The Silicon Review
The healthcare workforce in America has been stretched for a while, and the COVID-19 pandemic put the spotlight on this. Considering the country’s baby-boom generation is getting older, the strain on the healthcare system will only become graver. When it comes to nurses, we will need over a million new nurses by 2030.
Having worked in the healthcare industry, Cherie Kloss realized how broken the sector’s credentialing and hiring process was. So, in 2017, she created SnapNurse to ultimately help solve the world’s critical nursing shortage. With more than 300,000 registered nurses serving over 1,000 partnered facilities, SnapNurse’s staffing technology fills short-term nursing vacancies in less than 48 hours, a departure from the 14-day average of traditional staffing agencies.
The company has grown exponentially since its founding. As the only business of its kind, the company logged meteoric growth during the pandemic, expanding sales by more than 77,000% in 12 months. SnapNurse’s Q1 2020 to Q1 2021 growth rate of 40,000% is one of the fastest growth rates of any company in any industry in recorded history.
Recently, The Silicon Review got in touch with SnapNurse founder and CEO Cherie Kloss to learn more about how the company has innovated the healthcare industry, which has helped the company log such impressive numbers within five years. Read on for the excerpts from the interview.
Q. What was the motivation behind starting SnapNurse?
I founded this company to offer a more efficient way to connect nurses to healthcare job opportunities via a technology platform. Before starting SnapNurse, I worked as an anesthetist for more than 18 years. As a healthcare worker, I realized how difficult it was to land on-request nursing gigs and felt frustrated with the industry’s broken credentialing and hiring process. SnapNurse helps solve the critical nursing shortage by connecting nurses to empty shifts and jobs.
Q. What are the challenges in healthcare staffing currently? How are you helping the sector address it?
In early 2021, states began to deploy large numbers of rescue medical staff—travel nurses—to hospitals, long-term care facilities and mass vaccination sites across the country. While the demand for nurses skyrocketed throughout the pandemic due to the sheer number of people who needed treatment for COVID-19 , another 20% of nurses walked away from the profession.
We have to do something to keep nurses from leaving the profession. We see nurses choosing travel agencies because they can try working in different hospitals and have the flexibility to take time off in between gigs. SnapNurses are making enough money to buy their first homes or pay for their kids to go to college—dreams that were previously unattainable.
All nurses deserve more pay, and the market is driving wages higher. If hospitals don’t pay nurses well, you will continue to see nurse shortages. Fewer nurses will enter the profession when they can make more in other careers. To solve the shortage, the nursing industry must become more accessible and offer better incentives. We need more nursing schools, more scholarships, higher entry-level salaries, and cross-education of nurses who want to switch into specialties with higher shortages.
We have to look at long-term solutions now, such as creating a more team-oriented approach, and bringing in paramedics, EMTs, and CNAs to help decrease the task burdens of specialized nurses, freeing them to do more advanced patient care. This could also help reduce hospital spending, and nurses would welcome this approach to make their lives easier.
Q. What makes SnapNurse relevant in today’s times? Could you give us some context?
We have been caring for COVID-19 patients for over two years now.Since 2020, our incredibly diverse workforce has grown from 10,000 nurses to more than 300,000 healthcare workers.
We have deployed more than 20,000 nurses to COVID-19 crisis assignments. SnapNurses have vaccinated more than four million people, including more than 50,000 children aged 12 and older. Our nurses have been deployed to 38 states and cared for tens of millions of patients.
Q. How do you differentiate yourself in the healthcare staffing space?
In the last two years, our platform has grown to more than 300,000 registered nurses serving over 1,000 partnered healthcare facilities. Because of our nimble technology, we’re able to fill nursing vacancies in less than 48 hours. This is a process that traditionally takes about 14 days otherwise. Because of this, we’ve logged meteoric growth—expanding sales by more than 77,000% in 12 months. In fact, SnapNurse’s Q1 2020 to Q1 2021 growth rate of 40,000% is one of the fastest growth rates of any company in any industry in recorded history.
Q. Could you tell us about your experience of working throughout the pandemic?
Deploying thousands of nurses throughout the country during COVID-19 felt like sending them onto the battlefield. In the early days, PPE was scarce, and hospitals were overwhelmed. SnapNurses worked 60 plus hours a week to help. Nurses were also getting sick. It was an emotionally traumatic experience to see so much death and sickness day after day. Many of the nurses who quit during the pandemic left largely due to the fact that the experience was too much to handle. Travel nurses were paid well, but they suffered emotional trauma that money can’t solve.
Q. How do you define the work culture at SnapNurse?
At SnapNurse, we pride ourselves on our dynamic hustle culture. We hire self-motivated, ambitious and dedicated individuals who want to keep advancing in their careers. Our employees are creating a future for themselves and their families. We invest in our employees and recognize them for their hard work.
Q. What does the road ahead look like for SnapNurse?
In the future, SnapNurse will continue to provide vital partnerships to hospitals to alleviate staffing shortages and help grow the number of registered nurses. We will partner with hospitals to provide them with technology to manage their own internal pool and book SnapNurses when their float pool is not available. We are launching into home care soon. Another upcoming initiative is to provide re-skilling programs for nurses who want to change specialties. We do this in partnership with hospitals in exchange for a one-year commitment from the SnapNurse to work at their facility.
About the Leader
Cherie Kloss is the Founder and Chief Executive Officer of SnapMedTech, the parent company for SnapNurse, the largest tech-forward healthcare staffing platform in the U.S, and its technology brands InstaStaff and Paymint.
Cherie, who served as an anesthetist for 18 years, founded SnapNurse to offer a more efficient ecosystem for healthcare systems and nurses to work together. She realized how broken the industry’s credentialing and hiring process was, so she created the company to ultimately help solve the critical nursing shortage.
With more than 20 years of experience in the healthcare industry, Cherie guides the SnapMedTech family, building technologies and service businesses around the automation of booking, credentialing, and payment processes crucial to healthcare staffing.
Cherie holds a bachelor’s in biology and premed from Westmont College and a master’s degree from Emory University School of Medicine. In 2021, Cherie was named an EY Entrepreneur of the Year National Award Winner.