CHI Health introduces new travel program for health care workers

CHI Health introduced it's own traveling program to fight against shortages in health care workers.
Published: Apr. 12, 2022 at 9:22 PM CDT
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LINCOLN, Neb. (KOLN) - Health care facilities across the nation have struggled with staffing throughout the pandemic.

CHI Health is taking that problem into their own hands with a new program. It’s called the Midwest Internal Travel Program, and cuts out the traveling agency while keeping health care workers in the CHI system.

CHI said this last February, they spent more than $8 million on traveling nurses. Before the pandemic, they were spending $1.8 million.

It’s due to staffing shortages seen across the nation and hospitals relying on traveling agencies to fill the gaps.

CHI said they had the program on a smaller scale for years, and are now expanding it to nurses and other health care workers.

Travelers are full-time employees through CHI, and receive benefits as well as a traveler stipend.

“It has given me an opportunity to do stuff you wouldn’t be able to do in a normal even just travel position plus staying with the organization,” said traveling RN, Kate Syzmanski. “So I have my years behind me, I have my experience.”

The program allows travelers to work at CHI’s 28 hospitals for six to 12 weeks.

CHI said it’s a win-win as the program gives travelers opportunities, while keeping them in the system and saving the hospital money.

CHI said they hope to have a pool of 100 traveling employees for nursing, pharmacy, technicians and more. They are taking applications from those already employed by CHI as well as outside of the system.

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