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Dive into Flexibility: Exploring Internal Contracts with a Local Insourced Flex Team (LIFT) for Nurses

Let’s be real - travel nursing is awesome, BUT it requires a LOT of coordination to achieve the maximum benefits of top pay and flexibility. What if you could achieve most of the benefits of travel nursing with the job security of a staff nursing position? Have you considered joining an Internal Resource Pool (IRP) aka Local Insourced Flex Teams (LIFT)?

IRPs or LIFTs (Local Internal Flex Teams) are often linked to the term "float pool," but they are so much more than the float pools of years past. These new models are gaining traction in hospitals and healthcare systems, offering nurses an appealing alternative that combines the best of both travel nursing and traditional staff positions.

So, how can a LIFT help the nurse, the health system, AND the patients?

Freedom and Flexibility: LIFTs provide nurses with a menu of options that cultivate the ability to choose how and when you work. You get access to technology that shows you where the needs that match with your skills are, AND the ability to choose how you want to fill those needs, offering an escape from the rigidity of traditional staffing.

Diverse Experience: Swap monotonous routines for adventure! LIFTs allow you to explore different units, specialties, and patient populations within a healthcare system. LIFTs can also offer the opportunity to fluidly switch between working in a single unit for a set amount of time like a travel nurse (and then take a break) OR the ability to schedule shift to shift and be deployed to different units based on need to support safe staffing & fill gaps.

Competitive Pay: The agility LIFT provides for the healthcare system in its ability to respond to staffing needs often prevents the need to pay third party companies unsustainably high rates to provide travel nurses. Frequently, LIFT nurses receive compensation that is competitive with the blended or “all in” rate of a travel nurse in the same market, and if they are local, can do so without ever leaving home! The savings achieved by having a LIFT to reduce traveler needs enables the health system to give all staff RNs better pay.

Growth Opportunities: Many LIFTs offer continuing education and professional development opportunities. Enhance your skills, gain new ones, broaden your knowledge, climb the career ladder, and gain valuable experience you can use throughout your nursing journey to keep your practice dynamic.

Sounds great, right? But are there any drawbacks?

Unpredictable Schedule: While flexibility is a benefit, it can also mean fluctuating schedules and less routine. Be prepared to adapt to changing needs and last-minute requests.

Less Unit Cohesion: You might not develop the same sense of a “home unit” you would in a dedicated unit. While some LIFTs offer the choice of contracting with a single unit for up to 12 weeks (about 3 months), they often have parameters for how long a LIFT clinician can remain in one unit.

Finding the Right Fit: Not all LIFTs are created equal. Do your research to ensure the program aligns with your needs, preferences, and career goals.

Is an IRP the right fit for you?


  • Your personality: Do you thrive in dynamic environments and enjoy variety?
  • Your career goals: Do you seek diverse experience or hone specific expertise?
  • Your lifestyle: Will the IRP's schedule flexibility meet your personal needs? Ready to explore further?

Joining a LIFT can be a rewarding and enriching experience, offering flexibility, professional growth, and competitive pay. Weigh the pros and cons carefully, do your research, and make an informed decision that meets your unique needs and aspirations.

Learn more about LIFT opportunities and application process at enhancedstaffingsolutions.com.

Together, let's elevate healthcare for patients and professionals alike.

Happy exploring!

March 11, 2024/By Amanda Wheeler, RN, BSN, MBA
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Author: Amanda Wheeler, RN, BSN, MBA

Amanda brings a wealth of experience in hospital workforce management, having played a key role in developing and implementing an Internal Resource Pool for WellStar Health System and Emory Healthcare. In addition, she has been a crucial stakeholder in managing contingent labor/MSP programs, standardizing and centralizing VMS, MSP, and internal staffing & scheduling solutions, and working closely with HR and Nursing leaders. Amanda is a member of several nursing associations, including Nursing & Healthcare Associations, and is Six Sigma Yellow Belt certified.
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