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How to Start a Nurse Staffing Agency

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By Phil Cohen

*This is a guide to get your nurse staffing agency started.*

Please DO NOT contact PRN Funding until your healthcare agency has factorable invoices.

As the life expectancy in America increases, so does the demand for nurses.  The aging baby boomer generation is driving growth in healthcare facilities like hospitals and nursing homes.  A nursing staffing agency is extremely helpful and necessary for these medical facilities to find and hire the quality nurses they need, when they need them. Privately owned nurse staffing companies connect nurses to their potential jobs and/or health care facilities to their employees.

While this creates a great business opportunity, it is important to know how to correctly go about starting a nursing staff agency.  There are many specific requirements that can be complicated.  Keep in mind, this is a broad guide, and the legal requirements and licensing details vary greatly from state to state.  Check with your state licensing agency before you officially begin your new, exciting business endeavor in the nursing recruitment world.

Starting a Staffing Agency for Nurses: The Dos, Don’ts and Should Haves

Do: Make a Business Plan

Forming a startup business plan is a must.  This allows you to visualize your company goals, organize your thoughts and plan your finances.  Having a plan allows you to stay focused on what’s important and prepare for challenges that may arise.  It’s also a great way to present your business to other companies and the public. This plan can be as extensive or brief as you feel necessary; it’s your business. Here are some sections to consider including in your nurse staffing business plan.

Executive Summary

Think of this as an introduction to your nurse staffing temp agency.  Use this section to briefly summarize all the elements of your entire plan.

Company Description

This is the place to describe who you are and what your company plans to do. It’s also a great place to add your mission statement.

Products and Services

This section seems a little obvious; explain your services. Because a nurse staffing companies’ services are self-explanatory, this section may be brief.  Use this section to explain what sets you apart.  How will your agency be different from other nurse staffing agencies? Are you in a unique niche? What are your standards of service? How will you handle new assignments? What is your fee structure? What will you do if you receive a disappointed client? Plan now to prevent chaos in the future.

Marketing Plan

Here is where you’ll provide the details of your target market. Are you only working with hospitals? Evaluate your competitors in this section. Note what they are doing and opportunities they are missing.  This section can be helpful in the future. Also, be sure to establish a possible plan and budget for marketing efforts. For example, how much will you want to spend on paid advertising online?

Marketing can take several forms.  You can start direct mail marketing campaigns or attend staffing company conferences and networking events.  Creating a social media presence can help grow awareness of your business.  Don’t forget to include your website in the plan.  Search engine optimization (SEO) marketing is how website content makes it to Google results.

Operational Plan

Explain how you, as the owner, are going to run your business. Describe in detail how you are going to achieve your goals. For example, how will you organize your staffing lists? Most staffing agencies do so by qualification, availability, or experience.

As a staffing agency in the “people” business, you’ll need a professional office space for recruiters, coordinators, applicants, and sales staff to work.  Your office should also have a reception area to greet and help visitors.

Management and Organization

Define in this section what type of facility and supplies you’ll need to operate your startup nursing company. Deciding what type of building you need and where you want to be located early in the process will save you time in the future. Remember that you’ll need an area in the facility to interview or meet with prospective clients and store paperwork and documents.

Financial Plan

Try to project your expenses, budget and cash flow in this area of your plan. Don’t forget to establish some sort of timeline, a weekly cash flow budget for example. You can find templates in Excel and Google to help with this.

Startup Nursing Staffing Business Plan Infographic

Do: Register Your Business

Government requirements for staffing agencies vary, but you will need to obtain an LLC, which is a limited liability company. This is when you’ll establish a name for your nurse staffing company.  Be sure your new name doesn’t already exist as an LLC in your state.  The registration process varies by state, so be sure to check the rules and process for your location. 

Once you are registered, you’ll get a tax identification number to pay business taxes and employee withholding. You can receive your business license by applying to your city or county. Most of these license applications can be done online.

Do: Get Insurance & Subscribe to a Drug Screening Service

When caring for other people, there’s always a chance that something can go wrong. Having insurance to protect yourself and your business is important. General Liability Insurance can cover funds for legal services.  Workers Compensation Insurance covers lost wages and medical expenses for employees injured at work.

In addition, you’re the connecting point of nurses and potential clients, so you’ll want to make sure you conduct a background check and drug screening. This helps ensure the nurses you’re referring are professional and accountable.

Do: Establish Directories and a Website

Create lists of hospitals, potential nurses, and other facilities in your target area (determined in your plan) that can be quickly accessed or posted to your website. A website can be created for little to no cost with Wix, Weebly or WordPress.

In addition to your website, creating social media pages can create an additional element of trust for potential clients. Facebook pages or LinkedIn profiles are great for marketing purposes and to connect with prospects. These platforms have made creating a profile very user friendly and simple.

Should: Save Enough to Operate for Four to Six Months

Starting any business, including starting a nurse staffing agency, costs money at first. Many healthcare facilities can take weeks to pay their invoices.  This can cause issues when payroll needs to be met. Financing options such as factoring can help support your business but try to budget for unexpected issues.

Learn more about factoring illustration

Don’t: Slack Building Relationships

Recruiting nurses for clients can be a difficult job. It requires a skill set that includes organization, determination, and a natural ability to interact with people. Building genuine relationships with nurses, current clients and prospective clients will lead to overall satisfaction on everyone’s end. It will also help you receive referrals and solid reviews.

Don’t: Get Discouraged

Preparing to start a nursing staffing agency can be time consuming and overwhelming.  Startup costs alone can scare off some aspiring business owners.  Don’t give up! Having a solid work ethic is a key to success for your company.  Financing option such as invoice factoring can help your agency grow and meet your full potential.  See if nurse staffing factoring can help your startup and get your company moving. Give us a call or fill out this form to get started today!

*This is a guide to get your nurse staffing agency started.*

Please DO NOT contact PRN Funding until your healthcare agency has factorable invoices. 

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Phil Cohen

About the author

Philip Cohen is the founder and President of PRN Funding, LLC. PRN Funding is an extraordinarily focused niche player in healthcare funding. With years of…... Read More

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