What is a Nurse Registry?
Thats a great question and one you may hear a number of answers to depending on who you ask. I will be specifically addressing Florida Nurse Registries since Florida is one of the more progressive states for this type of service. At its simplest a Nurse Registry is a source for clients to find safe and professional private caregivers. Of course that is a grossly oversimplified explanation. In Florida The Agency for Healthcare Administration or AHCA oversees and regulates many health related businesses including: Hospitals, Nursing Homes, Nursing Agencies, and Nurse Registries. There are pages upon pages of guidelines that define and govern Nurse Registries. Its pretty dry reading but here is a link if you are curious.
The guidelines enforced by AHCA are very similar for both Nurse Registries and Nurse Agencies and are in place to protect the potentially vulnerable population these businesses serve. Some of the guidelines include minimum levels of caregiver training, required background screening, and required emergency plans. These guidelines help to insure that the seniors in our state receive the safest, most effective private care available.
What sets Nurse Registries apart is the way their business is structured. Nurse Registries may not have any employees who are caregivers. Instead they work with professional, private caregivers who are registered as 1099 Independent Contractors. Nurse Registries screen these individuals based on the strict standards set by the state of Florida and refer them to clients seeking their services. Abby Services and Nurse Registries in general don’t actually provide In- Home Care, but are in fact a source for seniors to find In-Home caregivers. They act as a matchmaking service of sorts. For example, a senior who is looking for a pleasant caregiver to assist with meal prep, bathing, pet care, and light housekeeping, may contact a nurse registry. The Nurse Registry then searches their extensive database of private caregivers who are a good match for this client.
Nurse Registries allow clients greater control of their care by allowing clients to direct where and when they want to receive care. Clients with Nurse Registries also direct what services they would like to receive. Abby Services and other Nurse Registries won’t interfere with a clients scheduled caregiver because that caregiver is not their employee. This results in greater caregiver consistency.
Nurse Registries and Abby Services has also been likened to a Yacht Broker or Realtor. Yacht Brokers & Realtors don’t actually own, produce, or control the product they represent. They simply act as a marketplace where consumers can easily and safely obtain these products. In a Nurse s’ case the product would be safe and effective pre-screened private caregivers.
The Department of labor explains the way we work well in the following example:
Example: ABC Company advertises as a “registry” that provides potential direct care workers. The registry conducts a background screening and verifies credentials of potential workers, and assists clients by locating direct care workers who may be able to meet a client’s needs. ABC Company informs, a direct care worker, of the opportunity to work for a potential client. If the direct care worker is interested in the opportunity, she is responsible for contacting the client for more information. Ann is not obligated to pursue this or any other opportunity presented, and she is not prohibited from registering with other referral services or from working directly with clients independent of ABC Company. The registry does not provide any equipment to Ann, and does not supervise or monitor any work Ann performs. ABC Company has no power to terminate Ann’s employment with a client. ABC Company processes Ann’s payroll checks according to information provided by clients, but does not set the pay rate. 113 In this scenario, Ann is likely not an employee of ABC Company. There is no permanency in the relationship between the registry and Ann. The registry does not provide any equipment or facilities, exercises no control over daily activities, and has no power to hire or fire. Ann is able to accept as many or as few clients as she wishes. The client sets the rate of pay and negotiates directly with Ann about which services will be provided.