Nursing shortage: Hospitals turn to apps to fill shifts

  • The apps fill gaps offering nurses shifts with higher pay and shorter hours
  • Hospitals: "Ordering qualified nurses on demand” offers high patient care
  • Over 100K nurses left the field since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic

CHICAGO (NewsNation) — The nation’s largest hospital systems are using technology to enter the gig economy, to address nursing shortages.

Organizations like Providence Health have used apps to address the labor shortage and have said “ordering qualified nurses on demand,” helps them to provide a high level of care to patients.

Apps like CareRev and ShiftKey allow hospitals to offer shifts with higher pay and shorter hours. This allows nurses more flexibility, freedom and control to call their own shots and salary. Some get paid triple their normal hourly rate while stepping into much-needed staffing shortfalls.

Mark Smith, Providence Health’s workforce strategy leader, told NewsNation that the app has helped fill shifts across their 51 hospitals and 800 clinics, and it has allowed the company to put nurses into 13,000 available shifts.

“We make sure the nurses who work through the app are thoroughly vetted and have the licenses and certifications required to work on the nursing unit they’re receiving training to work on, just like our own caregivers do,” Smith explained. “At Providence, we’ve found that nurses taking assignments through the app fill six shifts per month.”

Providence Health said this approach has been successful, and it plans to expand opportunities to additional hospitals and nursing homes.

More than 1000,000 registered nurses have left the field since the start of the coronavirus pandemic. Nurse employment dropped drastically between 2020 to 2021 due to the strain and stress of the coronavirus pandemic. Some left to earn more money or retired or left the field altogether. It marked the largest decline in four decades, according to the Health Affairs Journal.


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