Nursing Staffing Services
We work together at Carer Agency UK, with clients in the healthcare and social care sector, to ensure you have the right staff, exactly when you need them. We offer a variety of services to help meet your staffing demands and offer the flexibility of staff for both short term and long-term assignments. We have a database of clients waiting for their next assignment and if we can’t fill your vacancy straight away, we will advertise it on your behalf and shortlist applications.
Finding qualified nurses to fill open shifts and temporary roles can be challenging for healthcare providers. Partnering with a nursing staffing agency provides access to extensively screened nursing talent specialized in all clinical areas. This guide will explore how nursing staffing services work, typical nurse roles filled, benefits provided, choosing an agency partner, onboarding best practices, and more.
Overview of Nursing Staffing Services
Nursing staffing agencies, also called nurse staffing companies or healthcare staffing firms, provide healthcare facilities with high-caliber nurses to fill gaps and staff short-term needs. Services include:
- Per diem nursing – Fill a facility’s open RN shifts with experienced nurses as needed
- Travel nursing – Hire RNs on a contract basis, typically lasting 13 weeks
- Interim leadership – Temporarily staff vacant director of nursing and other management positions
- Supplemental staff – Add seasoned nurses to scale up for periods of higher patient census
- Specialty needs – Secure nurses with expertise in wound care, pediatrics, cardiology, and other specializations
- Disaster relief – Rapidly deploy nurses in response to crises requiring healthcare surge support
Top-tier nursing staffing partners offer complete workforce solutions tailored to the unique nurse staffing challenges healthcare providers face.
Nursing Roles Staffed by Healthcare Staffing Agencies
Nursing staffing agencies recruit talented nurses across all specialties and experience levels:
- Registered Nurses
- Licensed Practical/Vocational Nurses
- Certified Nursing Assistants
- Medical-Surgical Nurses
- ICU Nurses
- Operating Room Nurses
- Labor and Delivery Nurses
- Pediatric Nurses
- Psychiatric Nurses
- Emergency Room Nurses
- Progressive Care Nurses
- Case Managers
- Infection Control Nurses
- Wound Care Nurses
- Nurse Leaders and Executives
- And more….
This ability to access pre-screened nursing pros matching precise clinical competencies is invaluable for healthcare employers.
Key Benefits of Leveraging Nursing Staffing Services
Partnering with a nursing staffing agency provides many advantages for health systems and medical facilities:
- Immediate access to talent – Fill openings faster by leveraging extensive candidate networks.
- Clinical specialization – Find nurses with expertise in cardiology, oncology, pediatrics, and other specialties.
- Verify licenses and credentials – Agencies vet licensing, certifications, experience, and backgrounds.
- Continuity – Request the same nurses again for future needs.
- Peak demand staffing – Scale up nurse staffing to meet seasonal or period spikes in patient volumes.
- Reduced workload – Agencies handle recruiting, credentialing, onboarding, and payroll.
- High-caliber talent – Many nurses prefer the flexibility of agency work, increasing applicant pools.
- Risk mitigation – No need to carry excess permanent nursing staff.
For essential nursing teams, staffing agencies are a strategic talent partner.
Key Criteria for Selecting a Nursing Staffing Agency
When researching nursing staffing partners, key selection criteria include:
- Specialization in healthcare staffing – Nursing should be their sole focus and core competency, not an add-on service.
- Strong local market presence – Look for an agency with deep roots in your metro area and surrounding region. This enables robust local recruitment.
- Rigorous vetting andscreening – Probe their processes for license/credential verification, reference and background checks, skills testing, etc.
- Awards and recognitions – Preferred agencies have track records of excellent service as evidenced by industry awards.
- Recruiting capabilities – Do they leverage best-in-class techniques like AI matching? What is their nurse applicant pipeline?
- Rapid response capabilities – Can they quickly mobilize nurses for urgent specialty and disaster response needs?
- Client references – Reach out to their current healthcare clients. Get candid feedback.
Selecting the right talent partner is critical for securing top-tier nursing talent when you need it most.
Overview of the Nursing Staffing Process
What is the typical process when engaging a healthcare staffing agency?
