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Being an agency nurse in the Republic of Ireland

We got the low down from one of our nurses, Ida, on what it’s really like working as an agency nurse in the Republic of Ireland.

How long have you been a nurse?

I have been qualified for over 10 years, working agency with the Guild for over 2 years.

Have you always worked in Ireland?

I started working in Ireland in 2012 but before that, I worked as a nurse in my home country, the Philippines.

What’s the best thing about being an agency nurse?

The best thing about being an agency nurse is the flexibility and being able to work shifts that suit my schedule. This is really important for me as I am a busy mum of 2 boys. The flexibility balances my time with family, recreation, and work. I can also choose the areas that I want to work in – which I have previous experiences on. This gives me confidence that I can do my job properly, safely, and efficiently.

What difficulties do you experience as an agency nurse in the Republic of Ireland?

The most difficult part of being an agency nurse is showing up and being assigned to an entirely different area – but sometimes you have to be accommodating as you do not only work for yourself, you also represent the Guild.

How does agency differ from your full-time nursing job?

When I was working full-time I would often finish my shift late due to short staffing. Now I can go home on time and be with my family as soon as the shift is over. I can also choose the areas that I want to work in.

Do you tend to travel outside of your home county for shifts? If so, where else have you worked?

Yes, I do. I mostly work in Kilkenny which is just over an hour drive from Dublin. I have also worked a few shifts in Waterford and Tipperary. 

What made you join the Guild?

I joined the Guild because I wanted to spend time more time with my kids while they’re young, and I was looking for a way to do this without entirely halting my nursing career. Of course, the perks (free uniform when you join), the salary, and the flexibility help. The staff in Dublin are all very helpful, accommodating, and lovely – they’re the best of the best.

What would you say to a fellow nurse who was looking to join the Guild?

I always encourage my colleagues to join the Guild – they’re the best in Ireland. I do not need to tell them about the salary as the Guild is very transparent in that aspect.

What’s one thing would you only know if you’re a nurse?

The amount of bodily fluids you are being exposed to when you are on duty. 🤣 

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