Choosing a travel nursing agency in the United Kingdom can be difficult. Ideally, you would want to work with an agency that offers your work in the best locations. However, the fact that there are hundreds of nursing agencies in the United Kingdom to choose from can be a bit overwhelming. Working with the best nursing agency in Birmingham can land you opportunities that you may never get working as a full-time nurse at a hospital or a medical care facility. Therefore, if you want to be a travel nurse in the UK, you must choose an experienced nursing agency that you can trust. Exceptional service, 24/7 support, and great benefits are a must.
With that said, here are some considerations you need to look into when choosing a travel nursing agency.
#1 Available Travel Destinations
The primary reason why you would want to become a travel nurse is that you want to explore places and meet new people, work in different environments, and more. Nursing agencies work with a number of medical care facilities and hospitals throughout the country. Larger and experienced agencies have exposure to more locations. So, before you choose a nursing agency in Birmingham, look at their job board on their website to get an idea of where they offer jobs. Moreover, during the interview, make sure you ask them at what locations they offer their services. It is always good to check with the nursing agency about their available travel destinations before joining as a travel nurse for them.
#2 Travel Nursing Pay
The second most important aspect you need to look into is the nursing pay. While some offer equal pay, others offer better pay packages to their travel nurses. Apart from the pay you get for your services, the agency should also cover your travel, food, rent, etc. Only experienced and large agencies can accommodate such things. Overall, different nursing agencies handle such affairs differently. There can be some benefits in their contract like all-expense-paid travel. So, you need to check with the agency to know more about their pay structure for a travel nurse. We recommend that you apply with multiple nursing agencies, and only choose the one that stands out to your expectations.
#3 Reputation of the Nursing Agency
Indeed, the reputation of the agency will play a crucial role in how good or bad your experience will be as a travel nurse. There are plenty of sites where you can find reviews for the nursing agency. Research is important because you would not want to work for an inexperienced agency that has a bad name in the market. Agencies with bad repo find it difficult to collaborate with medical care facilities. Since they have a bad reputation, no hospital wants to avail their services. So, check their ratings, ask your colleagues and other professionals who have or still work with the agency.
#4 Consider the Agency’s Service Organisational Structure
Well, different nursing agencies work with a different organizational structure. Whatever the case, you would want to work with a flexible agency that takes care of your needs and work accordingly. At some agencies, you will only be interacting with a single representative who is responsible for credentialing. Some agencies have a team of representatives with whom you will work separately. Essentially, the more experienced the agency, the more refined their organizational structure will be. The goal is to find an agency where the representatives are easy to communicate with. There can be problems with work, and if the organizational structure is poor, then it can be difficult to work with that nursing agency.
#5 Ease of Onboarding
Nursing agencies require the nurses to complete all the paperwork so that they can talk about their positions and negotiate. Paperwork can be daunting, but it is a critical part of recruitment, not only for the nursing agency you will be working for but also for the hospital you will be positioned at. The hospital in which the agency is sending you would want to know about your credentials. But this doesn’t mean that you will be flooded with paperwork. Nurses hate paperwork. A nursing agency that is thorough with the documentation makes it easy for the nurses.
#6 Missed and Cancelled Shift Policy
When it comes to cancelled and missed shifts, different nursing agencies have different policies. Cancelled shifts occur when the nurse gets called off, and missed shifts occur when the nurse calls off. So, there will be certain penalties for missing shifts. A travel nurse can miss the shift for so many reasons. So, you need to check with the agency on what will be the penalties. On the other hand, if your shift gets cancelled, you would immediately want another shift to work on. See if the agency is prompt with that as well.
These are the six critical aspects to consider when choosing a travel nursing agency.