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Is there a market for small staffing agencies with so many hospital corporations?

Specializes in Nephrology, Dialysis, Plasmapheresis. Has 7 years experience.

Hello all,

I am curious about someday starting my own staffing agency, specifically for dialysis nurses. I live in a big metro area and I know there to be at least 40 outpatient clinics and 30 hospitals that provide dialysis to patients on a daily basis. My concern is the contracts. Can large corporations such as health one and Davita realistically sign contracts with a small business to hire nurses for per diem work?

I know when I was a traveler, a lot of large corporate hospitals had exclusive contracts and could only work with American Mobile, as an example. I have contacts and know people in the area, but I don't know about jumping through the hoops of an international company hiring a self-employed/small business RN to cover their staffing needs. For the record, the needs are most certainly there. Many hospital programs constantly have dialysis RN travelers, and outpatient clinics are always needing coverage for vacations and mass exodus. With a highly volatile census in dialysis, I think even with a full staff, most programs would require extra help on a regular basis for busy weeks.

So, can I break the corporate chains?

You can learn by doing. Work for agencies that provide dialysis nurses. Then you can find out from the facilities you work at if it is possible to contract directly - it usually is, but can meet some resistance if their needs are being well met by existing contractors. If a facility likes you and would like you to continue per diem or contracted for longer terms, they may be willing to sign on with your agency for just you. In the travel world, I was working for others for 8 years before I discovered that hospitals are willing to sign a new agency just to get one needed traveler. In local agency work, the dynamics should be similar, if you work for a few facilities and they like you, they may not care who you work for. In fact, the manager will not, but the staffing office will be resistant. A manager wanting you to work, especially a longer term contract, is a great wedge to use with HR/staffing to get a direct contract.

An eye opener for me was that hospitals will hire an agency to get one needed provider a manager wants. In fact, how many nurses you have is proprietary and the hospital or facility will not ask. Of course, that is for travel in my case. For local staffing, they may ask how many staff you can provide.


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