The offer of adventure, combined with skills and experience to set nurses up for a successful and rewarding career, has created a record-breaking year for our nursing agency First Choice Care.
Team Leader Remote and Rural, Kayla Willetts, says it’s the blend of unique experiences and career growth which leads many to a contract as a remote nurse. (Like "Leanne", pictured, on the job in Barcaldine in western Queensland).
“A lot join us for the adventure and experience,” Kayla said.
“We place our nurses in locations throughout regional and rural Queensland, New South Wales and Western Australia – places they generally wouldn’t holiday meaning it’s a great way to travel the country.
Kayla says, not only are their nurses paid well and have a chance to experience many wonderful places in rural Australia, but they gain skills they wouldn’t earn elsewhere.
“Working in remote communities is very different to a hospital in a major centre,” she said.
“There are not always doctors onsite where they're sent. Doctors might visit just once a week or fortnight so they need to be multiskilled and having an emergency background is really valuable.
“Working with indigenous communities also prepares them for working with patients from different cultures, how to communicate and to interact.
“The benefit of varied experience is it positions them well to take on more senior roles as their careers progress.”
2022 was a strong year for First Choice Care, with numerous contract placement records broken.
There's always been demand for more health professionals to work in and care for regional communities. Kayla adds that, after the impact of COVID lockdowns on the health sector, many nurses have opted to seek new challenges in their careers. That’s something working remotely supports well.
“It’s a combination of a few things which has led to a tripling of our numbers,” she said.
“We cover travel and accommodation and offer competitive rates and incentives like others in the sector but what we’re told candidate communication makes us stand out.
“When a nurse submits their resume, we’ll call them on that day. We've been told other agencies can take up to two weeks or even not respond at all.
“We make quick contact, take the time to understand what they're seeking and their availability, and then keep them updated throughout the process.
“Nurses will speak with five agencies at once but chose the one that feels right to them. We’re seeing growing numbers of referrals due to how we treat our nurses through recruitment and during their contract and the results speak for themselves.”
You can learn more about working for First Choice Care remotely or in urban centres by visiting them online.