FLEXIBILITY. Of all the qualities needed to be a successful agency nurse, the most important one to consider is flexibility. Are you flexible in days and shifts you want to work? Are you willing to work at 3-6 hospitals in your area? Are you able to work a variety of specialties? In my experience of starting and managing a nursing staffing agency, the more flexible you can be, the more opportunity you will have to work.
Nurses should consider how many shifts a week they can work. While it is it possible to work 5 or more shifts each week, most of the nurses at our agency work 2-3 shifts each week, and enjoy the extra free time in their schedules. A nurse who is only looking for a few shifts each week could be more restrictive about times and locations he or she is willing to work. A nurse who is looking to agency to essentially provide as many shifts as a full time staff position, will typically need to be more flexible.
Fortunately, there are always a variety of shifts available, and qualified agency nurses are always in demand!