Forming the largest group of workers in the NHS, nurses are responsible for delivering medical care to patients and play a key role in the UK healthcare industry. Nursing staff can be employed in a variety of settings and nurse recruitment agencies will often work alongside public and private healthcare providers to fill permanent, temporary or contract positions.Nursing jobs
The sector covers a range of specialisms and candidates can work as a Registered Nurse (RN), Registered General Nurse (RGN) or a Registered Sick Children's Nurse (RSCN) amongst others. Although duties can vary, the overall aim is to provide care to those suffering from acute or chronic health problems. They can be employed by hospitals, nursing homes or NHS trusts and typical duties can include assessing patients, monitoring medication, keeping records and providing support to relatives. (Read: Become a Nurse)
Nursing Qualifications, skills and salaries
In order for candidates to practice in the UK, they must first register with the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC), a statutory body that regulates the field. The NMC currently has over 670K members and these include locums, heads of primary care and ward nurses. A pre-registration degree is also necessary, however these courses are typically funded by the NHS. A healthcare agency will also look to identifying skills as well as qualifications. Recruitment consultants will typically conduct candidate testing that assesses key qualities such as flexibility, stress management and problem solving.
NHS rates of pay fall into 'Bands' and this will determine a candidate's salary per annum. An assistant or entry level role such as clinical support worker may start in Band 2 and command earnings of £15K-£17K. Conversely, established nurses will find themselves in Band 5 and salaries here can range between £21K-£28K.
Nursing recruitment agencies
Nurse employers looking to recruit staff may approach a recruitment agency that operates within the healthcare sector. Specialist health industry recruiters will be experienced at sourcing staff for this challenging field, however a multi sector service may offer a more diverse range of expertise. NHS employers are only permitted to hire workers from an approved list of staffing agencies, and these must apply the Employment Check Standards that are set out by the organisation. Conversely, other recruitment services may dedicate themselves entirely to filling nursing jobs within the private healthcare sector.