3 Game-Changing Career Tips Every New Agency Nurse Should Read

By Rachel Lamb . 23/11/2016 · 4 Minute read

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Making a good impact as a new agency nurse can have its challenges. Just like starting a new job, working hospital agency shifts is all about how you set yourself up for success.

I’m going to share some great advice from my most experienced nurses who, together, rack up over 40 years in the industry. These nurses are all recognised as top performers in their fields but from this advice, you’ll learn that it’s not just about doing a great job but the little things they do that sets them apart.

Your career relies on compliance

If you’ve never signed up to an agency before, you’ll need to know about the compliance process. The speed in which you send in your documents, update your training and obtain references directly relates to how quickly you can work – no shock there of course!

It’s important to remember that your consultant is there to do you a service; they create flexibility in your schedule and earn you a more lucrative living. Above all, they have your best interests and the clients’ interests at heart and put in the hours to meet your requirements. Completing your compliance process quickly not only benefits you but everyone you work with.

Some very simple advice from one of my nurses is to always keep a file (either electronic or physical) to store all of your certificates, passport photocopies (always useful) and all relevant material you’re likely to need throughout your career as an agency nurse. This will save a huge amount of time, particularly with certificates!

On completion of the compliance process, you’ll be ready for shifts. Update your consultant with your availability and they will find you work, which is where my next tip will come in handy…

Get your colleagues on your side – remember their names!

Doing a great job is very important but what will make you really stand out from other agency nurses (aside from being an awesome nurse) is how you interact with the existing team.

One of my nurses advises that when you meet someone new, the most gratifying word you could ever say to them is their name. She says: ‘it’s as sweet to our ears as honey on our tongue and we love hearing it.’

Focus on remembering names – this is something you’ll do with your patients so make sure you have the same attitude towards your team; you’ll gain their respect and fit in faster.

For tips on how to learn new names instantly, scroll to the bottom of this article and give my advice a go!


The best recommendation from my most tenured nurse is to communicate! This applies not only to your colleagues but your consultant too. Let your consultant know if you’re running late or unable to complete a shift, and remember to update your availability. After all, you want the best shifts and the best wards in the hospitals most local to you!

As for your colleagues, positive communication is always welcomed. Let them know how much you enjoy their hospital, their ward, their support and, most importantly, be sincere.

Superhuman memory recall

Did you know that your memory is strongest when it comes to image recall? Try these very simple tips when you next meet someone:

  1. Ask their name then repeat it back to them. This not only confirms you’ve heard them correctly but helps your brain create a link
  2. Quickly think of someone with the same name and picture that person
  3. Imagine a defining characteristic or feature of the person you know and apply it to the person you’ve met

That’s it! Now, whenever you see this person it’ll trigger a memory of someone you know far better. After a while, you won’t need the link anymore!

When it comes to memory recall, this is just the tip of the iceberg. Get in touch and I’ll be happy to recommend some relevant reading to help you!

Did you like these tips? You can contact the author, Jyoti Bacheta, directly at [email protected] for information on Your World Healthcare’s current nursing shifts

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