So you have completed your nursing degree, attained your requisite hours of real-world clinical experience and got your AHPRA registration. You are working full-time and would like to boost your income. Perhaps you are working as a nurse and need flexibility in your career and switch to casual shifts. Agency nursing is a great way to attain extra income. You also get immense flexibility over your workplace and the number of hours you work.
The most-talked-about benefit of agency nursing is the pay rates. If you have ever wondered about the best agency nursing rates or simply whether your agency is paying enough, check out our agency nurse pay rate calculator.
Average Agency Rates for Nurses
A casual shift in a hospital will typically earn you an extra 18% (for a public hospital) or 25% (in a private hospital), whereas an agency nurse can earn an extra 45% on top of the base rate. In these three arrangements, this increased pay rate is to compensate for the loss of sick leave, annual leave and the lack of income security.
This extra money is well-deserved. Agency nurses have to have a high level of confidence in their skills and abilities, so they can hit the ground running, build strong relationships with new colleagues, and work in varying environments with people they don’t know.
The average hourly rate for an agency nurse in Australia is $52.91. Nurse pay rates vary widely by capital city (with Brisbane topping the list and Hobart coming in last according to data averaged by Indeed). The average hourly rate in Sydney is $49.86.
Your actual pay will depend on factors such as location and experience. Let’s deep dive into these factors and understand how you can improve your take-home pay.
Location – Your location will affect your rates. Generally, nurses living and working in rural areas can make more money than those in metropolitan areas. This is primarily due to a case of demand and supply. There are more nurses in cities and employers have more candidates to choose from compared to rural areas.
On the other hand, there’s a scarcity of nurses working in remote areas, and they are in greater demand. They are paid an extra allowance, which can also include travel and accommodation expenses.
Experience – Experience can play a big role in the rates on offer. For example, an RN/MW1 working casually in a private hospital earns $39.48 while an RN/MW8 can make $55.43.
Qualifications – A higher level of qualification is a pathway to senior and high-paying roles. Nursing practitioners earn more than registered nurses as their positions require more certifications, clinical hours and higher levels of education.
Specialisation – Nursing has a lot of specialities – aged care, mental health, perioperative, critical care and many more. Specialised roles attract more benefits and take-home pay.
Check your Rates
Keen to find out your pay rates? You can find them here.