A woman in scrubs with her arms crossed.

5 Ways To Get The Most Out Of Working As An Agency Nurse or Aide

Are you contemplating working for a nursing agency? Maybe you’ve already taken the leap – congratulations!! Either way, these 5 recommendations come directly from me (co-owner of Signature Healthcare and a seasoned agency RN). I’ve created a list of tips to help you stay connected, fulfilled and successful as an agency nurse. Read on for more!

1.) Reflect On Your Personal Goals 

Before you set out to meet your goals, it’s important to take time to reflect on what’s important to you. This will help you pursue and meet your goals.

Maybe ask yourself the following questions. Are you happy in your current facility, specialty, or location? Is it time for a change? Is there something else you want to learn or achieve?

It’s not necessary you come up with the answers to these questions right away. Be patient with yourself. Take the time that you need to consider the best path for you.

2.) Update Your Resume

Did you know nursing professionals with updated resumes typically get offered numerous contracts and quickly?  I know, updating your resume can be a drag, but it’s very important! Take time to revisit, revise, and improve your resume so you’re ready for the next amazing opportunity that comes along.  And always update your resume after each contract assignment!

Highlight any and all clinical expertise, special procedures in which you are trained, unit-specific patient types, and higher-acuity patients. Being thorough in the descriptions of your nursing experience will help your agency assure a great match between your skillset and future clinical assignments.

3.) Stay In Direct Communication With Your Agency

Create a relationship with your agency – it’s a must! As you build trust and rapport with your agency, they will develop a better understanding of what you want in a position. 

Being completely transparent with your agency provides many benefits. Be sure to check in frequently and share your new goals!

4.) Keep Your Certifications and In-Services Updated

This is an absolute must!  Your agency won’t be able to submit you to contract opportunities if your certifications are outdated.  The world of nursing is vast, and agencies generally receive new job opportunities daily. If your employee profile isn’t kept current the agency won’t be able to submit you when new opportunities arise. Time is always of the essence and the agency needs to be able to submit your profile quickly. If you’re looking for the best contract opportunities make sure your employee profile is accurate and current!

5.) Be Ready To Adapt

As always, it’s important to be ready for unforeseen situations, especially when you walk into a new work environment. While you won’t be able to predict exactly what challenges await you, you can prepare for how you’ll adapt to them when they arrive.

Most importantly, remember to keep an open mind. If you have to revise your goals mid-contract, no worries! It’s all part of the process. Stay positive and view these challenges as a learning experience.  The agency you work for should always be available and supportive in your career goals – just make sure to stay in communication with them!  And if you happen to be in Iowa, Kansas or Missouri give us a call – we’d love to welcome you to our team of nurses and aides!

Christi J Hokel, MS, BSN, RN

Co-owner and Clinical Director

Signature Healthcare