What are nursing agencies, and how to choose one

Nurses are an important pillar of the healthcare system. Nursing vacancies are increasing at a high rate, the current covid situation has further elevated the requirement of nurses and nursing agencies in Maryland.

If you are looking for nurses to fill the vacancies at your hospital and need a nursing agency for this purpose, these are the factors that you should consider before getting on board with one nurse staffing agency.

Increase in demand for nurses:

The world is currently going through a pandemic which means an increased number of patients, which ultimately causes a rise in demand of nurses. In addition to the pandemic, nursing homes have increased the demand for nurses because of the increase in population and more people choosing nursing homes for living at their old age.

What is the purpose of nursing agencies?

First, you should know what is the purpose of a nursing agency and why do you need one. A nursing agency is a private agency that provides nurses to people and different facilities where nurses are needed. Nurses have contracts with these agencies, and under the umbrella of their agency, they get better employment options. These nurses are recruited by the agency and then referred to a certain person or facility. These nurses provide healthcare assistance when required, especially during busy times such as this pandemic.

How nursing agencies work:

Nurse staffing agencies have contracts with registered nurses, and they provide nurses to hospitals that have trouble filling the vacancies of nurses. These nurses are hired on a temporary or permanent basis by the agency. These nursing agencies typically sponsor the nurses since the hospitals, nursing homes, and other health care facilities are unable to meet the financial requirements to hire the nurses privately. The nursing agencies bear the cost of international or national nurse hiring.

In the case of international nurses, these agencies sponsor their visas and charge the hospital or the health care system a flat fee. This reduces the burden on the facility and allows it to focus better on health care.

Types of nursing placements:

Permanent placement contracts:

The nursing agencies provide permanent placement nurses for direct hiring at a predetermined fee. This kind of contract allows the nurses to find better employment opportunities. They can start with a temporary contract and make it permanent if the area and job are suitable for them.

The predetermined fee for permanent nurses is typically 20-25% of the annual salary without any guarantee or retention. This is a great option for people who want to live in the area and are looking for long-term employment opportunities.

Pro Re Nata (PRN):

The term Pro Re Nata or Per Diem means “per day.” In this type of placement, the nurse could be on a contract ranging from one day to many weeks. These nurses are not guaranteed hours but are suitable for last-minute cancellations or emergencies.

Travel nursing:

This type of placement is for traveling nurses who are in the area temporarily and require employment options. Travelling nurses work on short contracts ranging from four to six weeks or longer depending on the time period of their stay in the area. These services of these nurses are utilized in emergency departments or in situations of sudden nurse requirements.

These nurses are helpful for the facilities facing temporary nurse shortages due to a breakdown of disease or extra workload due to any reason.

International nurse staffing:

Some agencies also recruit international nurses to work in their country. These nurses work on temporary contracts until they convert to full-time/permanent staff. International nurses can help reduce the burnout of staff in a facility and add stability to the busy units.

One condition of international staffing is that they are a member of the national association of international recruitments. This helps assure that the nurse qualifies the standards of the healthcare system and is eligible for the position of the nurse in the country.

How to pick a nurse staffing agency for you:

There are certain factors to consider while deciding on a nurse staffing agency;


Make sure that the agency only hires quality nurses who have experience and skills. It is necessary to check the required qualification before you hire a nurse from a staffing agency.

A good nurse is hardworking and focuses on patient safety. Good communication and skills for teamwork are also important for a nurse to fit the standards of this job.


If you require a nurse immediately to fill a vacant position at your facility, you will have to contact an agency that provides quick and reliable services. Their services might be a little pricey, but they will provide you the nurse in time.

If your facility is not facing a nurse shortage and you are just looking for new nurses to expand or speed up the health care system, you can contact a temp-to-perm placement agency that provides qualified nurses. This kind of recruitment might take a few weeks, but it is a good option if you are not dealing with a nurse shortage at the facility and you can wait for the processing time.


The third factor that to consider before choosing a nursing agency is their prices and fees. Make sure that you keep an eye on the costs, but this should not compromise on the quality of nurses because patient health should always be a priority. Some agencies provide cheap services but do not forget to check if their services are authentic or not.

If you need to fill the vacancies quickly, you can go for the traveler nursing placement options, this can help you balance the price while providing good quality nurses.

Benefits of nursing agencies:

Nursing agencies specialize in nurse recruitment, and they are experts at analyzing the credibility and eligibility of the nurses. This can help you hire quality staff for your facility without spending too much time in investigations while recruiting, and you can focus better on patient care and augment your staff.

Author bio: Brianna rose is a well-known writer who specializes in the category of health care information. She has immense experience and knowledge of the national health care system. She also qualifies as a research writer in the department of medicine and health care.


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