If you’re a nurse, why not work for yourself?

independent nurse

A 2016 survey of 3,000 nurses and midwives across Australia found that almost one in three are considering leaving the profession, with stress being a major motivating factor for change. For nurses who love their work but risk burnout, the good news is that it’s possible to stay in the profession and work on your own terms.

The survey, undertaken by Monash Business School’s Australian Consortium for Research on Employment and Work (ACREW) reports that nurses feel overworked and exhausted. Eighty-five per cent say they’re expected to work “very fast” and “very hard” several times a day. Many don’t feel supported by management and don’t believe they can voice their concerns. Most importantly, while nurses are proud of their work and for many this is a vocation, all these factors are leading to lower engagement at work.

This is all worrying news because nurses are already in short supply. The Government has estimated a shortfall in the nursing workforce of 85,000 by 2025 and 123,000 by 2030. Additionally, Consumer Directed Care and the NDIS have given consumers more choice and control over their care and support needs than ever before, placing even greater demands on our healthcare system.

Consumers with a disability can choose their own disability support workers, nurses, Allied Health practitioners and whomever is the best fit on their team. Consumers who are ageing can similarly choose who supports them to stay at home for longer, and they will increasingly need personal care and help with medication management.

For nurses contemplating a change, it doesn’t need to be a matter of all or nothing. Some nurses sign up on the Better Caring platform as independent workers to supplement their income as full-time or part-time employees. Sam, for example, works full-time as a nurse and supports seven Better Caring clients, too. His main reason is the opportunity to build longer-term relationships with clients, something he can’t do while working on a ward.

Deb worked as a nurse before raising a family and now works independently through the Better Caring platform. She says doing it this way means she can provide the kind of care she would want for her own family. Her advice to other nurses feeling under-resourced and under-appreciated is, “Don’t leave aged care. Work for yourself!”.

If you’re a nurse who’s looking for a change, here’s eight more reasons to consider working for yourself via the Better Caring platform:

  1. Build a ‘caseload’ of clients that you’ve chosen – and develop long term relationship so you can follow their progress
  2. If you choose, you can work for one client at a time, and give them your full attention
  3. Negotiate your hours, rates and the services you provide
  4. Manage your own work-life balance
  5. Get feedback through a rating system which increases your chances of finding more work
  6. The chance to connect with an active online group of like-minded professionals and network at community meetups
  7. Find a Better Caring buddy to share your clients and shifts, so you can provide continuity of care and maintain your client relationships
  8. Enjoy the peace of mind of insurance arranged on your behalf for any services delivered and paid for through the platform.

Are you a nurse or training to be a nurse? Sign up to Better Caring and provide the kind of care you’ve always wanted to provide.