The Ultimate Guide to Nursing Agencies

by linda on June 21, 2010

Nurses may often feel frustrated in their careers, as the chance to find another job up the career ladder often is limited by time spent on a current job. Job hunting takes time, but there is one way to replicate yourself in this job search or move on immediately — by using a nursing agency. If you’ve never consider this resource, we have some tips for you as well as a list of 25 nursing agencies to help you get started along this path.

NursingA good nurse staffing agency will provide you with eyes and ears to find jobs that can suit your personality and your job desires. You can seek permanent placement, a local contract or a per diem position. You can ask for travel nurse jobs, search for a job in another location, set a payment request, and ask for flexible hours and benefits, too.

Additionally, many nurse staffing agencies hire medical personnel outright, providing benefits and compensation packages to be on their recruiting lists. You are then on call, to either travel or to be placed in temporary positions, based upon your desires and skills.

That said, you need to know your career goals, and you need to be prepared to reach those goals when you approach a nurse staffing agency for your needs.

  • Experience: Your education and hands-on experience both count in finding a better position in your nursing specialty. If you do not have a specialty, but want to work in general nursing, you also need to make that decision. The more education and work experience you have, the more you’ll be able to ask in salary and benefits.
  • Prepare a resume: Not only will the nursing agency ask for a resume, the company usually asks for interviews to learn more about you, and the staff may ask you to help keep your resume updated for upcoming job possibilities.
  • Continue your education: No matter your specialty, you must stay current with new developments in the field. Some nurse staffing agencies even offer ways to continue this education so you are at the top of your game.
  • Join associations: The main association you need to join is the American Nurses Association (ANA). This group is the only full-service professional organization, and it fosters high nursing standards, promotes nursing, lobbies for nurses in Congress and works for regulations that protect the economic and general welfare of nurses in the workplace. You might also join other nationwide or local organizations to help with your networking and to learn more about the best nurse agencies.
  • Vet the agency: Do your homework and check out each agency that attracts your attention. How many years have they been in business? Where are they located? What is their success rate? Do they offer the jobs you want? Do they operate where you want to live and work? What about their compensation packages and/or benefits?
  • Compare agencies: Once you have investigated one agency, compare them to other agencies…does one company offer more than another company? How did you feel when you talked with each company? Sometimes it is worth more to feel comfortable with an agency than it is to have all the bells and whistles and no personal help — or, worse — no job possibilities.

Nurse UniformsThe following 25 agencies are listed in alphabetical order, to show that we do not prefer one agency over another. Note that some agencies offer overseas jobs, some cater to RNs, and others place doctors as well as nurses in various specialties. Be sure to read their stipulations carefully, so you do not waste your time with applications to agencies that are not a good fit for your career goals.

  1. Advance Placement Travel: This agency provides staffing for various healthcare providers across the nation, including travel jobs for nurses.
  2. All About Staffing: This agency, which currently has openings for nurses, places health care professionals in positions all over the country.
  3. American Mobile Healthcare: Advance your career, earn competitive pay and live the adventure of a travel nurse with this staffing agency.
  4. American Traveler: This agency staffs more than 80 percent of U.S. News and World Report “Best Hospitals” with travel nurses and therapists.
  5. Core Medical Group: CoreMedical Group is a national healthcare staffing company specializing in travel and permanent placement of registered nurses in hospitals and healthcare facilities across the U.S.
  6. DEPI Staffing: This staffing company has been a leading provider of medical staffing services across the country for over a decade.
  7. Dream Nurse Travel: This company seeks nurses who are certified, who are proficient in multiple specialties, have at least three years of nursing experience, and who can work in high patient-to-nursing ratios.
  8. Fastaff: This staffing agency focuses on travel nursing, promising pay rates, shorter assignments and more guaranteed hours, which may mean you can maximize your time at work and have more free time.
  9. Favorite Healthcare Staffing: This certified healthcare staffing company offers a full range of per diem, contract, allied and travel healthcare professionals.
  10. Freedom Healthcare Staffing: If you are looking for a travel nursing or travel allied healthcare job, try this agency on for size. They have compensation packages as well as a Referral Rewards Program.
  11. Hospital Physician Partners: This agency currently maintains contracted relationships with more than 100 hospitals in over 20 states. They seek nurses as well as doctors.
  12. Martin-Fletcher: Martin, Fletcher is one of the largest and fastest growing healthcare recruiting firms in the United States. They place nurses in health care facilities across the country.
  13. Maxim Staffing Solutions: As a division of Maxim Healthcare Services, this agency is the largest privately held healthcare staffing company in the nation.
  14. Medical Career Placement & Staffing, Inc.: This company participates in a national network of over 500 sister firms.
  15. MedSource Travelers: This agency is a top nurse staffing agency and leader in temporary and permanent medical resourcing.
  16. NurseChoice: NurseChoice is a leader in providing quick-start, short-term travel assignments for RNs.
  17. Nursefinders: This agency places RNs, LVN/LPNs and nursing aides in thousands of quality health care and nursing jobs.
  18. NursesRx: For more than 20 years, NursesRx has helped RNs find employment opportunities in their database of travel nursing jobs.
  19. O’Grady Peyton International: O’Grady Peyton International is one of the most experienced recruiters of international healthcare professionals in the industry.
  20. OpenView Healthcare: This staffing company is a woman-owned business that places candidates into travel nursing and permanent positions.
  21. PhyAmerica: This agency caters specifically to the government healthcare sector, providing solutions for military facilities including hospitals, clinics and urgent care centers, plus state-run facilities and other government healthcare entities.
  22. PPR Healthcare Staffing: Check out this agency, with a client base of over 700 healthcare institutions and a record of thousands of successful placements. PPR focuses on the travel nursing and travel therapy industry.
  23. Progress Nursing Staffers: This agency also conducts a service for travel nurses. This company just earned the Joint Commission’s Gold Seal of Approval for Health Care Staffing Services.
  24. ReadyNurse: This company has been in the business of connecting nurses with quality providers since 1988. They have more than 1,000 clients across the country.
  25. Travel Nurse Solutions: TNS is dedicated to helping each nurse find the best assignment for their travel nurse jobs. They also tout the best benefits in the industry.

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