- First, provide details on your nursing needs – specialty required, skills, experience level sought, facility details, hours, length of assignment.
- The agency matches your assignment to their network of pre-screened candidates.
- You interview shortlisted nurses identified as an excellent fit.
- Once you select the nurse, they complete any necessary onboarding items like orientation.
- Prior to each shift, the nurse checks in according to your protocols.
- They work their scheduled shift at your facility under your oversight.
- The agency manages all payroll, benefits, liability, and employment compliance.
- If you’re satisfied, you can request the nurse again in the future.
This full-service approach allows you to focus on patient care while they tackle staffing.
Best Practices for Onboarding Agency Nurses
To ensure engaged, productive agency nurses, invest in thoughtful onboarding:
- Orientation – Walk them through facility protocols, EHR system, equipment, and compliance policies. Have them shadow staff nurses initially.
- Culture building – Introduce them to leadership and care teams. Make them feel welcomed as a valued part of the staff.
- Set clear expectations – Be open about your standards, documentation procedures, workflows, and patient care philosophy.
- Safety focus – Reiterate all safety initiatives, emergency procedures, protocols, proper PPE, and reporting methods. Observe skills.
- Department integration – Assign nurse buddies, involve in huddles/meetings, and foster collaboration with existing nurses.
- Ongoing support – Check in regularly on performance. Be available to answer questions. Actively listen to feedback.
- Review processes – Upon completion of the assignment, ask for input on optimizing your onboarding.
Thoughtful onboarding results in confident, prepared agency nurses.
Performance Management Tips for Contract Nurses
To ensure agency nurses excel during their assignment, provide ongoing performance management:
- Set clear metrics – Share expected productivity levels, documentation standards, targets KPIs, and patient care guidelines.
- Regular check-ins – Meet briefly each shift to identify any concerns, obstacles, or support needed.
- Patient feedback – Monitor patient satisfaction and address any feedback related to nursing care.
- Peer reviews – Check with your staff on agency nurse competency, teamwork, communication, and approach.
- Correct quickly – If issues emerge, retrain on expectations before negative patterns become ingrained.
- Recognize strong performance – Acknowledge exceptional patient care, going the extra mile, quick learning, etc.
- Agency collaboration – Keep the agency informed if extended retraining or replacement is required.
Proactive oversight ensures agency nurses thrive and meet performance standards.
When to Consider Permanent Positions for Standout Agency Nurses
If agency nurses consistently impress during their assignment, extending permanent employment can be beneficial:
- Lower costs – Salaries for internal hires are typically less than bill rates for ongoing agency use.
- Known competencies – You’ve directly observed their clinical skills in your setting.
- Cultural fit – You’ve experienced their approach to patient care and interactions with staff.
- Recruiting win – You’ve evaluated candidates without traditional recruiting costs.
- Motivation – Nurses feel valued through permanent offers. This boosts retention.
- Tenure – Chance to build multi-year nurses versus continually retraining new agency nurses.
Discuss possible permanent roles transparently. Share timeframes and define a structured decision process.
Tracking Performance Metrics
To monitor effectiveness of your nursing staffing program, track metrics like:
- Fill rates – Percentage of open shifts filled by the agency
- Time to submit – Business days from request to submission of candidate
- Submit-to-hire – Time from submittal to hire decision
- Clinical quality – Patient satisfaction, infection rates, falls, sentinel events
- Agency nurse retention – Percent who complete full assignment vs early drop outs
- Cost per hour – Bill rate per hour worked compared to internal nurses
- Compliance – Any compliance issues caused by agency nurses
Analyzing trends in these KPIs highlights what’s working and opportunities to refine processes.
Key Takeaways on Engaging Nursing Staffing Services
The major lessons for optimizing nursing staffing partners include:
- Specialized agencies offer rapid access to extensively vetted nursing talent.
- Conduct thorough due diligence when selecting your talent partner.
- Onboard each nurse completely to set them up for success.
- Oversee ongoing performance to uphold care standards.
- Consider converting standout contract nurses to permanent roles.
- Track metrics to quantify program ROI and shape improvements.
With the expertise of the right staffing partner, healthcare employers gain major nurse staffing advantages.
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