International Nurse Staffing Agencies: How to Choose One

International Nurse Staffing Agencies: How to Choose One

The United States has been experiencing an alarming decline in the number of its registered nurses. The shortage is predicted to only grow more as health care needs grow.

A major reason for this shortage is that patients are increasing so the need for nurses is growing. You can read this to learn more about the reason for the nurses’ shortage. Therefore, the need to fill the gap in demand has caused the country to employ foreign-educated nurses.

International nurse staffing agencies are the motor through which this is made possible. These agencies are used by nurse Managers and hospital leaders to build a strong and expert workforce while ensuring disruption and turnover are minimized.

In this article, we will be discussing questions you need to ask when you want to choose such an agency.

Why These Questions are Important?

There are several agencies to choose from and these providers aren’t always the same. When you choose an agency, you have to be certain they are reputable and reliable and can become your trusted partner. Therefore, you must ask these questions so that you can be certain of the firm’s reputation.

1. Will You Be Allowed to Tour Their Classrooms?

The company has to be ready to be transparent with you if they want to ensure a smooth partnership. Therefore, they should not mind giving you a tour of their facilities.

You also shouldn’t hesitate to ask about their office location. You want them to show you and not just tell you how their training is. Where is the simulation training done? How is the skill lab? You want to tour the facility and check these things.

During the tour, trust between you and the firm can be built. You can also get insight into how the nurses will transition or adapt to your facility.

Be wary of firms that don’t give clinical instruction onsite.

2. Does the Firm Have a Joint Commission Certification?

There is an organization that endorses healthcare programs and organizations in the United States. The organization is known as the Joint Commission. They have the mission of improving public health care.

If the firm you want to work with has been certified by the Joint Commission, then you can rest assured of their legitimacy. This is because the organization has some accreditation standards that the firm must have met before they got certified.

The accreditation standards promote effective and safe health care of high quality. You can visit to learn more about the organization’s standards.

3. Will You Get Ongoing Support?

Will the service stop after the contract is signed or will you get ongoing support throughout the contract? The firm needs to offer support throughout the contract to ensure smooth running.

Some organizations offer their clients a manager that would handle any questions that may come up during the contract.

4. What Will Be the Conversion Rate at the End of the Contract?

You may choose to retain some of the nurses at the end of their contract. Therefore, you want to know the percentage of nurses that can convert to full-time staff at the end of the contract.

5. What are Their Onboarding Programs?

Although international nurses may have almost the same clinical experience and training as US-trained nurses, they may have difficulty adjusting to the new cultural and customs norms. Therefore, there are some programs these health practitioners have to go through to help them with their transitioning.

You need to know the training the organization you intend to choose give to their nurses. Below are two important onboarding programs you have to ask them about:

1. Cultural Onboarding

Every international health practitioner needs to adopt the United States cultural norms as soon as possible. Therefore, this program is very important.

A good program will teach the health practitioner about American cultural attitudes and values. It will also help them overcome the cultural shock phases which they would likely experience.

For the program to be comprehensive, it must include help in housing acquisition as well as driving lessons.

2. Clinical Onboarding

The clinical training of the international health caregiver may be similar to that of a United States trained nurse, yet, the clinical practices may be different. Therefore, learning the clinical practices in the United States is important for any international nurse’s smooth transitioning.

A comprehensive program will include online coursework, modules, and live lectures. The program should also have on-site simulation training and lab to give hands-on training so they can learn new American clinical practices.

6. Is the Organization A Member of the American Association of International Recruitment?

The American Association of International Recruitment is an organization that ensures that ethical conducts and standards are maintained in organizations involved in recruiting international professionals.

Therefore, reputable international nurse staffing agencies are often members of AAIHR. You have to ensure the firm you choose is part of this organization so you can be assured of their reputation.

You can also come up with other questions that would help you determine their ethical practices as well as other important factors. Also, when you ask these questions, ensure they give satisfactory answers.


Getting an international nurse staff agency is one way to build a strong and expert workforce while ensuring disruption and turnover are minimized. However, when choosing an agency, you have to ensure you ask the right questions to enable you to choose a reputable firm.

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