ShiftKey Vs. ShiftMed: Battle of Nurse Staffing Platforms

Nurses today have more options than ever when it comes to finding temporary or flexible staffing opportunities. Two of the leading nurse-focused online staffing platforms are ShiftKey and ShiftMed.

Both provide access to short-term nursing shifts across specialties nationwide. But should you pick ShiftKey or ShiftMed for your nursing job search?

This comprehensive guide examines how the platforms compare on key factors like pay rates, job variety, signup process, and more.

A Brief Comparison Table

SpecialtiesAll nursing typesAll nursing types
Pay RatesCompetitiveCompetitive
Pay FrequencyNext dayVaries
Signup ProcessMinimal screeningExtensive screening
RatingsMixedTypically positive
AppRobust featuresBasic
Best ForQuick signup, large networkVetting and support

Overview of ShiftKey


Founded in 2015 with its headquarters nestled in Colorado, ShiftKey revolutionizes the traditional staffing approach in the healthcare sector. It’s not just another job portal but an online marketplace designed with both healthcare facilities and nurses in mind.

The platform’s main objective is to offer nurses a unique blend of flexibility, supplementary income, and the ability to select local “gigs” according to their preferences. Imagine the convenience of choosing your work shifts across over 4,000 healthcare facilities that span the entirety of the U.S!

1. Pay and Benefits

When it comes to remuneration, ShiftKey stands tall by offering its nurses competitive hourly rates. But that’s not all. Nurses working overtime or under special conditions are entitled to extra differential pay.

The icing on the cake? You won’t have to wait an eternity for your earnings as next-day direct deposit ensures your hard-earned money reaches you promptly.

However, being a part of ShiftKey means stepping into the shoes of an independent contractor. Thus, aspects like taxes and benefits, including health insurance, will fall under your personal purview.

2. Job Types

ShiftKey’s umbrella of opportunities isn’t limited to a few nursing roles. Their vast roster includes:

  • Medical/surgical, where nurses partake in general care in hospitals.
  • Emergency department roles, where immediate and urgent care is paramount.
  • Operating room roles, where precision and skill are the names of the game.
  • The intimate realm of labor and delivery.
  • ICU/critical care, where life-saving decisions are made every moment.
  • Modern telehealth services.
  • School nursing, ensuring the well-being of students.

So, whether you’re a seasoned RN, an LPN/LVN, a diligent CNA, or any other nursing professional, ShiftKey ensures a space for you.

3. Signup Process

Stepping into the world of ShiftKey is simple:

  • It all starts with crafting a comprehensive online profile.
  • Following this, you undergo background checks, ensuring safety for all involved.
  • Finally, the validation of licenses and certifications takes place.

Once you pass these stages, the vast realm of ShiftKey opens its doors, allowing you to select and book nursing shifts that cater to your needs.

Also Read: Comparison Between Med Travelers And Club Staffing

Overview of ShiftMed


Established in 2015 and anchored in sunny Florida, ShiftMed mirrors ShiftKey’s ethos but adds its unique flavor. They’ve leveraged technology to knit a digital network, seamlessly connecting healthcare professionals to temporary jobs across the country.

Serving 1,000+ partner entities, from hospitals to specialty clinics, across 25 states, ShiftMed emerges as a beacon for nurses seeking flexible schedules and institutions with unexpected staffing gaps.

1. Pay and Benefits

ShiftMed ensures that its nurses don’t just work flexibly but are compensated justly. A competitive base hourly rate awaits every professional. And for those who go the extra mile, there’s overtime, differential, holiday, and on-call pay.

Payments are smoothly processed through direct deposits. But remember, with flexibility comes responsibility. As contractors, nurses handle their taxes and benefits, although ShiftMed offers optional health insurance plans to ease this aspect.

2. Job Types

ShiftMed, with its expansive reach, offers:

  • Classic roles like med/surg and telemetry.
  • Emergency services for those who thrive under pressure.
  • Specialized roles in labor departments, including mother/baby units and NICUs.
  • Psychiatric roles, which delve into mental health.
  • School health roles, keeping our future leaders in prime health.

With their vast network, be you an RN, LPN/LVN, CNA, or a specialized nurse practitioner, ShiftMed has a position tailored for you.

