You can either market your services directly to practices, or register with a recruitment agency. There are pros and cons either way:
Going direct is good when:
Agencies are good when:
Going direct AND using an agency
If you want to work directly for local practices, we'd recommend that in the first instance, you write to the practices (following up with a telephone call) and ask to come and introduce yourself. Then, at the meeting, give them an information sheet about yourself and your service, and a card.
You can extend the reach of your marketing activities (and supplement the above), by:
According to Gardner Llewelyn Veterinary Recruitment, rates at the start of 2017 tend to range between £13-£16 per hour for a Registered Veterinary Nurse and £10-£12 per hour for a VCA/VNA, excluding agency fees. That's a ballpark, rather than a definitive figure. Rates depend on a number of factors:
The RCVS 'Code of Professional Conduct for Veterinary Nurses' says: 3.4 Veterinary nurses must ensure that all their professional activities are covered by professional indemnity insurance or equivalent arrangements.There are two separate insurance covers that you need to consider. The Veterinary Defence Society (VDS) provides both:
Required: Civil liability arising from breach of professional duty etc.Veterinary nurses and other staff are normally covered under the professional indemnity insurance policy taken out by the practice. Just check the practice's policy before you start work.
Recommended: Criminal and disciplinary proceedings. In the case of the VDS, criminal and disciplinary proceedings cover is automatically applied to named practice staff only. So, if you will only be working at a small number of practices, you could ask them to add your name to their policy. For greater flexibility and certainty, you should consider taking out your own policy. It costs about £50 per annum with the VDS.
Alternatively, recruitment agencies may provide cover for you. Check with them.
Public liability insurancePublic liability insurance covers you if clients or the public suffer property damage or personal injury as a result of your work. Again, you should be covered under the practice policy. However, if you work independently, providing services like dog walking, pet-sitting or grooming, it is essential. Examples of companies that offer this kind of insurance include:
There are a number of paid-for and free online invoicing services you can use to bill practices for your services. Two worthy of note:
www.zervant.com Offers free invoice templates and a paid-for invoicing system. At the time of writing, costs £9 per month for unlimited invoicing and free invoice templates.
www.xero.com A comprehensive system for invoicing, reconciling payments and preparing your annual accounts. At the time of writing, it costs £7.50 per month for the basic package with 5 invoices and 20 bank reconciliations; £16.50 for unlimited invoices/bank reconciliations. We use this at VetNurse.co.uk.
You are entitled to maternity allowance (https://www.gov.uk/maternity-allowance/eligibility), and Paternity Pay and Leave for your partner (if they are employed): https://www.gov.uk/paternity-pay-leave/overview
If you are self-employed, you are not entitled to statutory sick pay, and no working means no income!
It is therefore sensible to have a back-up or contingency plan in place for the times you cannot work. For example, put aside a minimum of one month’s normal income in a savings account; strictly to be used for this purpose and top it up again if it ever gets used or when your normal monthly bills increase.
Again, it is very practical to have a financial buffer that will provide you with an income for a lengthy period of unemployment due to, for example, ill health, an accident or some other unforeseen disaster.
You will need to see a professional advisor for help if you decide to set up a formal income protection plan.
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