Firm offers high wage due to nurse shortage

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A nursing shortage has led to one local firm to offer nurses around £45 per hour in a bid to fill posts.

Michael McQuade, a Nursing Recruitment Consultant at Ann’s Nursing Care said the nursing crisis has led to a huge demand for agency nurses.

“Our phones are red hot looking for qualified nurses,” he said.

Last November, in an unprecedented move, the RQIA formally notified the Department of Health that Northern Ireland was in the midst of a serious nursing shortage across hospital and community services and noted a reliance on agency and bank nursing.

Mr McQuade said: “As a result of these shortages Ann’s Nursing Care has experienced a significant upsurge in requests for nursing staff as healthcare providers strive to maintain sufficient staff/ client ratios.

“This is good news for nurses who are considering a move to ANC as there will always be shifts available to suit their desired working pattern.

And he added: “As an agency nurse there is the opportunity to work in a range of nursing homes encountering a range of specialist areas. No two shifts will ever be the same!

Mr McQuade added that agency nurses tended to be more focused on the provision of care with less emphasis on administrative duties.

The firm promises training and flexible working hours.

Mr McQuade explained: “At ANC we have nurses who work full time hours and others who pick up a shift every week. One of the main advantages of working as an agency nurse is that you get to pick the hours and shifts that you want to work. Our recruitment consultants work with our nurses to ensure we have accurately captured their availability and preferences of work settings.”

And he revealed that working as an agency nurse can be more lucrative with generally higher rates of pay than permanent staff.

“One of the main reasons for this is that agency work is not contracted or guaranteed hours, albeit there is an abundance of work,” he said.

Nurses could expect to earn between “21.50 and £45 per hour.

“There is a shortage of nurses and care assistants and our job is to help plug that gap in the market,” he said adding that the nurses they employ working mainly in the nursing home sector.

“Our agency nurses need to have strong background of acute clinical experience, as they may get a limited induction in a new setting. Nurses are often expected to “hit the ground running” in this fast paced profession and this is why we support them with our comprehensive induction programme and ongoing training and supervision.”