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First Assist Becomes 1 of 4 Healthcare Staffing Agencies in the U.S. to Garner Corporate Gold-Standard Certification from Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (JCAHO)


BETHESDA, Md., Aug. 23 -- With the ballooning nursing shortage showing no sign of abating, it’s more critical than ever that healthcare staffing organizations ensure supplemental staff meets rigorous standards of ability and professionalism.

To this end, the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (JCAHO) recently created a corporate certification process for staffing organizations (the Health Care Staffing Services Certification Program), and First Assist has become one of only four such agencies in the nation to be awarded the industry’s gold standard of certification. They are the first in the Washington, DC/Maryland/Virginia area.

Since hospitals, clinics, and their employees must meet demanding standards to ensure they are capable of delivering a high level of care, it makes sense that agencies supplying them with employees should be held to equally high standards. With JCAHO’s rigorous Healthcare Staffing Certification requirements, clients can now be more confident than ever that the supplemental staff they hire through First Assist meets an elevated bar of professional competence.

“Our standards have been on the cutting edge of service for two decades,” says Mary Richardson, founder and president of First Assist. “With the JCAHO Gold Seal of Approval, our clients and employees are assured of our ongoing commitment to excellence.”

JCAHO is considered to be the preeminent standard-setting and accrediting body for the healthcare industry. The organization serves as an objective judge of how well healthcare staffing organizations verify the credentials and competencies of health care staff and how well they act as liaison between staff and clients. JCAHO also weighs leadership qualities of a healthcare staffing organization by reviewing their diligence in improving services. With JCAHO certification, clients now have a meaningful way to choose among providers.


First Assist was founded by operating room nurse Mary Richardson in 1986 in response to the need to create a pool of nurses who meet the highest standards of personal and professional competence. Richardson’s own experience inspired her to ensure that nurses who passed her stringent screening process were treated with warmth and professionalism, and offered a robust compensation package and generous terms of employment. She and her staff continually raise their own bar of excellence as they forge enduring relationships with their clients. For more information, please visit


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