Photo from RN Natalie on her latest contract around Australia with Affinity
What traits do NUMs/DONs want most from their agency nurses?
Being an agency nurse is very different than a traditional permanent employment. It takes different skills and traits to really succeed and thrive in such a different professional lifestyle. Over the years we have seen many wonderful and talented agency nurses come and (sadly) some go as they lose their flexibility to jet set around the country as family commitments change. And we wanted to share some personality and professional traits that help you to really succeed as a travel nurse in the agency lifestyle!
Being an agency nurse requires you to be flexible in so many different areas. You are changing types of accommodation each contract, working in different facilities and different teams. You need to be open and willing to be able to seamlessly fit into each new environment.
2. Willing to go the extra mile
This attitude is something that pops up on performance appraisals often as a massive reason why a hospital has loved having an agency nurse. They were willing to help out with extra duties, mentored some junior co-workers, etc. Having an attitude to help wherever and whenever it is needed is something short-staffed facilities really appreciate.
3. Team oriented
Being able to fit into new teams regularly is a real skill – it’s not easy! But this is one thing that we have seen let down even some of the most clinically highly skilled nurses over the last 17 years of operation. If you aren’t able to fit into the team both personally and professionally then it can be a factor that NUMs/DONs will consider for future applications.
4. Be positive
It may sound like something small, but if you are coming to work in a negative headspace then it does affect the people around you and it doesn’t take long for that to be noticed. If you have a positive affect on your co-workers then it really does stand out and can be the difference between being requested for future contracts at a hospital. We see it happen all too often!
Facilities that have agency nurses are often suffering from long term staffing issues so not turning up to shifts, high levels of sick leave and turning up late does really affect the team there, even more so than it would in traditional employment. So being reliable in terms of following through with contracts, turning up to your shifts on time and doing what you said you will is something all facilities really rely on.
We are so lucky at Affinity to have such high calibre of nurses choosing to work with us that have the above traits. Which is why we are a provider of choice by many NUMs and DONs. They know that when an Affinity nurse is booked they are clinically capable of doing the role and will always aspire to perform at their best!