3. Signup Process

Joining ShiftMed is a structured journey:

  • Begin by completing their detailed online application.
  • Post this, your background and references are thoroughly vetted.
  • Lastly, your professional credentials, from licenses to certifications, undergo verification.

Once these steps culminate successfully, the myriad of ShiftMed opportunities unfurls before you, letting you handpick shifts that align with your aspirations.

Also Read: Comparison Between Trusted Health And Aya.

Key Differences and Factors to Consider

When exploring employment opportunities in the nursing sector, particularly with ShiftKey and ShiftMed, it’s essential to dive deep into the distinctive features each platform offers:

1. Pay and Benefits:

Both ShiftKey and ShiftMed are closely aligned in terms of hourly wage rates for nurses, demonstrating competitiveness in the market.

They extend additional pay benefits such as overtime, differential, holiday incentives, and on-call remunerations. However, potential contractors should note that regardless of the platform chosen, responsibilities like taxes and insurance coverage will fall on their shoulders.

2. Job Variety:

ShiftKey enjoys an upper hand in this category due to its broader association with healthcare facilities. With a whopping 4,000+ partner institutions compared to ShiftMed’s 1,000+, ShiftKey’s network promises a more varied range of job opportunities.

Nonetheless, both platforms ensure diverse openings across multiple nursing specialties, ensuring nurses have ample choices.

3. Signup and Profile Verification:

Ease of registration can play a pivotal role for many, and in this regard, ShiftKey stands out. Their registration process is swifter, with a relatively straightforward screening.

On the contrary, ShiftMed adopts a more meticulous approach, necessitating comprehensive background checks and verifications before giving the green light to prospective nurses.

4. Ratings and Reviews:

While both platforms have their merits, feedback from users has a story to tell. Based on the collective voices of nurses, ShiftMed seems to have a slightly brighter aura.

Nurses have consistently highlighted the effective support system and satisfactory remuneration model of ShiftMed. On the other side, ShiftKey, despite its commendable features, has received a mixed bag of reviews, especially concerning post-hire support.

5. App Experience:

In today’s digital age, the efficiency of an application can significantly impact user satisfaction. ShiftKey’s mobile application emerges as the frontrunner in this race.

Endowed with a suite of features, it allows nurses to effortlessly search for shifts, pick them up, communicate, and manage their account. In comparison, ShiftMed’s application takes a more simplistic approach, catering to basic functionalities.

Making a choice between ShiftKey and ShiftMed is akin to selecting between two formidable contenders. While ShiftKey offers a broad spectrum of job opportunities and a top-notch application experience, ShiftMed wins hearts with its rigorous verification processes and positive nurse feedback.

As always, the decision should be anchored in individual preferences, career aspirations, and the specific features a nurse values most.

Also Read: Comparison Between Surescripts And Covermymeds.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Does ShiftKey pay daily?

Yes, ShiftKey offers next-day pay direct deposit for nurses who provide their account information. You can get paid the day after completing a shift assignment, providing quick access to your earnings.

Is ShiftKey only for nurses?

No, while ShiftKey is focused on nurse staffing, they also offer some openings for allied health professionals like rehabilitation therapists, medical technologists, and pharmacists. However, nurses make up the vast majority of their roles.

How does ShiftKey work?

ShiftKey allows nurses to browse and pick up open shifts at partner healthcare facilities nationwide. You search available shifts online or via the app and book them instantly. After completing an assignment, you get paid the next business day.

Is ShiftKey a real company?

Yes, ShiftKey is an established nurse staffing platform founded in 2015 and based in Colorado. They partner with over 4,000 healthcare facilities to provide access to short-term nursing shifts across the US. Over 200,000 nurses have signed up with ShiftKey.

The Verdict

When comparing the two nurse staffing platforms:

ShiftKey is ideal for nurses who value fast signup, a huge facility network, and flexible app experience. With minimal screening, you can quickly access thousands of nationwide shift postings through ShiftKey’s robust app. The huge facility network provides more opportunities. Downsides may include less post-hire support.

ShiftMed wins for stronger reputation, vetting, and support. ShiftMed conducts more rigorous onboarding for quality assurance. Nurses praise their responsive support and solid pay rates. However, job volume is lower than ShiftKey.

Weigh your priorities around factors like application process, facility variety, app functionality, and support as you pick between these two platforms. Flexible staffing provides freedom – selecting the service that best fits your needs and preferences will set you up for success.

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