U.S. Healthcare Staffing

U.S. Healthcare Staffing Industry Is Evolving To Meet Current Demands


As the demand for quality healthcare rises across the United States, healthcare facilities are facing increased pressure to provide excellent patient care with limited resources. One of the biggest challenges is staffing various positions throughout the facility with qualified professionals. It can be difficult for hospitals, nursing homes, assisted living facilities and other organizations to hire and retain enough full-time nurses, nurses’ aides, medical technicians and other roles. Moreover, seasonal demands or temporary needs often require supplemental staffing on top of full-time employees. This is where U.S. Healthcare Staffing agencies have become invaluable partners for many facilities.

Staffing agencies fill short-term needs

U.S. Healthcare Staffing agencies play a key role in addressing temporary and unpredictable staffing fluctuations that facilities face. They maintain large pools of qualified nurses, medical technicians, and other medical professionals who are available to work flexible assignments. When a facility needs to fill a position quickly due to unexpected call-outs, vacations or leaves of absence, they can turn to a staffing agency. This allows healthcare organizations to augment their workforce and ensure appropriate staffing levels without having to carry excess full-time employees. Staffing agencies also help cover intermittent needs like seasonal influenza spikes or variable patient census levels. Their rapid deployment of qualified temporary staff helps ensure high quality care can continue even when full-time staff availability fluctuates.

Travel nursing has become increasingly popular

One segment of the staffing industry that has grown tremendously is travel nursing. Rather than taking local temporary assignments, travel nurses are willing to take 13 week contracts that require relocating and living throughout their assignment. This offers nurses more flexibility and opportunity to see different parts of the country while still gaining new experiences. For facilities, travel nursing is invaluable because it provides a steady stream of qualified nurses who are ready to fill longer term openings, such as maternity leaves, medical leaves or positions that have been open for an extended time. The staffing industry has worked to streamline many areas like housing, compensation, licensure and onboarding for travel nurses to make these longer assignments more efficient and turnkey for all parties.

Staffing agencies recruit from a wide geographic area

With the nationwide scale of large U.S. Healthcare Staffing agencies, they are not limited to local candidate pools like individual facilities. They can recruit nurses and other professionals from across the country and around the world to fill urgent needs. This gives partner facilities access to a much broader supply of qualified clinical talent. Staffing agencies have sophisticated applicant tracking systems and extensive networks within the nursing profession. They leverage multiple recruiting channels to source top candidates who may be open to assignments anywhere. For example, a rural hospital in need of an ICU nurse can get connected with an experienced candidate from a major city through their staffing agency relationship. The broader recruiting reach staffing agencies provide is invaluable for filling hard to recruit positions.

Telehealth is opening new opportunities

One of the newest and most innovative ways staffing agencies are helping to expand access to care is through telehealth. As technology improves clinical capabilities in virtual settings, there is a growing need for healthcare professionals who can provide telehealth services. Staffing agencies have started developing pools of nurses, nurse practitioners, counselors, therapists and others who are interested in and qualified to work with patients via video calls, remote monitoring devices and more. Telehealth staffing allows agencies to connect providers to organizations needing to implement or expand these services, such as hospitals setting up new tele-ICUs or clinics offering teletherapy options. It also offers clinicians more flexible assignments that don’t require relocation. As telehealth continues growing rapidly due to COVID, staffing agencies aim to play a bigger role in enabling this transformation.

Cross training expands staffing flexibility

Most U.S. Healthcare Staffing agencies have also recognized the need to broaden the skillsets of clinicians in their networks. Traditionally nurses may have focused specifically on areas like med-surg, ICU, pediatric or maternity specialties. However, staffing agencies now provide cross-training opportunities to help nurses gain exposure to multiple units or roles. Some even participate in advanced programs through healthcare facilities offering education pathways to take on extended practice like becoming a nurse practitioner on accelerated timelines. This increased flexibility of understanding multiple units or roles within a facility maximizes the ways a staffing nurse can support an organization based on evolving patient care demands. It also helps nurses expand their own careers and marketability to facilities. Cross training enhances the value staffing agencies bring to both healthcare workers and the facilities they serve.

The U.S. Healthcare Staffing landscape continues changing rapidly to meet the new challenges that facilities face. From addressing temporary gaps, to enabling travel nursing, to leveraging telehealth potential and expanding clinical skillsets, agencies play an indispensable part of ensuring high-quality care remains available. Their innovative solutions and access to nationwide clinician networks have many healthcare organizations relying more heavily on partners for their tailored workforce augmentation solutions. As demand rises and models evolve, staffing agencies will continue innovating new ways to support optimal bedside care through optimized workforce strategies.

How Agencies Are Elevating Staffing Operations Through Technology

Digital tools streamline recruitment and placement

Staffing agencies have invested heavily in optimizing their processes through digital technologies. Advanced applicant tracking systems now automate many manual tasks like scheduling interviews, screening credentials, tracking candidate status and coordinating onboarding requirements. They also provide predictive analytics to anticipate demands for certain roles in particular regions. On the clinician side, many staffing firms utilize mobile apps and online dashboards so healthcare providers can manage their profiles, search for jobs, e-sign contracts and more from any device. These technology-driven enhancements help stretch recruitment capabilities. They also create more seamless experiences for both healthcare facilities looking to fill needs and clinicians exploring flexible job opportunities.

Artificial intelligence aids matching

Machine learning and AI are also improving how staffing agencies match available clinicians to open positions. Sophisticated algorithms can analyze thousands of details like location preferences, experience levels, certifications, preferred specialties, past performance reviews and other factors to recommend top-fitting candidates for facilities. Conversely, these systems recommend assignments to clinicians based on their profiles and stated interests. Early results show AI matching leads to higher placement rates and longer tenured assignments that benefit both healthcare organizations and traveling clinicians. As models are further trained over time with more data, their ability to identify optimal fits will become even more accurate and valuable for all parties.

Cloud-based solutions boost mobility

Gone are the days when staffing processes required being tethered to desktops. Thanks to cloud-based systems, staffing teams can now access all candidate details, contracts, calendars and other tools from any web-enabled device. This allows recruiters to be more productive while on the go meeting with facilities and job fairs. Similarly, clinicians spend less time in offices and more time focused on care thanks to mobile credential management, scheduling and time capture apps. The shift to the cloud ensures all parties have access to the most up-to-date information anywhere, streamlining communications and processes for the dynamic U.S. Healthcare Staffing environment. As work becomes increasingly mobile, cloud-centric.

1.  Source: Coherent Market Insights, Public sources, Desk research
2. We have leveraged AI tools to mine information and compile it