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Nurse Hanis' Freelancing Journey

[fa icon="calendar"] Oct 4, 2016 6:35:05 PM / by Ann Lopez Aziz

Nurse Hanis took the plunge five months ago and never looked back.

This dedicated nurse is pursuing and continuing her passion in nursing through freelancing – without the heavy chains of full-time employment. The inflexible schedule that comes with being a full-time nurse is a tough plight faced by most nurses. Like many over-worked nurses, Hanis used to regularly consider switching to freelance work so she could reclaim some ME time. She confessed: “It was difficult to plan out long holidays; taking medical leave is frowned upon in hospitals; and taking medical leave while working for a plastic surgeon was impossible as I was the clinic scrub nurse and there was in-clinic surgery almost every day.”

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Freelancing for nurses is still an unfamiliar territory for most, and those who can truthfully say they’ve given freelancing a good go, are few and far in between. For nurse Hanis, she too was hesitant to pull the plug on the employment treadmill: “I was uncomfortable with the idea of an unstable income.” Not having a guaranteed source of income as well as an uncertain work environment added to her freelance conundrum.

The 26-year-old graduated from Nanyang Polytechnic with a nursing diploma some years ago, and her nursing portfolio showcases years of experience in orthopaedics and urology as well as plastic surgery and health counseling. With more than six years' nursing experience under her belt, Hanis made the bold leap from full-time to freelancing. Hanis explained the epiphany she had when decided to jump ship: “I was working at a disadvantage while these organizations were getting all the gains.”

It’s common for nurses who have left the hospital environment to seek agency jobs, due to a conception that agency nurses get more stability than freelance nurses. Hanis begged to differ. She explained that unlike an agency nurse, a freelance nurse is “hired by either one or more clients and the nurse is an independent” who practises on her own terms. “Other than that, both types of nurses still do face a level of uncertainty in terms of getting assignments,” she clarified.

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Today, Hanis manages her “life better with freelancing” as she gets to spend more time with her family. “I feel that I have a better work life balance now,” she said. The other perk of freelancing for her is the freedom to travel to visit her clients at their homes, which is the contrary to being stationed in a hospital, day in, day out. Though Hanis acknowledges the disadvantages of freelancing, she believes that the pros outweigh the cons. Her personal advice on the advantages of freelancing:

  • It’s good to get out of your comfort zone and see what the world has to offer. Staying in a place for too long and doing the same thing doesn’t promote growth. There are many unhappy people who stay in the job because they are too afraid to go out there and explore their options.
  • You have time on your hands.
  • You have the autonomy to choose what you want to do.
  • You get to discover, along the way through the cases you’ve taken up, what you like and what you dislike about working as a freelance nurse. You can then analyse, assess and decide if freelancing or a full-time job is for you. If freelancing is not for you, at least you can say you’ve given it a try.
  • You gain personal experience; you get to meet people along the way and sometimes, the people you meet along the way are the ones who open doors for greater opportunities.

Hanis’ final advice to nurses who are seriously contemplating pursuing their freelance career, is to not only think it through, but also to get your certifications prior to switching. “I believe it would be easier for those with a degree to find jobs at this point of time compared to those who do not, like myself,” she concluded.

Another million dollar puzzle that often plague many freelance nurses is how to source for nursing jobs, in which Hanis replied: “I usually source for jobs as a freelancer through online portals. However, I face some good and bad days.” Online sites, such as CaregiverAsia, are on the increase – to provide support to nurses looking for work.

Related freelancing articles you might also like:

3 Effective Tips to Win Repeat Customers

Full-time or Part-time Freelancing?

6 Ways to Handle Unhappy Clients

Freelance Caregiver Jobs in Singapore | CaregiverAsia

4 Reasons Why Freelancing Might be Better than Your 9-to-5 Job

6 Best Ways to Record Your Freelancing Orders

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Topics: Freelancing

Ann Lopez Aziz

Written by Ann Lopez Aziz

Ann is a CaregiverAsia Powerpuff girl by day, mother by night. And a prudent Caregiver who believes balance is key. When not training for her next IRONMAN race, she scourers the neighbourhood for tasty epok-epok. Good thing she likes to share ‘cause sharing is caring!