a successful agency nurse.

Picture credit: Alamy

Excellent communication skills

Agency nurses are always meeting new people and adapting to different environments; having excellent communication skills helps them work effectively in new teams and deliver the best service for their patients. An ability to remain calm and communicate in stressful situations is also essential.

Flexibility

The nature of agency work means nurses may not be in a fixed place of work for a prolonged period, and working different shifts, with varying sleeping and eating patterns, requires the ability to adapt to working in this way.

Attention to detail

As nurses work in an environment where small, accurate observations and correct records are essential for patient care, attention to detail is of paramount importance. With continuous new tasks and changing situations, being able to act quickly and accurately can significantly affect a patient’s wellbeing.

Ability to work within a team and independently

As an agency nurse, being able to fit seamlessly into a team on a ward is essential so rounds can be completed. In addition, working independently and confidently during night shifts ensures the best service is delivered for patients from the first moment on shift.

Professionalism

Being professional and having pride in nursing and the care you provide is an attribute that should not be overlooked. When working in different wards from week to week, professionalism will guide a nurse’s practice, leading the way to quickly understanding patients’ needs and dealing with them in a compassionate manner.

If these qualities sound like you, and you have not considered agency nursing before in your career, now might be the time to look at this as a serious career option.

This article is for subscribers only

Jobs