• 13 September 2021
  • 4 min read

What To Know Before Becoming A Locum Nurse

  • Misha Farlowe
    AppLocum
    • Richard Gill
    • Mat Martin
  • 0
  • 415
“Though adaptability is still required at times, there is more freedom to pursue the type of work, location and hours that work for you.”

Any change in your career can be a daunting experience. New structure, new payment styles, new relationships. To ensure a smooth transition into Locum nursing, preparation is key. Read on to find out what you should know before making the change.

Topics covered in this article

Don’t Quit Your Salaried Role Straight Away

Work Out Your Finances

Don’t Worry About Compliance

Set Your Preferences

Working With An Agency Or App

Don’t Quit Your Salaried Role Straight Away

Or do.

You get to choose your schedule.

If you already know what you’re looking for, you can dive straight in.

However, if you are hesitant, try doing a couple of shifts a week at first alongside your salaried role to see what works for you.

You may then decide you’d like to be a full-time locum.

Alternatively, you could find that you enjoy the hybrid structure and work a salaried role that you can balance alongside locum work.

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Work Out Your Finances

Financial planning is essential to being your own boss.

How many hours do you need to work per week to cover the basics?

How about to reach your financial goals?

Join online nursing groups and scour vacancies on the web to find average rates.

Remember that you will need to set money aside to cover holidays and illness. Locums are paid a higher rate to cover the benefits you will no longer have as self-employed.

Check regulations on self-employment on the government website.

You will likely need to set up as a sole trader for tax.

You may also decide that you would benefit from income protection and a personal pension.

Locums can be paid PAYE, Umbrella or LTD.

Each one approaches tax in a different way.

Do your research so that you don’t get caught out.

Keep detailed and accurate records of any work that you perform as it can be useful when working with accountants and insurers.

Records will allow you to check that you are being paid correctly by your employers.

You can also use this data to assess your working patterns and understand which opportunities are meeting your needs best.

Don’t Worry About Compliance

The compliance process for Locum work is not much different than that for a salaried role.

Employers just need to check that you are eligible to work in UK healthcare and can perform your role to a high standard.

If working with an agency, you will be sent a list of all the documents and evidence needed to pass through the compliance process.

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If you have all your documents ready, at AppLocum, we have found that people can complete their compliance within 1-2 days.

As a Locum, you will need to provide your own indemnity.

Set Your Preferences

Long-term or ad-hoc?

How far are you willing to travel?

Are there plenty of shifts in your area?

Before starting Locum work, take time to think about your preferences.

This is not a salaried role where you don’t get a choice.

To make the most of Locum work, know exactly what you are looking for.

If working with a recruitment advisor, be clear about these preferences and they will be able to match you to the best shifts for you.

Though adaptability is still required at times, there is more freedom to pursue the type of work, location and hours that work for you.

It is also important to communicate your clinical preferences.

For example, if you do not want to see children, this needs to be on record so that the practice doesn’t send through any unsuitable patients.

Clear preferences make for a happier and easier work life for you, your recruitment consultant and, in the end, your patients too.

Working With An Agency Or App

Most Locums choose to work through an agency.

Consultants will be able to guide you through all your queries and concerns.

They will send you a list of the necessary compliance documents and keep you updated.

At AppLocum, we have made this process even easier with an app.

Hospital Nurses can download it now to find their ideal shift.

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About the author

  • Misha Farlowe
    AppLocum

I am a marketing executive for healthcare staffing agency AppLocum. Through this role, I have developed an interest in the particular challenges faced by agency Nurses. Listening to their stories has been an important way of understanding how these can be addressed.

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  • Misha Farlowe
    AppLocum

About the author

  • Misha Farlowe
    AppLocum

I am a marketing executive for healthcare staffing agency AppLocum. Through this role, I have developed an interest in the particular challenges faced by agency Nurses. Listening to their stories has been an important way of understanding how these can be addressed.

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