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Starting your own nursing agency

Updated March 23, 2017

A nursing agency acts as a staffing firm for hospitals, clinics, private practices and homebound patients. You will send nurses to fill in during peak busy times, to cover for vacations and place temporary nurses in home health care situations. Many nurses prefer to work through an agency, where they can pick and choose their own hours, change pace by working in a variety of settings and increase their experience in varying fields of medicine.

Basics

A nursing agency acts as a staffing firm for hospitals, clinics, private practices and homebound patients. You will send nurses to fill in during peak busy times, to cover for vacations and place temporary nurses in home health care situations. Many nurses prefer to work through an agency, where they can pick and choose their own hours, change pace by working in a variety of settings and increase their experience in varying fields of medicine.

Business

You can start your own nursing agency with very little initial funding. It can be started out of the home, utilising the computer and telephone to find clients and send out nurses to jobsites. Get a business license from your secretary of state and check with the state health department to find out what other licenses are required. The license needed will depend on the level of services your company will provide. Medical staffing companies need to be covered with higher bonds and insurance coverage to obtain a license from the state. Work with an insurance carrier--such as Nurses Service Organization--that specialises in providing insurance for nursing agencies to make sure you get the proper coverage for each job. Invest in software to help manage the business, and follow compliance rules for medical coding for billing purposes. Platforms like the Nursing Agency Package and Nursing Agency Backoffice provide time management, medical coding for billing and other vital business platforms.

Staffing

Without a ready-made roster of potential employees, a new nursing business owner must find nurses and aides to fill orders once they start coming in. Find staff through advertising and local chapters of various health care trade groups such as the American Nurses Association. Visit community colleges that train nurses to recruit staff. Nurses who have a multitude of contacts in the industry start various nurse-staffing agencies.

Marketing

Consider specialising in a service to niche populations to fill community health care needs that are not being addressed. Alzheimer's care, rehabilitation nurses, oncology-related services and head injury cases are a few areas that often require home services. Set yourself apart by being able to fill orders at the last minute when a head nurse comes up short for a shift. Join an organisation such as the National Nurses in Business Association to network with other agency business owners and share marketing tips. Advertise through trade groups and share referrals with other members.

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About the Author

Linda Ray is an award-winning journalist with more than 20 years reporting experience. She's covered business for newspapers and magazines, including the "Greenville News," "Success Magazine" and "American City Business Journals." Ray holds a journalism degree and teaches writing, career development and an FDIC course called "Money Smart."