Questions to ask before you accept an agency contract
Taking your first nursing agency contract in a regional or rural and remote area can be one of the most incredible opportunities you can take as a nurse. The more knowledge and information you have about the contract, the better your experience will be. Use this checklist as a guide to make sure you ask your agency and yourself. Ask all the questions that are important to you.
Top tips from those who have done it before
Making the move to agency nursing and taking contracts means you may be working in unfamiliar environments, and it can be daunting for a first-timer! There is a myriad of potential pitfalls to consider before signing a contract.
- Do the math. Are you out of pocket in any way? Are you better off overall with the rates on offer?
- Check your contract thoroughly before you sign it. Has the agency, signed away your right to a 10 hr break, and agreed to lots of overtime on your behalf, that you may not agree with?
- Search the address of the accommodation and the facility. What are the distance and estimated travel times between the two? Does it match what the agency has told you?
- Where possible, take your own transport so you can leave if you have to.
- Check that your designation and hourly rate of pay match.
- Ask nurses who have been there before – what should you bring from home? For example, should you bring your own linen/pillows/cutlery?
- Before you leave home, re-confirm that the accommodation agreed will be ready and available on your arrival.
- Before you leave home, inform your union if you are working interstate, so you are covered with insurance in the State or Territory you will be working in.
- Does your contract contain everything that was agreed upon when you discussed the contract with your agency? If not, do not sign the contract until it is re-issued with the correct inclusions/exclusions.
- Don’t leave home before your contract has been reviewed and signed.
- Check this mobile phone coverage map to ensure you can get reception on your mobile phone.
- Finally, when you sign a contract, you are agreeing to a certain set of terms. Be educated. If you’re not sure of something, clarifying it is the easiest solution BEFORE you sign. Don’t assume anything.
Have we missed any top tips? Let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org