Travel Nurse Across America recently bought a mobile app company to make it easier for nurses to pick up extra shifts.
TNAA, the North Little Rock provider of clinical and allied workers to more than 3,300 hospitals nationwide, purchased Stogo of San Antonio in the middle of July for an amount that wasn’t publicly disclosed.
Stogo’s app is similar to Uber’s, but instead of connecting drivers to riders, Stogo joins hospitals that have open shifts with nurses who want to work them. The nurses are screened before they can accept shifts.
“Health systems have continued to be short-staffed,” said James Quick, president of Simplifi, which offers staffing services to health systems and is a division of TNAA. “This gives us a platform where we can connect local caregivers to health systems and in a way that we haven’t before.”
Stogo also allows health systems to offer their open shifts to their employees. “So in other words, if it’s a hospital network, nurses from across town that work within the system might come over and pick up a shift at a different hospital,” Quick said.
Nurses are expected to fill more than 100,000 shifts this year through Stogo’s app, he said.
In the fall, Quick said, he plans to introduce Stogo to health systems in Arkansas and hopes it will be in place next year.
The app is available in about eight states, but Quick said that more states are planned. Other plans include offering shifts for other health care professionals.
“We have goals to more than double the business as we exit 2024,” Quick said. “So we have aggressive, short-term goals. We think the condition in the market is right.”
In 2022, TNAA’s revenue was $1.01 billion, an increase of nearly 55% from the previous year and ranking it No. 17 on Arkansas Business’ list of the state’s 75 largest private companies.
Stogo was founded by Heather Anderson and Patrick Halinski, two acute care hospital executives who wanted to help address the nursing shortage.
“The cultural fit and aligned vision for the platform were two of the most compelling factors about joining TNAA,” the founders said in a news release.
Quick said Stogo’s platform complements TNAA’s travel nurse service.
There will be times when there are workforce shortages that require hiring travel nurses, who typically work for 13 weeks. But in other cases, if the health system can hire local nurses to fill the shifts, it would be less expensive than hiring a travel nurse.
While the demand for travel nurses now is more than it was before the pandemic, the need is about half of what it was compared with this time a year ago, Quick said. During the pandemic, about 100,000 nurses left the profession.
But the demand for nurses might surge in the coming weeks and months. “We are all anxiously waiting to see what’s going to happen this fall,” Quick said. “We’re starting to see some uptick with COVID and flu … in the country.”
In the meantime, health systems are looking for ways to cut expenses and hope to avoid using travel nurses.
“That’s why this Stogo acquisition is exciting for us,” Quick said. “It gives us a chance to diversify our business and meet the needs of our customers, who are the health systems.”