Today, working as a nurse in the healthcare system is becoming more and more difficult. Worse still, when politicians get involved and decide to change everything in less than four years, you’re almost sure to see an announcement on social networks.
In an article published in Le Devoir in October 2018, there was already a mention of a structural shortage rather than a real one. This actually translates to managers who transform or multiply part-time nursing positions. In short, part-time jobs are proliferating at the expense of full-time positions.
Full-time versus part-time
For example, despite the real needs and a context of full employment that favours an increase in the number of full-time positions, nurses still face uncertainty in the health network. They face this challenge much more than their male counterparts – in proportion to their representation in the nursing workforce – as 65% of them hold full-time positions compared to 57.6%. This level of insecurity further tarnishes morale, in addition to a lack of support by ineffective managers.
The Ordre des infirmières et des infirmiers du Québec (OIIQ) figures are unequivocal in this regard. For example, the proportion of the workforce working part-time rose from 31.8% to 33.4% in the last five years.
When the private sector becomes an easy choice
Faced with a precarious situation, more and more nurses are choosing the private sector. In a March 2018 article in Métro newspaper, working conditions were blamed for the transition of nurses to the private sector.
In this nurses scenario, Linda, age 57, is a nurse who has accumulated more than 20 years of work in the public system. For her, the public network has become “too stressful, too impersonal and too productivity-oriented”. Feeling like she was at the end of her rope, she went private.
Other nurses also say it’s clear that nurses’ intrinsic self-sacrifice has certainly led to their exploitation, namely, a heavy workload or completely abusive new guidelines. Some like Julie feel like slaves of the public system. The organization’s lawyer told her that she was obligated to accept the mandatory overtime under threat of being removed from the OIIQ. In this context, the work environment in the public sector is definitely undermined.
Given the lack of respect for managers as experienced Julie, many nurses choose the private sector in order to flourish and discover rewarding and enriching work.
Working in the private sector: fewer constraints!
For young graduate nurses, working in the private sector means fewer constraints and an easier work environment, especially at the beginning of their career. Instead of sacrificing their evenings, nights and weekends for seniority in the organization, they can have a more flexible schedule.
In addition, working with the public as a young graduate also means dealing with difficult conditions. Imagine starting your career working night shifts with reduced staff, managing challenging cases, despite your lack of experience. Professional mistakes can happen, along with stress that leads some to depression early in the career. By working in the private sector, young nurses have all the support and input they need to start their careers on the right foot.
Agencies do things differently
One of the first things you notice when working in a private agency like Placement Premier Soin is the team’s warm welcome. Like other healthcare professionals, agency nurses are considered rare gems. You’ll be recognized as an individual in your own right and will be respected as a human being.
In agency, it’s the variety of shifts and work environments that are universally appreciated. Unlike in the public sector, you won’t be confined to a night shift for the next five years.
Salary is another important element. The hourly rate is often higher at the beginning of an agency career than in the public sector, with similar or better benefits, depending on the work environment. In agencies, you have a choice!
In agencies, you have a choice!
In agencies, forget about schedule constrains. Work-life balance in terms of your family and personal life becomes easy. You have the choice to work on the shifts that interest you, according to your availability. If you wish to work in a more structured context and know your schedule in advance, you can. Unlike in the public sector, in an agency there is no obligation to work on holidays.
In short, working in an agency means working in an organization that values respect for the individual and, above all, respect for your family.
In summary, why work in an agency?
It’s clear that in the context of health network management, doing more with less – without limits – is why it’s smart to consider working for an agency.
Here are some of the benefits of having a balanced nursing career in an agency:
- Easy access to full-time positions early on
- Your schedules are set in advance and can be modified according to your needs
- Overtime work is rare
- A diversified choice of hours to promote work-family balance
- A salary that exceeds that of public nurses, early on
- A more rewarding career due to varied work settings and challenges
- Skills development
- Assurance of ongoing supervision
In short, a team dedicated to your success on a personal and professional level.
Read the next article: Schedule management: Much easier in the private sector!