• 15 February 2021
  • 7 min read

3 Benefits You Will Gain By Working As An Agency (Locum) Nurse

  • Misha Farlowe
    AppLocum
    • Aubrey Hollebon
    • Laura Bosworth
    • Richard Gill
    • Mat Martin
    • Kamel Hammoudi
  • 0
  • 947
"The flexibility of locum work gives you the time to start making those steps towards developing your career"

There are 3 big gains to working as an Agency (or Locum) Nurse: 1) diverse career opportunities 2) Networking 3) Flexibility. Misha Farlowe is an expert on locum Nursing. Read on to find out if it is for you.

Many people are drawn to locum Nursing because of the flexibility and variety. The ability to choose how you spend your time is advantageous in many ways, including opportunities to maximise your career development.

In this guide to making the most of locum / nursing agency work, we explore what you can learn from working in different clinical settings, how to network and what to do with your flexible schedule.

Different Clinical Settings

One of the advantages of locum work is the opportunity to experience different clinical environments.

There is no shame in sticking to what you know.

Nevertheless, you can push yourself to try new things and diversify your skills.

The choice of one shift that you wouldn’t normally consider could shape the future of your career.

In Primary Care, there are many different settings in which you can uncover new ways of managing patients and clinical risk outside of typical Practice Nurse work.

You may be interested in the fast-paced and varied work of walk-in centres, easing the pressure on hospitals without the demand of lives immediately at risk.

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The Out of Hours setting also offers variety as it rarely requires seeing regular patients.

You therefore get to tackle a diverse set of patient needs.

Due to COVID-19, locum Nurses have also found work in hot hubs and vaccination sites. Hot hubs give you more understanding of how to manage clinical risks such as cross-contamination, helping you to develop new skills.

The mass vaccination programme requires an understanding of managing patients on a large scale and you will enhance your vaccination skills.

The pressure on GP surgeries has meant more patients are directed to 111 services so the triage service has been a popular option for locum Nurses.

For Secondary Care Nurses, locum work allows you the flexibility to pursue speciality roles.

Opportunities will often arise in secondary care settings to work alongside trained members of staff in specialised departments, such as in ICU and theatre Nursing, to offer support without needing the expertise that would be required as a full member of staff.

You may come to realise that an environment suits you well and you would like to pursue it further.

The variety of locum work also extends to systems used within the workplace, for example SystmOne and Emis.

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Do you have any questions about locum nursing?

Ask Misha below!

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With a wide range of systems and settings out there this will be a huge advantage point on your working record, making you even more employable.

Whether you are tempted to try something new or sticking with what you know, AppLocum has a variety of roles for Nurses in both primary and secondary care settings.

Networking

Working in different environments means you inevitably meet a range of people.

Making a good impression by being kind and completing work to a high standard can go a long way.

Others can help you to find further opportunities in the healthcare industry or provide guidance on skills that you’re looking to improve.

Networking may seem like it’s all about finding your next job, but it can also be about lifelong learning or finding solidarity in your work as a locum to discuss shared experiences.

AppLocum is looking to build a community of locums for exactly this purpose.

Training is another way to meet people.

Outside of COVID, this may be provided in-house by your agency in which case you can meet other locums and compare notes on agency working.

In the current climate, there are training opportunities online, which you can find out about through an agency or by keeping up with training providers.

Whilst it may be harder to meet people through online training sessions, hearing from guest speakers or noting good contributors to reach out to can be a start in understanding where to build connections in the industry.

Flexibility

After having worked in different environments and spoken with a range of people, you may decide to make a change in your career.

This could require pursuing further study or changing roles.

The flexibility of locum work gives you the time to start making those steps towards developing your career.

You could set a day aside for your own personal and professional development, whether that is weekly, fortnightly or monthly.

Interested in further study?

Before beginning to make applications, it is essential to research exactly what you want to do and what your aims are.

Find the right speciality for you, understand where it is going to take you and gain the knowledge which will make your application stand out.

You may find an area of research that particularly interests you and which you would like to focus on over the course of your degree.

You can also fill gaps in your knowledge outside of the further education environment.

Enquire with local healthcare organisations about shadowing someone in the role you are aiming for.

It is a great way to gain experience and get a taste of the job.

In addition, if there is a topic you are particularly knowledgeable and passionate about, you can submit work to Nursing clinical journals, blogs or newsletters.

This looks great on your Nursing CV.

Many Nurses also get involved in community projects, focused on improving patient care.

This may be easier if you are doing a longer-term placement but it’s worth looking into Nursing community projects in your local area.

The Queen’s Nursing Institute has information on the type of community projects you can get involved in and where to access funding if necessary.

Less formal community projects which don’t require the same level of commitment can be found through volunteering.

You can gain access to free training and resources, hone your clinical skills and gain experience of working with different demographics.

You may also be able to fill gaps in your knowledge which you wouldn’t have otherwise.

Volunteering is flexible and you can spend as little as an hour every couple of weeks.

Look After Yourself

Of course, life isn’t all about career development.

Many people are happy where they are and don’t want any additional responsibility or pressure.

One of the most important parts of a flexible schedule is taking the time to rest.

Your working life and career are never going to satisfy you if they become a burden.

Making the most of locum work also means looking after yourself.

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Do you have any questions about locum Nursing?

Ask Misha, below!

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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