The purpose of travel nurse agencies is to help match up hospitals with travel nurses, to help fill in vacant positions. Travel nursing agencies have a couple different ways to help hospitals fill positions. One way is for recruiters to individually hire traveling nurses, sending them to hospitals in need. Another way is for hospitals to hire travel agencies to be their main source of filling vacant positions. This type of service is called Vendor Management Services.
3 Types of Vendor Management Systems
Vendor Management System, also known as VMS
This application is web-based and allows hospitals to go to the website and use the different aspects of the site to post open positions, set up interviews, management of credentials along with many other options. The VMS system takes a lot of the bias out of the whole process. Hospitals get to choose from the best candidates without the agencies showing favoritism to travel nurses they like, over who is the best qualified. This system places the responsibility on the hospital to fill their own positions.
This type of system also levels the playing field in terms of billing. Physical Therapists are all billed at the same rate, as are Telemetry Registered Nurses, and so on. A nurse is also paid based on experience. The downside to that is that there is no negotiating.
Managed Service Providers, MSP
This service allows the hospitals to accomplish their main goal, which is to keep their hospital staffed properly, without having to be involved in the process. MSP manages all the on-boarding, checking credentials, timekeeping, and billing. MSP will also work with all the agencies in order to make sure the hospital’s vacancies are filled. In the contract, the MSP may guarantee that they will fill a certain percentage of open positions before they get paid. Typically, Managed Service Providers’ fees are usually less than the VMS.
Group Purchasing Organizations
This third type of Vendor Management Services, GPO, hire “in bulk” in order to help hospitals staff their facilities. Many times in order to fulfill their “quota” they will partner with Vendor Management Systems. By using VMS they can hire more staff at “cheaper” rates. Then they pass along the savings to the hospitals. Group Purchaing Organizations also take the worry away from the hospitals that are trying to be sure their hospitals are staffed properly. This allows them to give their patients the best care possible.
The goal of the VMS and GPO programs is to take out any bias that an agency may have about candidates, good or bad. Every agency should get notifications about new jobs, at the same time, giving every agency the same chance. It also requires the agencies to go through the same procedures and policies.
Be aware that MSP recruiters get first dibs on jobs, before VMS and GPO vendors. So, deciding which direction to go, MSP, VMS or GPO can really be dependant on your circumstances. Also, going with a Sub Vendor, VMS or GPO, can incur a fee, lowering the overall pay rates for the traveling nurse.
Having a direct relationship with an agency is important to some people. However, sometimes a person feels using an agent gives some people an advantage when jobs come up, which they do not believe is fair. The other option is to try more than one type of vendor.
Doing your research and understanding what each vendor program offers is important. The vendor program that works for one of your co-workers may not be what is best for you and your family.