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An understaffed healthcare facility is more than just an inconvenience. With on-staff nurses scrambling to fill in for missing team members, patient care could potentially suffer. Unfortunately, this situation has become common throughout the U.S. due to a rising number of patients, older nurses retiring, and increasing burnout among younger generations.

Fortunately, there’s a simple solution to help you avoid holes in your facility’s nurse staffing: Work with a nurse staffing agency.

How Do Nurse Staffing Agencies Work?

Nurse staffing agencies work like any other staffing agency. They maintain a pool of qualified candidates who are available to work, often even on short notice.

When a nurse is on leave, you can partner with a staffing agency to find a temp to fill in. Similarly, when you’re ready to hire a new full-time nurse, you can work with the staffing agency to quickly find a great candidate.

Types of Placements

Permanent Placements

Permanent placements allow the healthcare facility to directly hire a full-time or part-time nurse. It can be a great option if the facility has a consistent staffing need and the nurse is committed to staying in the same location over the long term. With this type of contract, the healthcare facility will typically use a placement agency to find a nurse for a predetermined fee, often a percentage of the nurse’s annual salary.


Temp-to-perm contracts allow nurses and employers alike to try each other out. It’s a great way for a nurse to find out if they like a geographic location while an employer decides whether they want to ultimately hire the nurse full-time.

Per Diem

Per diem (meaning “per day” staffing is a type of placement where a nurse is essentially on-call. The nurse is not guaranteed hours, and the contract can range from a single day to several weeks.

Most healthcare facilities place per diem nurses when there is a last-minute shift cancellation or immediate demand. With this type of placement, there is plenty of flexibility.

Pro Re Nata (PRN)

Pro re nata (meaning “as needed”) staffing is somewhat less flexible than per diem. PRN staffing can require an RN or other nurse to meet specific staffing stipulations, such as working weekends or specific holidays.

Travel Placements

Travel nurses are assigned to different geographic areas to fill employment gaps. They typically work on short-term contracts that may last a few weeks or longer. Travel nurse contracts are often done on a case-by-case basis and are not recommended for hospitals that have chronic work shortages.

What Should I Look for When Choosing a Nurse Staffing Agency?

Tips for Employers

There are three main factors to consider when choosing a nurse staffing agency as an employer: staffing quality, speed, and price. Different nurse staffing agencies have different processes for screening candidates, as well as different typical placement times and price points.

Often, you may need to compromise on one factor or another to get the factor you care about most. While you may be tempted to choose the cheapest nurse staffing company, doing so may mean compromising on the quality of the nursing staff you receive or the service the agency offers.

Tips for Nurses

If you are looking for work through a nurse staffing agency, you may want to find out how long it takes to get a job through the agency and how much agency nurses like you are usually paid. While pay will likely vary from assignment to assignment, it’s good to have a general idea so you can plan for expenses accordingly.

Why Partner With a Nurse Staffing Agency

Nurse staffing agencies are a great way to fill in staffing gaps or find a new job. Healthcare facilities will benefit from reduced staffing risks, improved productivity, and more time to focus on tasks beyond hiring. Nurses will benefit from extra assistance with finding work.

If you are looking for a staffing agency to help with your nurse staffing needs, consider LG Resources. We are a national staffing agency that helps organizations in a wide variety of industries, including healthcare. With local offices in Utah, Pennsylvania, and the Kansas City area and partners throughout the U.S., we can help you efficiently find the nurse staffing solution you need.