Best Medical Staffing Agencies of 2020

Extra help when your practice needs a medical professional

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First Look

Healthcare organizations may occasionally have a need for temporary personnel due to medical leave, employee illness, or while conducting a candidate search process. Medical staffing agencies can help organizations fulfill these employment gaps by offering qualified, vetted staff for temporary assignments. These staffing agencies may serve hospitals, nursing homes, or other medical facilities.

Many different types of medical staffing agencies exist. They are often divided by service type and may include:

  • Allied healthcare staffing: While many people associate medical staffing agencies with providing nursing staffing, allied healthcare staffing provides workers from other disciplines. These include medical technologists, occupational therapists, pharmacists, phlebotomists, physical therapists, and respiratory therapists.
  • Locum tenens staffing: Locum tenens staffing is staffing to hold the place of a medical provider who is on vacation, sabbatical, or medical leave. These staffing agencies may also provide extra medical personnel during peak medical seasons, such as flu season.
  • Per diem nurse staffing: Per diem staffing agencies provide medical professionals on day-to-day, as-needed basis. Sometimes, a healthcare organization may hire a per diem employee as a trial period to see if they would hire that person. Other times, an organization has an occasional need and does not require a longer (such as months or weeks) contract assignment.
  • Travel nursing staffing: Travel nurse staffing agencies are those that place healthcare providers in positions across the country. A healthcare professional who contracts with these agencies must agree to live temporarily in a variety of areas as the need requires. Currently, travel nursing represents the largest share of the medical staffing market, according to Grand View Research. 

In this robust market, we reviewed more than 40 medical staffing agencies before selecting the best for breadth of services, personnel qualifications, reputation, and years in business.

Our Top Picks

Best Overall: CHG Healthcare

CHG Healthcare

CHG Healthcare

  • More than 40 years in business

  • Features cost estimator for some physician specialty placements

  • Special services for those who need rural healthcare staffing

  • Website strongly focused on physician and advanced practice staffing

  • Company has five brands focused on staffing, which can be confusing at times

CHG Healthcare was founded in 1979 and is headquartered in Salt Lake City, Utah. It has 11 offices in Florida, North Carolina, Michigan, Connecticut, Oklahoma, Virginia, Georgia, and Utah. A longtime innovator in the medical staffing field, the company is credited with creating the locum tenens model and for being the first locum tenens staffing agency.

CHG has a large share of the locums market at about 37%. The company is composed of five separate brands: CompHealth, Weatherby Healthcare, RN Network, Foundation Medical Staffing, and Global Medical Staffing. Each has a special niche in the healthcare marketplace, but this may initially seem confusing.

On an annual basis, CHG places more than 18,000 medical providers in more than 130 specialties. It provides staffing across a variety of specialties, including nursing, advanced practice, telehealth, allied health, healthcare administration, and physician staffing in all 50 states as well as internationally in New Zealand, Australia, and Guam. Additional services it offers include recruitment and credentialing for staff. CHG also has a special rural leadership program and advertise that its programs are specifically aimed at helping rural healthcare organizations that traditionally have problems with staffing.

We also chose CHG Healthcare as our best overall due to its high customer services and employee satisfaction ratings. In 2020, the global consulting firm Great Places to Work named CHG Healthcare a “Best Workplace in Consulting and Professional Services.” That was the fourth consecutive year that CHG Healthcare received this award.

Unlike many of the companies we reviewed, CHG Health does publish some cost estimates for hiring locum physicians that can help a facility estimate how much certain specialty locums physicians may cost in terms of staffing. However, you’ll have to contact the company to receive estimates for other health professions.

As a drawback, much of the CHG Healthcare website is mostly focused on physician and advanced practice staffing, although it does offer placements for allied health professionals. We do like the case studies featured on the site about how the company helps and saves healthcare organizations money.

Best for Contracts: HealthTrust Workforce Solutions

HealthTrust Workforce Solutions

HealthTrust Workforce Solutions

  • Offers short-term contracts in thousands of facilities across the United States

  • Provides bonuses for quarterly contract completions

  • Can read ratings for its contract employees on its website

  • Many placements are with the parent company, HCA

  • Does not list staffing pricing examples

HealthTrust Workforce Solutions is a medical staffing company founded in 2011 based in Nashville, Tennessee. It offers staffing placement for a number of jobs, including allied health professions, corporate health positions, interim leadership positions, physician staffing, and nursing, including clinical instructing positions. In addition to its staffing capabilities, HealthTrust Workforce Solutions provides additional services that include recruitment, employee credentialing, and serving as a managed services provider. Staffing Industry Analysts has rated the company as a Top 10 Healthcare Staffing and Recruitment Company, in addition to naming it as one of the largest staffing firms in the U.S.

According to the company's website, it places upward of 28,000 clinicians annually in more than 200,000 jobs across the country. It offers international nursing placements as well.

