Is Your Healthcare Staffing Agency Nurse Owned?
Why It Should Be and More with Laura Hanoski
Premier Medical Staffing Services, LLC was recently ranked as one of the largest Wisconsin-based, women-owned businesses by the Milwaukee Business Journal. In honor of that tremendous achievement, we’re talking with Laura Hanoski, former nurse and the business’ owner. Find out what sets Premier Medical Staffing Services apart and why your healthcare staffing agency should be nurse owned.
1. Tell us about yourself. What did you do prior to starting Premier Medical Staffing Services?
Prior to starting Premier Medical Staffing Services, I attended Waukesha County Technical College (WCTC). There I earned my associate degree in nursing. While I was earning my degree, I started working as an internal float pool nurse at Aurora St. Luke’s Medical Center in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. During my five years there, I was privileged to work in a lot of different specialties. I learned a lot about nursing and nurses from this experience.
Following my time at St. Luke’s, I accepted a position with the Sports Medicine & Orthopedic Surgery Center in Greenfield, Wisconsin. There I did everything from dressing changes and suture removals to insurance verifications and scheduling patient appointments. It was definitely a job that kept me on my toes.
2. As a nurse, what were some of the pain points that you noticed with the traditional, permanent employment model?
In my opinion, one of the biggest drawbacks to the traditional, permanent employment model is the lack of opportunities for clinicians to grow or advance professionally.
Nurses are naturally curious creatures. They are always seeking new information about conditions and treatment plans. However, in the traditional, permanent employment model, nurses can easily get pigeonholed into a single specialty. They can spend years treating the same types of patients with the same types of remedies. The work becomes routine and they become bored with their jobs and the profession. This is why it is so important that nurses proactively expand their knowledge and skill set. It helps combat some of the burnout associated with the job.
3. What was the catalyst for starting your own healthcare staffing agency?
My husband Mark, who’s a respiratory therapist, and I had been working in healthcare for several years before we began thinking about starting a healthcare staffing agency. We both had experience working with good and bad staff from the float pool. We saw the positive difference that talented floating clinicians could make for patient care and employee morale. We wanted to be part of that positive difference. That was our catalyst for starting a medical staffing agency.
4. What was the biggest obstacle you faced in launching a healthcare staffing agency? How did you overcome that challenge?
The biggest obstacle we faced in launching a healthcare staffing agency was starting the business in our home. At the time, Mark and I had two small children. Half the house was sectioned off as “office space.” There was no support staff, so we were fulfilling multiple roles simultaneously (i.e. sales, HR, recruiting, marketing). We worked 24/7. There was no separation between work life and home life.
I believe that our passion and commitment to making a positive difference is what got us through those early days. We truly believed (and still believe) that our clinicians make a positive difference wherever they work. Knowing that we were giving back to an industry we both loved sustained us. When we billed over $1M our first year in business, Mark and I knew we were doing something right.
5. How has your experience as a nurse influenced the way you manage Premier Medical Staffing Services?
My experience as a nurse gives me a better understanding of what our clinicians are going through. I’ve been there. I know how tough the shifts can be. Because I have that experience, I’m a better advocate for our clinicians. I work with our clients to ensure our staff has a safe working environment. This means I advocate for on-the-job training and fair treatment. I never ask a clinician to do something I wouldn’t do.
6. Why should a clinician partner with a healthcare staffing agency? What are the benefits?
There are many reasons why a clinician should partner with a medical staffing agency. First, agency nursing provides an unparalleled level of flexibility. Clinicians can work when they need and/or want to. It’s a great way to achieve the optimal work/life balance.
Second, a partnership with a healthcare staffing agency is a great way to break into travel nursing or travel healthcare. Whether a clinician is interested in working local contracts or is ready to see the country, healthcare staffing agencies can make that career goal a reality.
Third, medical staffing agencies have the resources to help clinicians explore different career paths. For instance, a nurse that’s interested in transitioning from a medical-surgical unit to an intensive care unit can work with their healthcare recruiter to secure the necessary work experience.
7. How has being nurse owned set Premier Medical Staffing Services apart from other medical staffing agencies?
Because Premier Medical Staffing Services is nurse owned, we place a great amount of emphasis on the clinician’s experience. We know what it’s like in the trenches and we’re here to support our staff on the good days and the bad days. If one of our clinicians is being treated unfairly or hasn’t been given the tools/knowledge/resources they need to succeed, we’re not going to ignore it. We’re going to do everything in our power to rectify the situation.
Additionally, as a nurse-owned agency, we feel an obligation to work hard for our staff. We want to be an integral part of our clinician’s career journey and success. We’re truly committed to helping our employees reach their full potential.
8. Where do you see Premier Medical Staffing Services five years from now? Ten years from now?
The healthcare landscape is constantly changing. As a result, Premier Medical Staffing Services will continue to evolve to meet new needs while remaining true to our core values. For example, in the next 5-10 years, I predict that there will be an explosion within the telemedicine industry. COVID-19 has shown us the untapped potential of virtual healthcare. While this means patients will have less in-person time with their clinicians, our staff’s commitment to providing personal attention, building relationships and expressing empathy will remain unchanged.
The healthcare landscape is constantly changing. As a result, Premier Medical Staffing Services will continue to evolve to meet new needs while remaining true to our core values.
9. What opportunities or challenges do you see on the horizon for medical staffing agencies?
One of the biggest opportunities that I see on the horizon for medical staffing agencies is growth within the home healthcare sector. America has a large aging population that wants to stay independent for as long as possible. As a result, I believe we’re going to see a greater demand for clinicians (of all kinds) that can provide home-based healthcare services.
I also believe that a shortage of qualified clinicians will continue to impact healthcare staffing agencies. While attracting and retaining clinicians will become increasingly more competitive, there will be a tremendous opportunity to staff high-need locations. In essence, I think the travel nursing industry is going to grow at an accelerated pace.
10. What advice would you give to other nurses that want to start their own business?
With all the choices you make as you put your company together, ask yourself if you’re being true to your core values. There will be tough days. The business landscape will change, and you will need to pivot to meet new demands. However, having a firm grasp on why you do what you do will make things easier. Additionally, your core values will shape the experience that your staff, clients and community have with your business. That’s why it is so critical to choose wisely.
Premier Medical Staffing Services is interested in working with you! Whether you’re a new clinician looking to gain more experience or a seasoned professional looking for a change of pace, we have access to meaningful healthcare jobs nationwide. Fill out our form to have a staffing expert contact you.