Inspira Health: Creating an Easy Path Toward a Healthcare Career


With a workforce of over 6,800 people, Inspira Health is not only one of the leading providers of high-quality medical care in South Jersey – it’s one of the region’s largest employers. Inspira President/CEO Amy Mansue says bringing new team members to Inspira – and addressing the needs of current staff – is always a priority. The health system’s new partnership with Rowan College of South Jersey (RCSJ) will provide staff members with long-lasting benefits.

With its 3 largest campuses located in Gloucester, Salem and Cumberland counties, Mansue says the recently formed partnership with RCSJ is a major step forward. It creates pathways for people already working at Inspira to go to school at little to no cost, and provides scholarship opportunities for others pursuing a healthcare-related degree. It also creates more collaboration between Inspira healthcare professionals and the college’s teaching staff.

Mansue says the partnership addresses some of the obstacles that have prevented talented people from seeking jobs in healthcare, especially in Salem and Cumberland counties – rural areas where poverty and lower levels of education have presented many challenges.

Inspira’s $2 million contribution to the initiative will significantly reduce the costs for Inspira employees at RCSJ, while expanding scholarship opportunities for community members.

“We take very seriously the responsibility to do everything we can to drive economic development and create attractive jobs for people who live in our communities,” says Mansue. “We’re always thinking about where our future employees will be coming from and our role in preparing them for rewarding careers.”

“This partnership speaks to the impact we want to make more broadly across the region,” says Mansue.

The unprecedented collaboration is already in motion, expanding degree and certification offerings in nursing, behavioral and allied health for students at the College’s Cumberland and Gloucester campuses. Inspira’s $2 million contribution to the initiative will help fund scholarships and create new programs when needs are identified. That, combined with incentives Inspira offers its own employees, will make college more affordable to all employees.

“Nursing is a huge priority for us,” Mansue says. “We have lots of folks who came in as LPNs or medical assistants, and they really want to go on to become a registered nurse. RCSJ is uniquely positioned because of its relationship with Rowan University. We think it’s a win-win all the way around. It’s an investment in the community to be able to support the college as well as the investment in our employees.”

“And a large part of our commitment is that we’re going to work with our employees on creating a flexible schedule that will allow them to balance work, life and school,” she adds.

Already Inspira employees are taking full advantage of the new offerings. Among them, Sylvia, a receptionist who has been with Inspira for more than 2 years, is finally able to pursue her dream of becoming a registered nurse. She’s enrolled in RCSJ’s Pathway to Nursing program, designed to prepare students to enter the College’s nursing program.

“I had given up on the idea of becoming a nurse because I could not afford paying for school anymore and was beginning to feel like I was getting too old for it,” says Sylvia, 45, the mother of 6 including 3 children who are still at home with her, 2 in high school and one in middle school.

Through the partnership, the cost of her coursework will be greatly reduced and she is able to schedule work around her school schedule. If all goes as planned, Sylvia will be a registered nurse in about 3 years – possibly doing coursework alongside her daughter, a rising high school senior who is also interested in studying nursing.

“With this opportunity and the grace of God,” she adds, “I believe anything is possible.”

The alliance, Mansue says, is one of several new initiatives designed to open doors to local talent. Inspira is also waiving the requirement that job applicants must have a high school diploma to apply for certain positions.

“The diploma requirement was stopping people from applying for jobs who were long past high school but whose lived experiences would make them great fits at Inspira,” she says.

These new hires will have the chance to get settled in their jobs knowing that they will be supported in working to obtain a GED, she says. “We are committed to helping them with the process. We’ve already had people come forward and apply who were previously shut out of these jobs. They thought they’d never be able to find their way back to school with other commitments in their lives but we’re willing to work with them to make it happen.”

In addition to tuition reimbursement, Inspira is currently offering college loan forgiveness for registered nurses who graduated in the last 3 years in addition to $15,000 sign-on bonuses.

The new educational initiative dovetails with programs that Inspira has long offered to advance the careers of its staff, including a wide breadth of professional development coursework through its Inspira University that includes classes in computer applications, communication techniques and leadership skills.

The network’s commitment to meeting the needs of the communities it serves is also longstanding. Inspira has a tradition of reaching out to the community with education classes, health screenings and support groups. The staff members are encouraged to donate their time and talents to local and national causes.

With all this in place before the pandemic, the health network was in a good position to significantly help both residents and employees through unprecedented times. In addition to increased wellness programs, both homegrown and ones offered through the state, staff were encouraged to carve out spaces where employees could gather or go alone to decompress, she says.

“They decorated these rooms as they saw fit, so the behavioral health unit’s room looks a lot different than the ICU’s room,” she says. “These are places staff can meditate or blow off steam, and that’s so valuable.”

Mansue, who started with Inspira in the midst of the pandemic, says she is grateful that weekly videos she recorded for all staff during the crisis were so well received that she continues to do them. It started as a way to convey the latest information about treatments for Covid, predictions about hospital volume and the many pivots Inspira has made as new information came along.

“Staff told me those addresses are probably the single greatest thing that makes them feel valued,” she says. “They say they feel like they have gotten to know me, and that we’re in this together. Managers say they use it often as part of daily huddles and sometimes play it multiple times. I didn’t anticipate how big it would be.”

Mansue says Inspira will continue to listen to team members, and provide programs that address what they need.

“We strive to be an employer of choice – which we think we are,” she adds. “We will continue to stretch, reach and do more for our employees and our communities moving forward than we have ever done before.”


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