We selected HealthTrust Workforce Solutions as best for contracts because it offers short-term contracts that guarantee hours without requiring a long-term commitment. The company has several advantages for short-term contract workers, including flexible scheduling, competitive pay, weekly direct deposit, and bonuses for quarterly completion of contracts. It also offers education assistance for contract nurses wishing to advance their education. Prospective clients can read current clients’ ratings of local contract staffers.

In addition to contract work, HealthTrust Workforce Solutions offers locum tenens, travel nursing, and permanent placement services. It’s important to note that the company is a subsidiary of HCA Healthcare, which means most of its placements are at HCA facilities. This can be advantageous because it may have insights into available HCA positions, but it's a disadvantage if you prefer different facility types.

Best for Per Diem: Axis Medical Staffing

Axis Medical Staffing

Axis Medical Staffing

  • Per diem staff are quickly paid and have a variety of job options

  • Joint Commission-certified

  • Website promises refreshing, open communication

  • Does not offer physician staffing placement

  • Does not offer ancillary services, such as vendor management

Axis Medical Staffing was founded in 2004 and is headquartered in Seattle, Washington. It places a number of medical staffing positions, including registered nurses, certified nursing assistants, medical assistants, and nurse practitioners. Its allied health services include pharmacists, radiologic technicians, respiratory therapists, physical therapy assistants, medical technologists, surgical technologists, and more. The company does not currently offer physician staffing placements.

Axis Medical Staffing's website makes it clear that it takes a fresh approach to medical staffing, claiming to seek “rock stars” to help fill positions. The site also discusses the company's culture, which it defines as “laid-back” and “different from the rest.” The company has “talent scouts” to help recruit and serve as a point of contact for clients.

We chose Axis as the best for per diem because it offers flexible per diem placements with several advantages for its staff, including direct deposit and weekly pay. It also offers a company 401(k) with immediate vesting, which allows per diem staff to receive greater retirement benefits. Placements for per diem staff include a variety of facilities: hospitals, multi-specialty offices, government organizations, correctional facilities, and school districts. The company is a Joint Commission-certified agency, which relays its stability to per diem staff.

In addition to per diem staffing, Axis Medical Staffing offers travel nursing positions in all 50 states as well as direct hire if one of its employees decides they want to transition from per diem staffing. The company's only office is in Seattle.

To request pricing or staffing information, you can fill out a form on the Axis website or speak with someone there via a live chat. The company promises to quickly return a response and walk its clients through the staffing process with a minimal amount of paperwork.

Best for National Presence/Chain: AMN Healthcare

AMN Healthcare

AMN Healthcare

  • Largest medical staffing agency in the country

  • Wide range of medical staffing services

  • No pricing listed for healthcare staffing

  • Website can be overwhelming for companies with smaller staffing needs

AMN Healthcare has been in operation since 1985 and offers a variety of staffing services, a list that includes travel nurse staffing, rapid response nurse staffing, per diem staffing, allied professionals staffing, physician placement, recruitment process outsourcing, and credentialing services. The company has offices in Dallas, Texas; San Diego, California; Omaha, Nebraska; and Wellesley, Massachusetts.

We selected AMN Healthcare for its many services, national presence, and the large share of the market it holds—an industry-leading 12% of the overall U.S. medical staffing market. It is also the largest travel nursing and allied healthcare staffing firm. The company's website lists more than 20 services.

On the staffing side, AMN Healthcare requires all travel nurses to complete health checks, drug and background screening, skillset evaluations, and supervisory references. According to the company's website, an estimated 70% of its travel nurses are re-booked to assignment locations.

While AMN Healthcare does not post prices for its medical staffing services or assignments, it does claim to be commensurate with most full-time staffing models. The company has an area on its website where you can fill out a staffing request form to find out more information.

The company has also received recognition from multiple organizations for its services and employee satisfaction. Examples include The Joint Commission’s Gold Seal of Approval for Healthcare Staffing Services Certification Programs; a place on the Fortune 1000 list; inclusion on the 2020 Human Rights Campaign Corporate Equality Index; and a spot on Bloomberg’s 2020 Gender Equality Index.

Best for Breadth of Services: All Medical Personnel

allMedical Personnel

allMedical Personnel 

  • Places healthcare professionals in a variety of fields

  • Offers temporary and permanent placements

  • In operation for more than 30 years

  • Website design could use updating

  • Does not have Joint Commission Seal of Approval

All Medical Personnel is a medical staffing agency in operation since 1990 and is headquartered in Hollywood, Florida. It provides medical staffing solutions for a number of healthcare-related jobs in all states plus the District of Columbia. Staffing Industry Analysts (SIA) has named All Medical Personnel one of the largest Allied Healthcare Staffing Firms in the United States.

All Medical Personnel advertises itself as a “one-stop shop” for medical staffing, and the number of staffing solutions it offers is why we selected this company as best for the breadth of services. The company offers temporary, temp-to-hire, and direct staffing in a variety of fields, including nurses, physicians, nurse practitioners, physicians assistants, CRNAs, phlebotomists, medical assistants, administrative personnel, and general support staff. It also has pandemic staffing, executive placement, behavioral health, and clinical laboratory staffing services on offer.

