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Have you considered becoming an agency nurse?

Whether you are just beginning your nursing career or if you already have years of experience, you will come to find that there are many perks to the nursing industry.  

An incredible benefit of nursing is that it has so many options. There are a number of specialties and environments, but also options to how much you choose to work and pick up shifts. You can work full-time, part-time, or as needed in a variety of health care facilities. 

Health care staffing agencies allow you to pick up short-term contracts or shifts that fit your schedule and job needs. If you’re looking to make more money or broaden your skills, working with an agency could be very beneficial.

NHS demands

NHS Trusts constantly need new nurses because of unfilled vacancies, staff on sick leave or increased demand. Permanent staff are looked at to cover these shifts, but this is not always possible. They will then approach a nursing agency to provide a nurse on a temporary basis.

However, if you are not registered with an agency, it’s highly unlikely that you’ll ever hear about these temporary roles - even if you’re currently working within the NHS.

What is an agency nurse?

An agency nurse is different to permanent RN working in one hospital. As an agency nurse, you will be able to take on different positions and shifts in different environments or areas. Depending on what shifts you’ve signed up for, you could be working in one hospital one day, and another one the very next day.

Agency roles aren’t just for General Nurses – there is a wide range of agency positions for all kinds of nurse specialities, including Paediatric Nurses, ICU Nurses, Mental Health Nurses, Theatre Nurses, Neurological Nurses and more.

Agency nursing, whether full time or part time, means nurses have the flexibility to choose what shifts they want to work and where. Agency nursing allows nurses to have more control over their schedules and assignments, which results in more focus on patient care.

Benefits of working for an agency


If you’ve worked in the same department for a long time, you may feel like you need a change. Nursing agencies can offer you lots of variation to try out new departments or specialities, and this experience can help improve your nursing skills. By moving around to different departments and locations, you are also able to network and make connections for future job possibilities. This will also be helpful if you need referrals for other jobs, or if you decide to start looking for a permanent position and need people to put in a good word for you.

Higher pay rates

Agency Nurses generally receive a higher hourly rate than permanent roles, as well as holiday and sick pay. These rates are normally much higher because the employer is not required to offer benefits. Most agencies also offer daily payroll, meaning you can be paid the day after you work a shift.

Less stress

While working as an agency nurse is still challenging, but there is generally less responsibility and less pressure. You don’t have to worry about internal politics, managing others or wasting your time with non-nursing duties. You can spend your shift doing actual caring and then clock out at the end of the day and go home. And if there’s a particular facility that you don’t quite enjoy, then you don’t have to go back.


When you work through an agency, there are no minimum or maximum hours and you generally have much more freedom around the hours you work than in a permanent role. Per diem nursing makes it possible and easy to balance work and home life effectively. You pick your schedule and control your time. Need two weeks off? No problem. Need a change of scenery? No problem.


If you thrive on learning new skills, a nursing agency will offer you the opportunity to move around and experience multiple health care environments. Diversifying your skills as a nurse tends to provide greater job satisfaction and increased job security.


Greenstaff Medical offer 24/7 support and dedicated consultants, so if you ever have any questions or queries, we are only a phone call away.

In order to work for an agency, you will need to go through a compliance process to confirm you are qualified to work for the NHS and get all your checks and paperwork in order. This can be time-consuming, but our consultants will keep you updated every step of the way. Once it’s done, our staff will work on getting you the shifts you want, when you want. You can get ahead by browsing our available jobs and registering your CV with us!