CHI Health program will keep nurses in Nebraska, alleviate staffing shortages

LINCOLN, Neb. (KLKN) – A program from CHI Health will help get nurses to local hospitals dealing with staffing shortages, while also keeping them in Nebraska.

Many local health care facilities have dealt with staffing shortages over the last two years due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Midwest Internal Travel Program will help solve staffing shortages at the 28 CHI Health hospitals across the Midwest.

The program will have nurses and other health care workers on six to 12-week assignments at different hospitals.

Workers will receive full-time pay, a traveler rate, a stipend, vacation hours, insurance and a 401K.

“So we believe this is going to be a win-win or is a win-win with our employees and our entire health system,” said Timothy Plante, division vice president at CHI Health.  “We are able to cut the costs of outside traveling agencies and get to work with our own talent pool and reward our own employees and give them the opportunity they have been looking for.”

CHI Health spent around $800 million on outside traveling nurse services to help solve staffing shortages during the pandemic.

The program will help alleviate a lot of the costs associated with these outside services.

“So obviously this model is not sustainable, so we had to get creative and give our own workers and workers seeking that travel lifestyle an opportunity to do it with the benefit of working with a company that they know and trust,” said Plante.

One of the nurses already in the program, Benae Ingram, said the program has been perfect for her.

“You gotta get out and find your joy, and I found my joy here and it makes it worth it,” Ingram said.  “Pay is one thing, but the community is more important, and everywhere I’ve gone here in Nebraska, I’ve felt a sense of community.”

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