Working with a nursing agency offers a rewarding but high-pressure career, and nurses at every level face a range of unique challenges in their jobs. Navigating your agency nurse job may present a number of hurdles, but with resilience and determination, the role offers a chance to have a genuine impact on the lives of patients and their families. In the article below, we explore a number of the most commonly perceived challenges working with a nursing agency and how to overcome them. 


Irregular agency shift patterns

Shift patterns can take many forms. In your nursing career, it’s likely you’ll be required to work a range of shifts. Working ith a nursing agency does offer the flexibility to choose your own availability, and in many cases this is one of the main reasons that nurses move into an agency nursing job. However, while working a demanding or irregular shift pattern may be one of the most common challenges that nurses face, it provides nurses with a unique skill of being highly adaptable. By understanding and monitoring the associated physical and mental health risks of working irregular shifts, nurses can both protect and promote the wellbeing of themselves and their fellow colleagues during assignments with a nursing agency.


Agency nurses not prioritising self care

As most nurses will know, working with a nursing agency often means that self care takes a backseat - and those doing agency nurse jobs sometimes don’t practice what they preach in terms of taking care of themselves (in the same way they would promote self care to patients). Building a good routine that promotes physical and mental wellness is fundamental in maintaining a healthy balance, and in turn allows you to deliver the best possible patient care. Self-care means different things to each person, and there are many resources online on how to create positive habits around self care in your agency nurse job - but we’ve also written some previous posts that might be useful:


READ: Copying with Stress in Nursing

READ: Practicing Mindfulness in your Nursing Job

READ: Mental Health Matters: Support Resources for Agency Nurses


Last minute assignment changes from your nursing agency

Last minute changes to assignment is one of the unavoidable challenges of working in an agency nurse job. However, there are a number of things you can do to minimise the risk of this occurring. At Mayday Healthcare, we believe in building a good rapport with our agency nurses, so we can have an open channel of communication for if these situations arise. Block booking is a great way to ensure you have clear visibility of your nursing job assignment for a longer period of time. We offer a range of short notice nurse jobs, so maintaining regular contact with our recruitment team means you may be able to rectify last minute changes. 


Feeling isolated in your agency nurse job

A common challenge in agency nurses is the feeling of being isolated. Working in a new environment, meeting a range of healthcare professionals or being placed into a situation for the first time - all these things can lead to feelings of isolation. In an agency nurse job, communication is key, speak with your colleagues, a line manager or your recruitment consultant. Create your own support network, whether it’s in work or outside of work. As a nursing agency, we work hard to support our workforce.


For more information on how we’re working to help agency nurses overcome the challenges of their jobs, get in touch with a member of the Mayday Healthcare nursing agency team today.