With public sector cutbacks, good nursing agency and HCA jobs are more in demand than ever before - particularly for staff who want to work at the times and locations of their choice, says BNA, which has helped healthcare staff to further their career goals since 1948. Agency work with a reputable agency still offers great opportunities for nurses who want extra shifts and pay or need to balance their work-life commitments because they have young family for example.
The BNA, British Nursing Association, offers this advice for getting the most from nursing agency work:
1) Register with several nursing agencies: to increase your opportunities for work, you can register through the BNA web site just once to work for five different agencies - click here to register.
2) At registration, ensure you provide all the information that’s required: BNA provides a detailed list of documents you will need to supply – and meets with all candidates locally to help them complete the registration process. Initial registration should always be started on-line through the BNA web site. Documents required include: a completed CRB; a detailed BNA application form; and job references.
3) Keep your registrations current: once you have registered with the nursing agency, ensure that your annual certifications are up to date – whether for training, CRB or other requirements.
4) Are you a specialist nurse, ICU, PICU or SCBU trained for example? There is high demand for specialist nurses in many regions. Current certificates are essential as proof of your speciality, so BNA can match your qualifications with relevant work. Also, if you do specialist training on an annual basis in your permanent job - such as Ventilator, Tracheostomy, IV administration – please inform the agency.
5) Let the agency know when you are free to work: BNA’s on-line web diary enables nurses and HCAs to confirm when they are available. It’s worth updating the diary at least every week. Be flexible: if BNA knows that you will accept work at short notice - or will work some evenings, weekends or Bank Holidays - you will get more, higher-paying shifts.
6) Stay in touch: find out which BNA consultants deal with the area where you want to work. E-mail the names of the towns and hospitals. BNA’s consultants are there to help, and when they get to know you and the type of work you want, it will increase work opportunities
8) Complaints: feedback is always welcome. Let BNA know if there is anything with which you are unhappy or could be done differently - or issues you have in the workplace. Good agencies are grateful for feedback.
9) Tell a friend: if you have nursing friends who are interested in agency work, then telling them about the agency is helpful for feedback and communication. Visit BNA’s Facebook and click on ‘Like’ or email us as firstname.lastname@example.org
10) Consider your career: are you looking for specific types of work or experience? If you are, do discuss this with your BNA consultant, as the agency may be able to help, if you meet the standards required by clients for relevant shifts.
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