This informative webinar provides a knowledgeable overview of locum nursing, covering a wide variety of topics such as how to set up, how to get work, insurance, holiday pay etc. Laura explains in detail the differences between set-up types such as becoming a limited company compared to using an umbrella company. Having been a locum nurse myself, I do think this webinar would be an extremely useful insight into the locum world and worth watching for those who are considering a change. Nurses are regularly discussing this topic on social media and asking questions – this presentation would answer them all sufficiently.

How can I be paid?

The opening section of this webinar discusses the pros and cons of each type of locum employment route. The statuses discussed are becoming a limited company, using an umbrella company or being self-employed. This area of the webinar does need to be updated as the government have changed things and it is now not easily possible to become fully self-employed as an RVN. This opening section also discusses invoicing, expenses and tax claims. Professional indemnity insurance is also mentioned, this is a vital purchase!

How do I find work?

Laura discusses various methods of how to advertise and arrange work as a locum. Using your contacts is a great way to get your name out there because the teams you have worked in before can vouch for your reliability etc. Business cards and direct contact to potential employers can also be extremely rewarding. The importance of being organised and highly efficient is reiterated throughout this section and it is recommended that you email regular availability updates to potential employers so that you remain in the running for any potential openings.

The use of agencies to find work is also discussed. The key points are:

   Be clear on what you are looking for and explain this to the agent

   The agency will negotiate your fees for you

   The agency will chase the employer if needed

   The agency carries out a structured search to assist you in finding suitable employment opportunities

It is important that the use and reliability of agencies is mentioned as they are a key factor in aiding a locum RVN in their journey. Those watching the webinar will have chosen to do so to see whether locuming is something that they think will suit them, therefore Laura has covered all employment bases and has provided in depth information as well as the advantages and disadvantages for each.

Different types of agencies

This section of the webinar is extremely useful and summarises the key differences in the assistance provided by both types of agencies. I feel that this information is important because I was not fully aware of the differences when I set up as a locum and personally think that these details will easily influence potential locum candidates’ decision on which agency type to use.

For example; an employment agency takes the stress away from the work hunt. You can be paid by an umbrella agency and will receive guaranteed weekly pay (if your timesheets are provided on time to the agency), you can also be paid as a limited company. This method means that your invoicing is carried out by the umbrella company. An introductory agency on the other hand only introduces the locum to the practices, they then have to arrange the financial plans and invoice this themselves as well as chase them when needed etc.

Frequently asked questions

The final section of this webinar provides a wide selection of frequently asked questions. These are placed at the end in summary and cover a lot of areas that potential locums will want and need to know before taking the leap. These are topics such as holiday pay, sick pay entitlement, maternity pay, CPD allowances etc.

When locuming it does feel unusual to not be taking booked holiday and you may go into work extremely unwell purely because you do not want to miss out on pay etc, therefore these handy questions and answers will allow potential candidates to understand what they will accrue and how. I think that by placing these FAQs at the end of the presentation, viewers will have their burning questions answered.

Take home messages:

1.   Make sure you have professional indemnity insurance

2.   Be efficient and organised

3.   Communicate well with the practices you are working for

4.   Don’t price yourself out of work (remember practices do have budgets)

5.   Don’t be afraid to ask questions before accepting a role. There is no harm in making sure the job is suited to you before you agree to take it on.


I do feel that different industry pathways should be clearly explained and information readily available to those who wish to find out more. Locuming is a fantastic experience and aids your nursing skills tenfold, however it is not a decision to be made lightly and everyone should research all the information as much as they can beforehand.


Gemma Reeve RVN ISFM CertFN

I have been working within the veterinary profession for 13 years, having gained vast experience within small animal, mixed practice and referral field. Over the years I have treated anything from a Guinea Pig to an Alpaca and I have enjoyed the variety of work I have undertaken. I am a BVNA Council Member and a Regional Representative. I have a keen interest in orthopaedics and in June 2018 I became the South East Territory Manager for Veterinary Instrumentation. I have also recently achieved my ISFM Certificate in Feline Nursing.

In my spare time I enjoy writing articles for veterinary publications, photography socialising with friends and spending time with my 13-year-old Lhasa Apso.

Veterinary Nursing Journal • VOL 34 • March 2019