A Message to Fellow Nurses from NurseGrid Founder, Joe Novello

NurseGrid has been and always will be an app for nurses, by nurses. Founder & CEO Joe Novello discusses his experiences both in and out of the hospital.
NurseGrid Blog

To My Fellow Nurses,

I am excited to write to all of our loyal followers and introduce myself.  I am the Founder and CEO of NurseGrid, a nurse-facing app that my Team and I have been tirelessly building—for you and for our own colleagues.

My story starts in the early 1980s when I was a young child.  As a child of two healthcare parents, some of my earliest memories are in the back of ambulances, in small rural emergency departments, and climbing around on fire engines; I even recall sitting in For nurses, by nursesthe back of my mom’s nursing school courses when the babysitter wasn’t available.  I began volunteering at a local hospital as a teenager and quickly realized that nursing was my vocation.  During high school, I went to night school at a community college to qualify to become an EMT; soon thereafter got a job as an ED Tech and as an EMT on a 911 ALS ambulance, both of which I worked while obtaining my BSN at the University of Portland (Go Pilots!).  I love the nursing profession—I always have and I always will.

But, let me rewind a bit further…. As soon as I was old enough to push a lawnmower I began mowing my parents lawn; I quickly realized that there were many more lawns on the block that needed mowing and I quickly began subscribing my neighbors to my services; I soon had much of the neighborhood as well as several deals with local businesses—enough business that many of the neighborhood kids helped me service the customers.  I did not realize it at the time, but I later found out I had a deep passion for entrepreneurship.

During my University experience, I was lucky to be invited to participate in the University’s Center for Entrepreneurship.  During that time, I started a small CPR company out of my college room; after college, that company grew quickly and became a national leader in its space, and was later acquired.

Though much of my adult life has been spent around business, I have never been able to walk away from nursing completely—I love it too much (I actually dream about patient care if I am away too long).  I have been fortunate to have such interesting positions and projects in and out of hospitals across the West Coast and have worked with many great nurses and nurse leaders.

However, since you are a nurse, you know that the profession is not without its frustrations.  One of my biggest frustrations has been around the lack of tools to help us, and our nurse leaders, run smooth, efficient departments—and in particular, having the right amount of staff at the right time (we all know the feeling of being understaffed with high census).  At NurseGrid headquarters, my Team and I are constantly working to improve our operational efficiencies as a means to optimize our propensity for success; this is a philosophy to which most successful organizations subscribe.  That said, it is a philosophy that doesn’t always seem to work its way through hospital systems—at least historically speaking.  My second biggest frustration is that much of the technology we use as nurses were clearly not designed for us, the end-user, in mind.

Enter NurseGrid.

Since 2005, I have spent a lot of time digging into the workflow around nurse communication, scheduling, staffing and recruiting. Over the years, I have been trying to think about how I could make the biggest impact for nurses and nurse leaders around these problems.

The ultimate conclusion was to start with a mobile app that would be useful to an individual nurse and exponentially more useful as a nurse invites colleagues into their network; this could then be paired with an optional nurse manager dashboard, which ultimately closes the communication loop between nurses and nurse leaders, in real time.

Over the last year, I have been carefully building a Team, mostly comprised of healthcare entrepreneurs (those who have both worked in healthcare and have started companies); talking to hundreds of nurses and nurse leaders; and, working with our technology team to create a solution that makes our lives better. I am excited to announce that launch is now just around the corner.

A massive thanks to the thousands of nurses who have given us input, followed us on social media and signed up to be one of the first NurseGrid users. Given that this solution is for you, I hope that you feel free to reach out to me personally with questions, feedback, or just to connect to say ‘hello’. I can be reached by email, LinkedIn or Twitter.

We look forward to a long relationship with you and our colleagues.


— Joe 

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Zach Smith

Zach Smith

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