What Is An Agency Nurse?

Juliet D'cruz

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What Is An Agency Nurse

Are you curious to know what is an agency nurse? You have come to the right place as I am going to tell you everything about an agency nurse in a very simple explanation. Without further discussion let’s begin to know what is an agency nurse?

In the dynamic and ever-evolving field of healthcare, the demand for qualified and skilled nurses continues to rise. To meet this demand and ensure optimal patient care, healthcare facilities often rely on the assistance of agency nurses. These dedicated professionals play a crucial role in providing temporary staffing solutions, filling gaps in healthcare facilities, and maintaining the quality of care. In this blog post, we will delve into the world of agency nursing, exploring the role, benefits, and challenges faced by these unsung heroes of healthcare.

What Is An Agency Nurse?

An agency nurse, also known as a travel nurse or a temporary nurse, is a registered nurse (RN) who is employed by a staffing agency or a healthcare recruitment agency. Rather than being permanently employed by a specific healthcare facility, agency nurses work on a contract basis, providing temporary coverage to hospitals, nursing homes, clinics, and other healthcare settings. These contracts can range from a few days to several months, depending on the facility’s needs and the nurse’s availability.

The Role Of An Agency Nurse:

  1. Filling Staffing Gaps: One of the primary responsibilities of an agency nurse is to fill staffing shortages within healthcare facilities. They step in during peak patient loads, staff vacations, leaves of absence, or unexpected absences due to illness or emergencies. By providing immediate coverage, agency nurses help maintain continuity of care and prevent staffing gaps that could compromise patient safety.
  2. Adaptability and Versatility: Agency nurses must be adaptable and flexible in their roles. They quickly acclimate to new healthcare settings, working with different teams, systems, and protocols. They are often expected to hit the ground running, seamlessly integrating into the existing staff and providing high-quality care to patients.
  3. Diverse Clinical Experience: Agency nursing exposes nurses to a wide range of clinical environments, providing them with valuable experiences and opportunities to enhance their skills. These nurses gain exposure to different patient populations, medical specialties, and healthcare practices, honing their abilities to handle diverse situations and improving their overall clinical competence.

Benefits Of Agency Nursing:

  1. Flexibility: Agency nursing offers flexibility in work schedules, allowing nurses to choose assignments based on their availability and preferences. This flexibility enables nurses to strike a balance between their personal lives and their careers, catering to individual needs and preferences.
  2. Increased Compensation: Agency nurses often enjoy higher compensation rates compared to their full-time counterparts. These higher rates reflect the temporary nature of the assignments, the need for immediate coverage, and the specialized skills possessed by agency nurses.
  3. Professional Growth: Agency nursing provides nurses with invaluable opportunities for professional growth and development. Working in diverse healthcare settings and encountering various patient populations expands their clinical knowledge, strengthens their skills, and fosters their adaptability.

Challenges Faced By Agency Nurses:

  1. Frequent Changes: The nature of agency nursing means that nurses must adapt quickly to new environments, staff, and protocols. Frequent changes can pose challenges in terms of building rapport with colleagues, adjusting to new systems, and ensuring continuity of care for patients.
  2. Lack of Familiarity: Agency nurses may not have prior experience with the specific policies, procedures, and equipment used in each facility they work in. They must quickly familiarize themselves with new systems, protocols, and practices to provide efficient and effective care.


Agency nurses play a vital role in the healthcare industry, providing temporary staffing solutions and maintaining the quality of care in various healthcare settings. Their adaptability, versatility, and commitment to patient well-being make them unsung heroes in the field of nursing. As the demand for healthcare services continues to grow, agency nurses provide a valuable resource, ensuring that patient needs are met, and healthcare facilities can continue to deliver high-quality care. Their dedication and professionalism contribute to the seamless operation of healthcare facilities, making them an indispensable part of the healthcare workforce.

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What Does A Agency Nurse Do?

What is an agency nurse? An agency nurse is a health care professional who works for a nursing agency that assigns them to health care facilities for temporary contracts. While their job duties can change depending on the location in which they’re working, they typically provide medical treatment to patients.

What Is The Difference Between Agency Nurse And Hospital Nurse?

A hospital or long-term care facility directly hires its staff nurses. However, agency nurses work for a professional staffing agency and sign temporary contracts with a facility. The agency provides them with placement in various healthcare fields ranging from hospitals to patient homes.

What Is The Difference Between Agency Nurse And Travel Nurse?

The main difference between a staffing nurse job vs a travel nurse job is a permanent position vs a temporary position. Staff nurses are employed by the healthcare facility and are committed to their position, while travel nurses work for travel nurse agencies and quickly move on to working in other medical facilities.

How Much Does An Agency Nurse Get Paid In Usa?

Top companies for Agency Nurses in United States

  • OSU MEDICAL CENTER. 3.5 $85.00per hour. 158 reviews12 salaries reported.
  • Med Center Health. 3.3 $61.90per hour. 
  • Medical Center at Bowling Green. 4.1 $57.11per hour. 
  • Maxcare, Inc. 3.8 $43.47per hour. 
  • National Health Care Associates, Inc. 2.6 $35.01per hour.


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