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Health System’s Internal Travel Agency Program Gives Nurses What They Want: Flexibility and Options

Bon Secours Mercy Well being’s Nursing Flex Staff provides nurses ‘a chance to benefit from the geography, dimension, and complexity of our well being system,’ CNO says. 

A singular nurse staffing program at Bon Secours Mercy Health (BSMH) serves as an inner journey company program, of types, offering nurses extra flexibility and decisions about how and the place they advance and progress throughout the well being system.

The Nursing Flex Staff is split into three tiers, says Andrea Mazzoccoli, RN, PhD, FAAN, the Cincinnati, Ohio, well being system’s chief nurse and high quality officer. Tier 1 is essentially the most conventional, the place nurses keep inside their facility or a single geographic space and flex by both staying inside their specialty or studying new specialties.

Tier 2, which was added about 18 months in the past, provides nurses extra flexibility in area and geography.

“If a nurse is having fun with our Richmond [Virginia] market, they’re able to have concentrated and assigned intervals in numerous sorts of models throughout the entire amenities inside that market,” Mazzoccoli says.

Tier 3, launched simply throughout the previous few months, permits nurses to take assignments throughout the well being system’s 13 markets in 5 states: Ohio, Virginia, South Carolina, Florida, and Kentucky.

“We’re most enthusiastic about our Tier 3 program, as a result of it’s a means that we afford nurses a chance to benefit from the geography, dimension, and complexity of our well being system, Mazzoccoli says. “They now have the chance to have assignments throughout our ministry in any of the markets and in any of the amenities. These assignments vary very like you see in conventional traveler applications, the place it goes for eight, 12, and 16 weeks, and the place they discuss to us about their profession pathway development and decisions, the place they’d wish to have assignments, and what sorts of issues they’re trying to expertise inside our ministry.”

BSMH focused about 100 nurses to start out this system and about 75 are at present in this system, she stated.

Mazzoccoli spoke with HealthLeaders about how the Nursing Flex Staff is working at BSMH.

This transcript has been calmly edited for size and readability.

HealthLeaders: How does the flex program profit the nurses?

Andrea Mazzoccoli: It permits our nurses to remain inside our ministry of a faith-based group setting. It additionally permits the nurses to keep up their compensation, tenure, and repair throughout the ministry.

Nurses have the chance to decide on whether or not they need to keep within the unit or division they got here from, or journey. They will take a break and say, “Over the subsequent 12 months for 12 weeks, I would actually wish to go to Greenville, South Carolina, the place now we have a bone marrow transplant unit and see what that is likely to be wish to work there.”

Our nurses aren’t essentially constrained by what sort of expertise they have already got, as a result of we assist nurses in constructing their expertise. They could attempt totally different specialties, or they might keep of their specialty and take a look at totally different sorts of medical areas.

Maybe, for instance, now we have ED nurses who’ve by no means labored in a trauma ED however with the flex program, they will go and expertise assignments in Toledo [Ohio] the place there is a level-one trauma ED and see how that matches when it comes to their profession path and development.

HL: What do the nurses take into consideration this system?

Mazzoccoli: One of the thrilling issues is their alternative to remain inside in our ministry and have a lot of totally different sorts of expertise based mostly on their selection and their time. At one time, in the event that they wished to have these sorts of experiences, they must select to depart the ministry to journey. Now they’ve that chance as a part of our personal portfolio.

The opposite half is that introduction of exterior touring and company [nurses] is delicate and generally tough when it comes to the acculturation that occurs. Nurses see [the flex program] as a means during which they’re supported by our personal nurses—nurses who come dedicated to our mission and our imaginative and prescient and our values, who already know what it is like and what it means to be a Mercy Well being nurse.

HL: What sort of outcomes are you seeing from the flex staffing program?

Mazzoccoli: We’ve had our exterior company nurses choose to affix our personal inner touring program. That’s an enormous step in and of itself.

We actually are seeing, fortunately, a downward development in our resignations and our turnover. There are actually a lot of issues that we’re engaged on, so I would not say that this program is essentially the one single factor, however in our portfolio what we’re , significantly for recruitment and retention, are issues that afford nurses mobility and adaptability and many selection in their very own design of their staffing and scheduling.

HL: New nurse turnover is a specific problem, with newly licensed RN turnover charges reaching 30% their first 12 months and practically 60% by their second 12 months, in response to research. Is the flex program serving to BSMH maintain onto its new nurses?

Mazzoccoli: This is likely one of the ways in which we’re affording them with alternatives. If another new nurses can choose to do that, maybe in a smaller geographic space simply to get a style of various sorts of experiences, both inside a facility or market earlier than they make a selection, that can assist new nurses get a real-life lived expertise earlier than they make the selection.

Typically what we hear from the brand new nurses that select a unit is, “That’s probably not what I believed it was going to be.” It’s not been lengthy sufficient but for us to actually say that it’s serving to us to carry onto new nurses, however it can proceed to be a consider the place nurses select to work for us and the choices they’ve.


Carol Davis is the Nursing Editor at HealthLeaders, an HCPro model.

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