What is an Agency Nurse?
Agency nurses are employed by nursing agencies to provide temporary staffing solutions to hospitals and other healthcare facilities. As an agency nurse, you will work on a casual basis, choosing when and where you work, and providing support to healthcare facilities when they need it most.
Benefits of Nursing Agency Jobs
Working for nursing agencies can be an excellent way to gain flexibility in your work schedule and gain experience in different work setting. Some of the benefits of nursing agencies include:
- Flexibility: One of the most significant benefits of working as an agency nurse is flexibility. You can choose your work schedule and the number of shifts you take on, allowing you to balance work with other commitments or responsibilities. This flexibility can be especially valuable if you have family or personal obligations that require you to work irregular hours.
- Variety & Experience: Another advantage of being an agency nurse is that you have the opportunity to gain experience in a variety of healthcare settings. As an agency nurse, you may work in hospitals, aged care facilities, clinics, or community health centers. This variety can help you gain valuable experience and develop your skills as a nurse.
- Higher Pay Rates: Nursing agencies usually pay higher rates than casual positions. While agency nurses may not receive the same benefits as permanent employees, such as sick leave and annual leave, the higher pay rates can compensate for this. Additionally, some nursing agencies offer bonuses or incentives for working on weekends or public holidays, which can further increase your income.
List of Nursing Agencies
Nursing Agencies in NSW:
- H1 Healthcare – Sydney
- Healthcare Australia – Sydney
- CQ Nurse – Coffs Harbour
- Workforce XS – Sydney
- Mid North Coast Local Health District – Port Macquarie
Nursing Agencies in VIC:
- Programmed Health Professionals – Melbourne
- Belmore Nurses Bureau – Melbourne
- Healthcare Australia – Melbourne
- Alfred Health – Melbourne
- Peninsula Health – Frankston
Nursing Agencies in QLD:
- First Choice Care – Brisbane
- Healthcare Australia – Brisbane
- Healthcare & Nursing Recruitment Australia – Brisbane
- Your Nursing Agency – Gold Coast
- HealthX – Townsville
Nursing Agencies in SA:
- Healthcare Australia – Adelaide
- ACH Group – Adelaide
- Calvary Adelaide Hospital – Adelaide
- Country Health SA – Adelaide
- Silver Chain – Adelaide
Nursing Agencies in WA:
- Healthcare Australia – Perth
- St John of God Health Care – Perth
- Rockingham Peel Group – Rockingham
- Royal Perth Hospital – Perth
- South West Healthcare – Bunbury
Nursing Agencies in Tasmania:
- Healthcare Australia – Hobart
- Calvary Health Care Tasmania – Hobart
- Tasmanian Health Service – Hobart
- HenderCare – Hobart
- Healthcare & Recruitment Tasmania – Hobart
Nursing Agencies in NT:
- Territory Nurses – Darwin
- HCA Defence – Darwin
- Nursing Australia – Darwin
- SilverChain – Alice Springs
- Gove District Hospital – Nhulunbuy
Nursing Agencies in ACT:
- Calvary Public Hospital Bruce – Canberra
- ACT Health – Canberra
- Health Staff Solutions – Canberra
- Aspen Medical – Canberra
- Healthwise Global – Canberra
Please note that this list is not exhaustive and there may be additional nursing agencies in each state.
Wages & Pay Rates for Agency Nurses
Agency nurses generally earn more per hour compared to permanent nursing staff, but they are not guaranteed a certain number of hours. Casual nurses working in hospitals receive a loading of 18% (public hospitals) to 25% (private hospitals) on top of their base rate of pay. This additional pay is to compensate for the loss of benefits like sick leave, annual leave, public holiday leave, and the irregularity of available work. However, it is worth noting that a 25% casual loading is insufficient to make up for the benefits that permanent staff enjoy.
In contrast, agency nurses receive a higher loading of 45%, giving them a base pay rate of between $49.23 and $65.57 for a RN – depending on the number of years experience you have. It’s important to note that this rate only applies to private agency work. Those working in public hospitals receive an 18% casual loading based on the NSW Health Award. Some agencies may provide a top-up of a few dollars per hour to compensate for this disparity.
The rate of pay for agency nurses is well-deserved as they possess specialised skills that enable them to adapt quickly to new environments, build rapport with new teams, and work independently without regular support. The flexibility of agency shifts also suits their lifestyle and enables them to balance personal commitments.