Nurse vacancies remain high in the U.S. as more hospitals weigh their staffing options to address seasonal fluctuations, nurse retirements, and burnout. According to a study of trends in nurse staffing, a higher number of healthcare executives are open to staffing agencies than in the past. Depending on the need of the facility, long term acute care nurse staffing agencies offer flexible options to keep the workforce fully staffed at critical times.

Nurse staffing agencies provide nurse placements to hospitals that have trouble filling temporary or permanent employment. They secure contracts for registered nurses to work in various types of healthcare facilities. 


The employment of international nurses has become increasingly popular in the past decade to balance the nurse supply and demand. Since internationally-educated healthcare professionals are costly for hospitals to procure, staffing agencies specializing in international nurse staffing are becoming more common.

Established staffing agencies streamline the staffing process for healthcare professionals and hospitals alike, with some agencies providing additional housing, education programs, ongoing support, etc. It’s critical to understand all the benefits you will receive when choosing to partner with an agency. The services a staffing firm will have will depend on the types of healthcare professionals they place.

Suppose you consider hiring a nurse staffing agency to fill the needs at your facility. In that case, several factors are used in deciding the best route to take. Before diving into those components, here are the factors affecting the state of nurse staffing in 2019.

More Patients

The rapid increase in patients is a reliable driver of the nursing shortage. The opioid epidemic has been deemed a public health crisis. It has led to an estimated 1.3 million people with opioid addictions being hospitalized every year. On top of that, an aging population of baby boomers continues to demand healthcare services. An estimated 80 percent of baby boomers have at least one chronic health condition.

It is projected that approximately one million baby boomer nurses will retire by the year 2030, meaning new grads, gen Xers and millennial nurses will need to take their place. Currently, 70,000 nurses are retiring annually, which is a significant contributor to the nurse shortage. Rural communities are more likely to be affected by the lack. Since these locations may be less desirable to live, hospital executives have trouble filling positions for healthcare professionals in remote areas.

Sustainable Solution

Facilities across the U.S. are changing their tactics to alleviate critical staffing challenges by relying on staffing agencies to fill those needs. U.S. hospital leaders feeling the brunt of the shortage will need to develop a comprehensive approach to healthcare staffing as they plan for the future.