Direct hire is better than agency. However, due to the retrogression, facilities or hospitals are shying away from hiring foreign nurses because it is a long wait for them. My personal experience was that I was interviewed by the hospital and was able to pass it. After learning that if they petition me, it will take years, they backed-out.
Most HRs think that using agency will speed up the process and that's why some will refer you to their recruiters. However, be careful, the recruiters will let you sign a contract that is one-sided in favor of them.
Using Agencies (Registries) is another tricky matter. Some will really exploit nurses. They have hidden charges that you don't know and can't escape once you start working for them. I have friend who received a paycheck ( - 200$). Yes, it's negative. Negative two hundred dollars. The next month she received 35$ paycheck. Not enough to survive another month.