Choosing between perm, bank and locum nursing jobs
By Dan Allard
So you've researched how to start a career in nursing, but one of the benefits of the profession is that there are many different ways for you to establish a comprehensive career. There are a number of considerations when choosing a nursing job, however we have outlined some of the positives of each contract type to help you make an informed decision about what is best for you.
The benefits of permanent nursing jobs
There are many reasons why a nurse may prefer the stability of a permanent nursing job. If you are fully employed by an NHS Trust you will benefit from a guaranteed income, set hours, and a clearly defined career path. You will also benefit from sick pay, annual leave entitlement, and the wider benefits which come from working for the NHS.
Permanent positions offer security for nurses who like to feel that they are an intrinsic part of a team and are making a tangible difference to their local community. For nurses with other commitments, permanent nursing jobs are ideal because shifts can be established around your lifestyle. Some people prefer to work a straight-forward Monday-Friday working pattern, some enjoy permanent night shifts, whilst others enjoy the flexibility of a ‘four day on, four day off’ shift pattern.
The benefits of agency nursing jobs
Many nurses are attracted to agency nursing jobs because they enjoy the freedom that contract work can bring. By working on short-term contracts, nurses can access higher rates of pay and take greater control over the direction of their careers.
Our locum nursing community benefits from being able to choose to work in job roles that suit their lifestyles and their nursing specialisms. Many find that they can gain greater experience and knowledge through locum jobs because they can work across a variety of wards and settings. This experience allows them to quickly progress up the NHS banding system, giving them more seniority and higher earning power.
Some nurses benefit from a mix of permanent employment and locum nursing jobs. They may work part-time as an employed nurse and use their remaining days to work in agency roles when it suits them. Having the ability to pick and choose when and where they wish to work is a great advantage for locum nurses.
The benefits of bank nursing jobs
The final option is bank nursing. Working on an ‘as and when’ basis, shifts are often picked up at short notice and are designed to cover shortfalls in nursing provision.
Many nurses may sign up to nursing banks at several NHS Trusts, giving them greater opportunity to work in a variety of settings. It’s a great way to experience alternative forms of nursing, and many nurses find that they enjoy having the opportunity to work in other ways.
We have written a selection of pieces around starting and navigating your nursing career.