In addition to the company's personnel offerings, there are also workforce solutions, including vendor management and managed service programs, available. All Medical Personnel has an in-house quality assurance and compliance staff to ensure the credentialing process is as easy as possible for clients.

The company's website does not have as current a design feel as others do, but the information is navigable and a state-by-state listing of services is provided.

Best for Travel Staff: AYA Healthcare

AYA Healthcare

AYA Healthcare

  • The "Traveler Experience Department” is available by phone 24/7

  • Travel nurses rated the company No. 1 for service

  • Offers unique services, such as staff for EMR conversion

  • Website is more geared toward recruiting, not for those looking for staffing

  • Does not offer physician staffing placements

AYA Healthcare is a medical staffing company founded in 2009 with headquarters in San Diego, California. It offers medical staffing services that include travel nursing, allied health professionals, per diem healthcare services, and advanced practice nursing placements. It also offers an innovative service in placing staff who have experience in electronic medical records (EMR) conversion.

The company has received several recognitions for its services, including The Joint Commission’s Gold Seal of Approval for Healthcare Staffing Services and a top ranking for travel nurses by independent research company Healthcare Research & Analytics.

We rated AYA Healthcare best for travelers due to its employee satisfaction and the resources offered to support travel nurses. The company has credentialing staff that helps travel nurses secure necessary licensure and credentialing for assignments, paid company housing, insurance benefits, paid sick time, and a 401(k) match for retirement. AYA Healthcare acknowledges that its pay scale varies based on location and nursing specialty.

The company also has a Traveler Experience Team that is accessible by phone 24 hours a day, seven days a week. This team can help travel nurses who may have missed a flight or coordinate with them regarding housing or other needs. This level of communication can pay off for clients, as they can feel confident their travel staff is prepared for their assignment.

As a drawback, the company's website is more geared toward recruiting health professionals than to potential medical staffing clients. However, there are areas online to submit a staffing request or contact a member of AYA Healthcare’s Clinical Services staff. The company also focuses on nursing and allied health professionals, but we did not see an area on the website for physician placements.

What Is a Medical Staffing Agency? 

Medical staffing agencies help healthcare organizations identify temporary to long-term staff to fill open medical positions. Medical staffing agencies provide healthcare personnel across a variety of medical specialties, including nursing, respiratory therapy, physical therapy, medical assistants, surgical technologists, doctors, and much more.

Some healthcare organizations rely on medical staffing agencies to fill positions that are temporarily vacant, either due to staff medical leave or until the company can identify the best candidate. Other times, medical staffing agencies are the recruiting and screening arm of a medical organization and can help identify professionals to fill permanent positions.

Expert Tip: Fast Fact

The global healthcare staffing shortage is expected to reach 12.9 million openings by 2035, according to Globe NewsWire.

Why Are Medical Staffing Agencies in Demand?

Medical staffing agencies have almost always been in demand to an extent because there are more healthcare jobs than trained healthcare professionals to fill them. A growing senior population that requires more medical care is often one reason for staff shortages. More recently, the COVID-19 pandemic has increased the need for medical staffing agencies to help place frontline medical staff and temporary replacements for ill or quarantined workers.

For medical professionals, the idea of working through a staffing agency may also prove appealing. The ability to have a more flexible schedule, travel, and earn income at an often higher rate on a short-term assignment can be appealing.

Expert Tip: Important

Whether you are hiring a medical staffing agency or are looking to work for a medical staffing agency, it’s important to ask about their credentialing process. Insufficient credentialing can slow your ability to hire or work with medical personnel at a facility.

What Types of Services Do Medical Staffing Agencies Typically Provide?

Medical staffing agencies are designed to help healthcare organizations find temporary or permanent medical personnel. They will typically help an organization find nursing, allied health, advanced practice professionals, or physician support staff, depending upon their specialties. They may also offer additional services to go along with staffing, including recruiting, software management, vendor management, and credentialing.

Most agencies will have a page on their website where a company that needs healthcare staff support can fill out a form. A member of the agency’s staffing department will then follow up to discuss needs and potential placements.

Expert Tip: Warning

It’s important to ask about a company’s practices and fees for recruiting and retaining employees. An upfront understanding of these costs helps reduce potential surprises or add-on costs at a later time.

How We Chose the Best Medical Staffing Agencies

We reviewed more than 40 medical staffing agencies before making our selections for the six best in their respective categories. Considerations included years in business, available offices, and areas of operation. We also considered the breadth of services, awards, and recognitions, employee and customer satisfaction, as well as website navigability and customer service availability.

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Article Sources
Verywell Health uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. Grand View Research. “Healthcare Staffing Market Size, Share & Trends Analysis Report By Service Type, 2020-2027.” Accessed October 20, 2020. 

  2. Globe Newswire. “Healthcare Staffing Market Size to Surpass US $47.5 billion by 2027.” Accessed October 20, 2020.