When Shawn Ridgley was working as a nurse in the Critical Care Unit, he found dissatisfaction and challenges among fellow nurses, such as pay rate, autonomy, forced overtime and a lack of flexibility. He wanted to make sure that nurses were paid a fair wage, had access to flexible schedules and autonomy within their jobs. His solution was the creation of Critical Nurse Staffing, Inc. or CNS. CNS began offering intermittent staff contracts, 13-week assignments, 6-month assignments and often times a nurse can choose his/her work schedule.
Shawn continued working at the hospital and found another challenge; many of the same patients were returning to the hospital each month and staying for extended stays in the Telemetry and Critical Care Unit. After getting to know their backgrounds, Shawn saw a pattern in the frequent patients; a large majority of them previously worked in energy industries such as nuclear, coal and uranium mining. These patients were suffering from devastating diseases such as cancer, pneumoconiosis, silicosis, and asbestosis. With constant reoccurring hospital visits, patients, and their families become exhausted. Shawn wanted to find a way to help these people, and in 2006, CNS began staffing nurses in patient homes. “I know people thrive with their independence and their quality of life goes up with being in their own home,” says Shawn. Today CNS is enrolled with and works very closely with the Department of Labor to care for the Department’s former workers and contractors.
One of the many touching success stories of CNS is that “We had a local gentlemen that was told by his physician that he had 30 days to live,” tells Shawn. After working closely with the patient’s physician and providing 24-hour a day nursing care, the man’s health began to improve and far surpassed his 30-day expectancy. Two and a half years later, the patient receives a visit from a nurse a few times a week at his home and is able to live a relatively independent life. “It is a blessing and very rewarding to see the impact of personalized care in the home, and the effect that it has on the patient as well as the family. With these disease processes, our patients aren’t going to heal or get better. Our focus is to improve their quality of life and comfort through personal care and education about their illness ” says Shawn.
When hiring nurses, CNS looks beyond the ability to complete paperwork and administer medication. CNS searches for nurses that are able to provide sincere, compassionate care, and nurses that not only care for patients but their family members as well. “Our nurses are in clients homes, it is key that they are respectful in the homes they serve as well as show compassion and connect on a personal level with our families”, says Shawn.
Today CNS employs over 730 caregivers in 18 states with 12 different branches. “The Grand Valley has been a wonderful place to start and grow my business. Our local corporate office employs 43 healthcare professionals, all from the Grand Valley,” explains Shawn, who claims Grand Junction as home.
Networks Unlimited has had the pleasure of attending to CNS’s network, servers, providing anti- virus, patches, and backups. “It gives us peace of mind knowing that our IT and network systems are compliant, up to date, and have fluidity among programs, we haven’t always had that,” says Shawn. Mike Sisson, on-site computer support specialist says, “Networks has a high level of professionalism all the way around. They are an outstanding group of individuals to work with. “ Networks Unlimited is honored to support the hard work of Critical Nurse Staffing’s employees.