Hononegah graduate creates app to help with nursing shortage

Tanner Gilles creates an online market place that allows nurses to pick up shifts at hospitals experiencing staff shortages.
Published: Feb. 2, 2022 at 10:29 PM CST
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ROCKFORD, Ill. (WIFR) - An idea that benefits both local healthcare facilities, and nurses. A Hononegah graduate created an online platform where nurses can pick up shifts at hospitals or other facilities that are experiencing a shortage of staff.

Tanner Gilles was working at a healthcare staffing agency, when he got the idea to create PT Nurse. “They had a CNA call in for a shift with late notice, and in a room just like this...they had 5 people pick up the phone to start calling other CNAs,” said Gilles. “I thought to my self there really had to be a better way to get the word out there to CNA’s and other healthcare professionals, of all the shifts available in the area.”

The app currently has more than 400 healthcare workers that are offering services to about 60 facilities, in Illinois and Wisconsin. “They’ll have the opportunity to pick up and work shifts, and help out with the nursing shortage and the healthcare staffing shortage,” said Gilles.

Beloit Health System Chief Nursing Officer Sharon Cox said the nursing shortage has put a major strain on her staff. It has been an all hands on deck situation. “You can see it in their eyes too, they are here for the patients...but people are tired,” said Cox.

In the last 20 years of her career, Cox said they have seen some of the highest number of patients admitted for care on top of the limited amount of staff.

“If you can call somebody and say, hey do you need a (blank) nurse, and they say yeah, absolutely that will help.... you’re always thinking of the patient first,” said Cox. “On the other hand, you have to think about it business wise.”

Gilles said they are mostly focused on nursing homes, rehab facilities and assisted living communities because he finds they have the highest demand for immediate staff. He added it is very easy for those interested to get involved in the program. Nurses can download the app, create a profile, and submit the required documents, followed by an interview with a Nurse Recruiter.

PT Nurse is currently only available in Illinois and Wisconsin, but they are working on getting licensed in Arizona, Michigan, and Minnesota to expand their services.

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