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How do you choose the best nursing agency for you?

How do you choose the best nursing agency for you?

16 March 2021
Healthcare careers

Working as an agency nurse is a great way to give you more flexibility around your hours, better pay and opportunities to progress your career, whether you are interested in working a few additional shifts to pick up some extra cash or planning to become a full-time agency nurse.

You can read more about the benefits of agency nursing here:

There are hundreds of nursing recruitment agencies across the UK, ranging from large corporations to one-man bands, all of which claim to be the top nursing agency in the country. So how can you choose the one that is right for you? Here are some things to look out for:

Framework or non-framework?

One of the biggest attractions of working as an agency nurse is the opportunity to earn some extra cash, at a higher rate than normal. The first thing you need to consider is whether you’d like to work with a framework or non-framework agency, as this will affect the pay rates and types of shifts you are offered.


Framework agencies are those on a list of approved and compliant suppliers to the NHS. Trust prefer to use these agencies, so they get the first pick on any new shifts and fill the majority of roles. They don’t always pay the highest rate, but most agency nurses prefer to use them so they get the best shifts to suit their ideal working pattern.

Non-framework agencies can usually pay higher rates for roles, but these tend to be the shifts that are difficult to fill, are often last minute and may require you to travel long distances.

You’ll need to decide which option best fits your lifestyle. MSI are a framework agency, so we have the best range of roles and can help you build a career with reliable income. We are also occasionally able to offer shifts at escalated rates over the usual cap for agency nurses, so you’ll get the best of both worlds.

Daily payroll

Many nurses choose to pick up extra agency shifts to help them earn some extra income when they need it. One of the big advantages of agency nursing is that you don’t have to wait for a monthly payroll to get paid.

MSI is one of the only agencies in the UK to operate a daily payroll, so your earnings can be in your account the day after you submit your timesheet.

Plus, if you’re looking to boost your income a bit more, you can refer friends or colleagues to us and we’ll pay you £200 after they work 100 hours.

Find out more about how to refer a friend

A great range of roles

To make agency nursing work for you, you should choose an agency that offers a large range of shifts, so you can pick the hours and locations that suit you best. As we previously mentioned, MSI is on all the major NHS frameworks for agency nurses, plus we have good long-established relationships with our clients, so we have a really wide variety of different roles available.

Plus, we offer specific contracts that pay outside of IR35 and include transport and accommodation, so you can really boost your income quickly.


Excellent support

As an agency nurse, you need to make sure you choose a trustworthy and reliable agency that will keep you compliant and support your career development.

As a framework agency, MSI is required to commit to the NHS’s high levels of compliance, but we go above and beyond. In our last Neuven Compliance Audit, we received a Platinum 100% rating, reflecting the importance we place on supporting our nurses.

Our clinical support package is led by a Band 8 Senior Clinician, so you can rest assured we can ensure any issues you come up against in your practice are resolved quickly and fairly.

Find out more about our clinical support

MSI also support our nurses throughout the revalidation process

Find out more our revalidation support

Follow a recommendation

One of the very best ways to choose a nursing agency is to follow a recommendation from a friend or colleague. That way, you’re basing your decision on the actual experience of a trusted associate, rather than what the agency itself claims.

Referrals are the largest source of new agency nurses for MSI, so we are confident that the service we provide is well received. We also have hundreds of 5-star reviews on Google and Facebook, so you can check out what other nurses say before you make a decision.


Nursing agency checklist

Below is a simple checklist you can use when you’re deciding which nursing agency is right for you:

•Are they a framework or non-framework agency?

•Is their website up to date and are they active on social media?

•Do they have a wide range of roles?

•Do they offer a daily payroll?

•Do they have a dedicated specialist to offer clinical support?

•Do they offer revalidation support?

Would you like to find out more?

If you need a bit more help making your decision, MSI promise to give you an honest answer about whether we can help you with the kind of roles you are looking for.

And if you’re ready to start the next step of your career as an agency nurse, we’d love to hear from you.

Register with us

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