Many staffing platforms have emulated the popular models of Tinder or Uber - fast, convenient, handheld - but connectRN has teetered into different territory: aggregator - and one created to connect nurses with health care facilities nearly on-demand.
“Look at how you used to book flights, before KAYAK and Orbitz came along,” company Co-Founder and CEO Michael Wood said. “You’d contact American [Airlines] or Delta to find the right flight at the right price at the right time. Then, people got smart, and technologies came along to find the right flight for you, sifting through different data points and presenting them in a way that is digestible. I believe we do the same thing for nurses.”
Wood’s startup is a platform designed to bridge the long-existing staffing gap between nurses and hospitals (plus other care facilities, like assisted living centers). Registered nurses can sign up on connectRN and—once they submit documents, take a checklist and “competency quiz” and, if hired, receive training on how to use the software—use an app to sign up for open shifts listed by health care facilities on the platform. On the facilities side, staffing managers can track open shifts and review nurses’ requests to fill them.
Wood Co-Founded connectRN with Idriz Limaj back in 2014, when it existed as “sort of a side hustle,” he said. It wasn’t until the end of 2017 that connectRN began working with clients. Wood now heads up the company as CEO; Limaj is listed as a founder. Four other people work at the startup in high-level roles.
To date, connectRN has disclosed just over $11.5 million in equity and debt. The money comes from a variety of angel investing rounds. The latest one, Wood said, was a Series A round led by Jeffery Boyd, former CEO and current chair of Priceline. That money will allow Waltham-based connectRN to expand nationally.
“We currently have 1,000 nurses working for us,” Wood said. “We’ve identified 50 markets across the United States that have facility density and population density to support a model like ours. Our goal is to expand to all 50 of those. At the same time, we are mainly in the long-term nursing home space right now. Our goal is to push up into the acute care space and help hospitals build out and manage resource pools that we can spread across metro markets.”
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