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Direct Hire vs. Staffing Agency: What Every Nurse Should Know

Nursing is one of the most in-demand professions in the United States. There is a chronic shortage of qualified nurses in many healthcare facilities across the country. To address this gap, some hospitals and clinics turn to international nurses who are willing to immigrate to the USA and work in US healthcare facilities.

But how do international nurses find their way to the US? What are the options and processes involved? And what are the similarities and differences of each option?

International healthcare professionals have several choices when it comes to working with a nursing recruitment agency. You may hear the terms “direct hire” and/or “staffing” when speaking to a recruiter about a future nursing job in the USA. Direct hire and staffing solutions are two different ways of hiring employees for a company. AMN Healthcare International is the only RN recruitment company offering both options through its sister companies, Connetics USA (international direct hire healthcare recruitment) and O'Grady Peyton International (international healthcare staffing recruitment). It’s important for you to discover the possibilities of both. Let’s review the similarities and differences of a staffing agency vs direct hire recruitment for international healthcare professionals.

In this article, we will compare and contrast direct hire and staffing agencies for international healthcare professionals. We will also provide some tips and advice for nurses who are considering working in the US.

What is a Direct Hire?

Working with direct hire recruitment means the healthcare facility hires you directly. The direct hire agency, such as the Connetics USA international nurse agency, specializes in identifying and screening qualified international nurses on behalf of the hospital. Connetics USA is simply matching you with a healthcare facility position.

Since the hospital is your direct employer, the hospital will be your petitioner/EB-3 Consular green card sponsor. Direct hire jobs are usually permanent or long-term positions with salaries and benefits based on experience and education.

Connetics USA offers nurses full-service support throughout the process, including licensing, immigration, credentialing, relocation, onboarding, orientation, and clinical training and support.

What is a Staffing Agency?

Staffing agency solutions mean the healthcare facility will hire a nurse through a staffing agency, which supplies and employs the talent. You become an employee of the staffing agency, versus an employee of the healthcare facility itself.

Staffing agency is a model where a nurse placement agency contracts an international nurse's services to a healthcare facility. In this case, the staffing agency is the employer of the nurse and therefore the petitioner/green card sponsor. The nurse's salary and benefits are also paid by the staffing agency.

The staffing agency provides US career opportunities for international nurses wherein their professional services are contracted out to one of their healthcare facility clients while they remain an employee of the agency. The staffing agency may also provide support services such as licensing, immigration, credentialing, relocation, and orientation for the nurse.

Comparison of Staffing Agency vs Direct Hire for Nurses

What are the similarities?

Both direct hire and staffing agency models have some similarities in terms of:

  • Providing opportunities for international nurses to work in the US
  • Offering competitive salary and benefits
  • Providing Premium Processing
  • Providing Prevailing Wage
  • Assisting with licensing, immigration, credentialing, onboarding, relocation, and orientation
  • Requires a contract or an agreement with either the hospital (direct hire) or the agency (staffing)

What are the differences?

There are also some key differences between direct hire and staffing agency models in terms of:

  • Employer: In direct hire, the hospital is the employer of the nurse; in staffing agency, the agency is the employer of the nurse
  • Petitioner: In direct hire, the hospital is the petitioner/green card sponsor of the nurse; in a staffing recruitment agency, the agency is the petitioner/green card sponsor of the nurse
  • Commitment: In direct hire, the nurse has a three-year permanent position agreement at the hospital; in staffing agency, the nurse has a two-year contract position that may vary depending on the healthcare facility’s needs


Deeper View on Direct Hire and Staffing Agency for US Nurses

Tanya Freedman, CEO of Connetics USA, the number one company bringing direct hire nurses to the United States, discovers the differences and the similarities in the direct hire model as well as the staffing model.

Factors to Consider When Choosing Between International Direct Hire and Staffing Agencies

It’s all about choice! AMN International gives you the opportunity to make a choice between Connetics USA and O’Grady Peyton International for your Staffing and Direct Hire solutions. Discover the possibilities of both options based on what you want for your life in the USA. We’re here to support you throughout your journey.

It is important for nurses to do their research and ask questions before signing up with either option. Additionally, nurses should also consult with people you trust such as family members, friends, mentors, or other nurses who have gone through either option. You should also read reviews and testimonials from other nurses who have worked with either option.

Final thoughts and recommendations for nurses

Direct hire and staffing agency are two common models of international nurse recruitment that offer different advantages and disadvantages for nurses who want to work in US healthcare facilities. Both options require careful consideration and research before making a decision. Ultimately, nurses should choose an option that best suits their needs and goals.