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Joe Novello '04

Photo of Joe NovelloFounder, CEO of NurseGrid

Major: Nursing

Entrepreneurship is about seeing problems and finding solutions. That process translates into companies and start-ups like NurseGrid, which was founded to solve nursing scheduling issues through a real-time communication tool.

I started my first company, a corporate health and safety company, in my dorm room, but it was after entering nursing that I became frustrated with the operational inefficiencies within healthcare. I began developing the idea and writing a business plan for NurseGrid, which officially began in 2013 with five employees. We now have 35.

The NurseGrid Mobile app allows nurses to set their own schedules, communicate with colleagues, swap work shifts, and manage their nursing certifications. My goal is to give hospitals tools to drive down the costs associated with nurse scheduling and staffing. We now have 450,000 users— ten percent of the nursing workforce.

Our newest project, NurseGrid Manager, allows nurse managers to use a tool to connect and communicate with nurses in their departments. We have several hundred users now, and I want NurseGrid to be ubiquitous in the world of nursing—not because nurses are required to adopt it, but because our solution truly solves communication, scheduling, and staffing issues.

The University’s nursing program and the Franz Center for Entrepreneurship, Leadership, and Innovation prepared me to be both a leader and an entrepreneur. Even though I can no longer work part-time in nursing, I consider myself a nurse first and foremost.

NurseGrid was recognized by Portland Business Journal as one of fifteen “Small Business Innovation Award” winners in 2016. 

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