Case Study: Southeast Health's Innovative Staffing Transformation

February 9, 2024
 minute read
 minute audio


In 2018, Southeast Health grappled with an impending nursing shortage, acutely aware of its potential impact on patient care. It became evident that the existing recruitment strategies were falling short, both in terms of cost effectiveness and efficiency. Efforts to tap into the local and regional pool of nurses yielded limited success. Extending the search beyond their market presented its own set of challenges, leaving essential positions unfilled. Complicating matters further, Southeast encountered difficulties in staffing hard-to-fill specialties, compounding the strain on their healthcare delivery.

Realizing the urgent need for a strategic shift, Southeast explored alternative staffing solutions. Their goal was not merely to fill immediate gaps, but to create a sustainable, long-term solution that could ensure stability in a dynamic healthcare landscape.

System Details

  • 420-bed regional referral center
  • 3,000 employees
  • 775 registered nurses
  • They’ve earned a top reputation in the region for diagnostic, clinical, surgical and patient care services


Southeast tackled its staffing challenges through a strategic partnership with Health Carousel, resulting in a tailored staffing solution and the creation of a successful international program.

With long-term assignments for international nurses, Southeast not only secured stability and diversity, but also fostered a sense of community integration, echoing the hospital's commitment to making their staff feel like they are part of the family.

Health Carousel helped Southeast build their international program, focusing on inclusion, support, training, and career advancement. This approach transformed Southeast into a sought-after destination for internationally educated nurses. To attract top talent, Southeast developed a website for international nurses, which included the community’s history, available housing, shopping, entertainment, and schools.

Southeast is a teaching hospital, providing nurses with the unique opportunity to specialize in a variety of medical disciplines. This includes hands-on training alongside fellow nursing colleagues and collaboration with physician students and residents affiliated with the Alabama College of Osteopathic Medicine.

Building on the success of the international program, Southeast expanded its staffing solutions to include a managed workforce program, incorporating domestic nurses through a Vendor Management System (VMS) platform. This technology-driven approach provides Southeast with a dedicated account manager and 24/7 access to a central hub containing vital information on candidates, open positions, finances, and cost-benefit ratios.


Thanks to this comprehensive initiative, Southeast Health has greater control over its operating budget and streamlined their staffing process. The hospital has become a sought-after destination for international nurses while fostering a genuine sense of community among its staff. Health Carousel helped Southeast expand their international nursing team to 120, which is complemented by the strategic use of domestic nurses to fill immediate needs and bridge the gap until international nurses arrive.

At the heart of this transformative journey is a tech-driven and transparent workforce solution that provides real-time data on candidate pipelines and predictive analytics. Designed specifically for healthcare leaders, this platform empowers Southeast to strategically plan assignments, optimize budgets, and promptly communicate staffing needs to leadership. Through these strategic endeavors, Southeast has not only overcome staffing challenges, but has also positioned itself as an innovative and inclusive leader in a dynamic healthcare landscape.

Health Carousel has played a vital role in achieving an impressive 11% reduction in Southeast’s contingent labor costs. This was achieved by reducing their reliance on premium labor costs, transitioning to lower bill rates, and enhancing workforce stability through the integration of international nurses. All this was achieved while improving patient care and driving profitability.

As part of the collaboration, Health Carousel further contributes to Southeast's success by providing domestic nurses to efficiently fill immediate openings and bridge the transition until international nurses arrive.

"Our mission is focused on ensuring the wellness of our communities and the people that we serve. Health Carousel took the time to get to know our facility and what we needed. Partnering with them, understanding that they are aligned with us in our mission, was significant for our ability to be successful." 
- Melissa Owens, RN, BSN, CNO & VP, Patient Care Services for Southeast Health

To hear more from Melissa, watch the full testimonial video here.

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About Health Carousel

Health Carousel is committed to partnering with world-class healthcare facilities across the country, providing rewarding assignments for Registered Nurses and Allied Health Professionals, and attracting the best internal talent at all career levels.