A nursing agency is a type of service agency that provides qualified nurses for temporary or part-time hire to hospitals, nursing homes, and elderly centers, among others. A nursing agency provides qualified personnel that has the same – and sometimes higher – level of competency and education as a hospital-employed nurse or health care assistant. However, they are not officially hired as employees by their organization, be it a hospital, nursing home, etc. Thus, the company is not required to give them insurance or paid time off. This saves the business a lot of money that would have to be expended on a full-time hire, which is especially advantageous when the nurse or health care assistant is needed for a short period of time. For example, a hospital may be short-staffed due to several of its nurses being sick with COVID. If they were to hire several new employees as replacements, they would have an excess of staff when the sick nurses came back from their quarantine, which would lose them a lot of money. Instead, they can opt to hire several nurses from a nursing agency on a temporary basis for the duration of the employee’s sick leave.
Nursing agencies allow for a faster and easier connection between nursing staff and hospitals or other workplaces that may need nurses. The service shortens the search period of a typical job posting, allowing hospitals to find nurses quickly and reliably. Such a system also allows young nursing school graduates to receive the practical experience they need, as they would be far less likely to be able to get a hospital job with no experience outside a nursing agency. It can even lead to permanent employment for nurses who prove themselves to their workplace, as a hospital can offer a nurse a full-time job.