App helping fill gaps during nationwide nursing shortage

LOS ANGELES: An app called Gale, named after nursing pioneer Florence Nightingale, is helping fill gaps during the current nursing shortage crisis nationwide.

Nurses say the nature of their job doesn’t allow them to work from home, but this app is a game changer in giving them more flexibility.

“I work as needed. I put in my availability and then they pick I pick up shifts as far as my availability goes,” said local nurses aide Gloria Kelch.

Kelch has been an STNA for 15 years and is going to school to become an RNA.

The mom and student has been using Gale for a year to give her more flexibility in the profession.

“So with school right now, I have about three days, four days of work a week. I work on the weekends and then a couple of days throughout the week, and it works well with my kids, because I set aside time with them and then with the lab as well,” Kelch said.

Flexibility was part of what the app’s founder and president, Tony Braswell, had in mind when developing the app in 2016.

“A nurse, unfortunately, is not able to work from home,” Braswell said.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, many nurses became burned out, so facilities desperate to find help became more open to the technology.

Today, more than 30% of nursing homes lack enough nurses and nurses aides.

Gale has more than 65,000 clinicians in its database and serves clients in 40 states, including Ohio.

About 2,500 nurses and nursing assistants in Cincinnati are now using an app.

One of the perks of the app users like most, same-day pay.

“We pay nurses within eight minutes, 15 minutes of getting off work, same day every day. So if you work 3-11, I’ll pay you tonight 11:30, 12 at night,” Braswell said.

The Gale app alerts clinicians about open shifts at local nursing homes and they can accept the job instantly.