With an aging baby boomer generation and statistics that place 55% of the RN workforce at retirement age, the nursing industry is ripe for a new incentive to fill the growing global nurse shortage. Cherie Kloss pioneered a new on-demand technology platform that cuts out the agency middle-man, allowing facilities to choose nurses directly and as-needed from a pool of pre-credentialed candidates. Already, it’s empowering nurses to take charge of their schedules, earn more money within their industry, and get paid faster. Healthcare organizations are also reaping the benefits with savings of 20-30% on the hiring process, as well as the ability to search for qualified nurses based on specific criteria and ratings.
We had an opportunity to interview Kloss and asked about her story, how she started her business and the future of SnapNurse.
Tell us your story. Why did you start your business?
I started my tech business because I was interested in the world of start-ups. I had just left the TV industry after 10 years as an Exec Producer and wanted to start anew in the tech field. My brother introduced me to some tech courses online, and I began the journey of learning everything I could about start-ups and scaling up tech businesses. My education background is in the medical field where I worked as a contract Anesthetist for 18 years, so I figured I should stay with what I knew in terms of picking a tech business to launch. There was only one major nurse agency business in the Atlanta market, and I knew there was room for improvement. I started SnapNurse as an online nurse agency connecting hospitals to nurses through an online platform. While running the business, I realized the headache of the credentialing process for a nurse was grueling, expensive, and time consuming. The fact that a nurse would have to do that everytime they went to a new nurse agency or hospital system was ridiculous! Timing was right for when blockchain technology was taking hold of the tech industry, and I decided to start a separate business of nurse credentialing on the blockchain (nursetoken.io) to help solve the problem. SnapNurse will be the first adopter of NurseToken, but NurseToken can operate outside of SnapNurse as well.
How did you come up with your business name?
I wanted to think of a name that people can remember, and “booking nurses in a snap!” (SnapNurse) is a good way of remembering the name.
Tell us about your products and services. How do you help clients?
With an aging baby boomer generation and statistics that place 55% of the RN workforce at retirement age, the nursing industry is ripe for a new incentive to fill the growing global nurse shortage. The new on-demand technology platform cuts out the agency middle-man, allowing facilities to choose nurses directly and as-needed from a pool of pre-credentialed candidates.
Already, it’s empowering nurses to take charge of their schedules, earn more money within their industry, and get paid faster. Healthcare organizations are also reaping the benefits with savings of 20-30% on the hiring process, as well as the ability to search for qualified nurses based on specific criteria and ratings.
What makes you unique? What is your unique selling proposition (USP)?
First, not many people have my unique combination of a medical background, paired with TV production experience. I started making use of my relationships in the healthcare and media industries to bring SnapNurse to life. Another distinctive factor is that we’re the very first company that will apply a blockchain software (nursetoken.io) for credentialing, allowing nurses to carry portable authorization passports for instant approval at new centers.
Where do you see your business in the next 3-5 years?
I hope to see SnapNurse utilized in every conceivable hospital, clinic and doctor’s office, across the globe. We launched in November 2017, and the platform had already welcomed hundreds of new nurses daily and is available nationwide in areas with the largest nursing shortages.
Any advice you would give to entrepreneurs and business owners?
Spend every investment dollar as if it came out of your own bank account – be frugal and lean. To business owners, never underestimate the importance of business culture and if someone doesn't fit – no matter their experience or value – it will cause problems.
What is your favorite business quote and why?
“Great things in business are never done by one person. They're done by a team of people”… Steve Jobs
I like this quote because although I have been involved in many businesses, I've experienced failure and it's usually because of cracks in the team dynamic that doom it to failure. On the flip side, when a team trusts each other, and has each other's back, is open to fighting fairly, gives feedback appropriately, understands quirky personality traits of each member, and has the same “work til it's done” – sense of urgency- attitude, then it's MAGIC.
What have been some of your achievements that you are most proud of? Why?
I have been on my own since the age of 15 when my parents split and I decided to be on my own. I managed to get a college education, and a master's degree resulting in a great job as an Anesthetist. However, I always wanted to do something in Hollywood, and I remember passing by the Discovery Channel building in Century City and yelling out the window saying, “I am going to be producing for you someday!” Fast forward to 10 years later and even without a degree in film and television, I had closed 30 network deals, about half of those from the Discovery network. Tiring of the reality TV scene, I decided that I wanted to enter into the tech industry and starting reading and studying voraciously about tech startups, took online courses from Stanford and Harvard (that are free online!) and started on the journey to launching SnapNurse. What I realized from TV, is that success is all dependent on YOUR initiative, and you don't need fancy degrees to get you where you need to be…you just need a whole lotta hustle and self-initiative.
I tell my life story not to brag, but to encourage others who may think they have an excuse not to start a company or venture out into a new field, citing they came from a bad family, no money, no education, bills to pay, kids to raise, no free time, no open doors, etc etc. There are no excuses.
The only excuse is maybe you want an easier life, and if that's the reason, then that is a good excuse…having your own business or being a CEO, is not an easy life.
Anything else additional you want to tell our readers?
Don't take the title CEO too lightly. Being a CEO means waking up in cold sweats about the next round of funding, staring at your phone at 3 am reading emails, crying over having to fire someone that has become a close friend, worrying about legal matters and image control, and living somewhat of a lonely existence due to so much travel. I do think that both male and female CEO's have to accept the ugly truth that their personal and family lives will suffer…don't kid yourself. Accept the CEO position, but do it with your eyes wide open. There's no way to success in those first few years of a start-up, that will allow you to lead a normal life in any way whatsoever…friends will be mad at you, your kids will cry and moan over the change in lifestyle, your significant other will likely be totally fed up with your absence, and you'll get fat from eating out and sitting at your computer and meetings all day. That's been my experience, so if you want the raw truth, that's what it is. But even the worst day at SnapNurse and NurseToken beats working the same ‘ol job barely remembering what you even did that day, so I wouldn't trade it for the world.