To End the Nursing Shortage, Gale Healthcare Foundation Advances Tech to Expand Free Nursing Education
“This generous gift from the Gale Healthcare Foundation will help us expand our training program virtually, so people in underserved communities can also have the opportunity to start a new career in the nursing industry,” said Chris Palevich, Market President of Premier Nursing Academy.
Right now, Premier’s training is available only to Florida students in person at its Bradenton and Pinellas Park locations. With Gale’s donation, the goal is to develop an online learning platform, so people who don’t live near a training center are able to start the program remotely, adding in-person sessions later as they advance through the program. It’s a key step to train more certified nursing assistants (CNAs) and help end Florida’s nursing shortage.
“At Gale, we’re creating technology to help solve workforce challenges. We’re proud to help Premier expand their own technology to give more students the opportunity to enter the nursing profession,” said Tony Braswell, President and Founder of Gale Healthcare Solutions and Chair of the Gale Healthcare Foundation.
Tony Braswell has spent his career working in nursing staffing and founded a health-tech company called Gale, which has been called “the Uber of nursing.” It allows nurses to work when and where they want. Healthcare providers post their staffing needs, then nurses select the shifts they want in real-time and get paid through the app right after they finish work.
“Gale was founded with the mission of ensuring no person goes without care. Our technology is making a tremendous difference, connecting nurses and healthcare providers so more care is possible. But solving the nursing shortage means we must also train more nurses. That’s why we launched the Gale Healthcare Foundation—to advance nursing education—and we’re proud to help Premier expand its innovative model that makes it easier for students to take that first step and start their nursing career,” Braswell added.
The Nursing Shortage in Florida and the US
Access to nursing training is critical, especially as Florida’s population ages. Nursing homes across the US face a staffing crisis that’s forcing some to close their doors and more than half to turn away potential residents. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, 280,000 employees at long-term care facilities have quit since the start of the pandemic. In fact, one out of every eight employees at long-term care facilities quit in the two years following the pandemic. Many of these caregivers are CNAs, who provide 80 to 90 percent of direct care for long-term care patients and make up 40 percent of nursing home staff.
Premier Nursing Academy seeks to remove the biggest barrier to becoming a CNA: the cost of education and certification. The academy provides free training to qualifying students by having health care employers cover the cost for the six-week training program, which is about $3,000 per student. In return, students continue working with their employer sponsors in CNA roles for a designated amount of time after they complete the training.