Advocate Health expands virtual nursing to 12 hospitals

Charlotte, N.C.-based Advocate Health has expanded virtual nursing to 12 hospitals and cared for 10,000 patients using the care model in 2023.

The 68-hospital system has the technology available in inpatient units and emergency rooms across Illinois, North Carolina, Wisconsin and Georgia, with some hospitals offering it 24/7.

"I will tell you that I see this, virtual nursing, as care of the future," Patricia Mook, DNP, senior vice president of nursing operations, education and professional development for Advocate Health, told Becker's. "We are measuring things like quality outcomes, length of stay, retention, vacancy rate and patient experience, so we can test the models of care that we have put in place."

Dr. Mook credits virtual nursing with helping improve Advocate Health's retention rate among nurses. The health system's registered nurse turnover rate has improved by 60% since May and its RN vacancy rate has decreased by 46% in that time.

Advocate Health has two different virtual nursing care models: One in which the virtual nurses are available 24/7 to assist patients and caregivers, and another in which they help with admissions and discharges for ER patients and inpatients.

"If you were to round in our units where we have this up, what you will hear from nurses is they feel safer in caring for their patients because there's a nurse behind the camera monitoring what's going on," Dr. Mook said. "What you hear from the patients is they feel better because there's always someone looking after them if they need something. We decrease the time to get to the patient when they have a need."

She said it also provides more "physical breaks" for in-person nurses from what is a physically demanding job.

Advocate Health plans to expand virtual nursing across its footprint and outfit its new hospitals with the wiring and camera technology to facilitate the care model, Dr. Mook said.

Virtual nursing is at the following Advocate Health hospitals, according to the health system:


Atrium Health Navicent The Medical Center (Macon): ER


Advocate Health Care Condell (Libertyville): ER

Advocate Health Care Good Samaritan (Downers Grove): inpatient

Advocate Health Care Lutheran General (Park Ridge): inpatient

Advocate Health Care Masonic (Chicago): inpatient

Advocate Health Care South Suburban (Hazel Crest): ER, inpatient

Advocate Health Care Trinity (Chicago): ER, inpatient

North Carolina

Atrium Health Carolinas Medical Center (Charlotte): ER

Atrium Health Cleveland (Shelby): 24/7, inpatient

Atrium Health Pineville (Charlotte): 24/7, inpatient

Atrium Health Southpark freestanding ER (Charlotte): ER


Aurora Health Care Sheboygan (Sheboygan): ER, inpatient

Aurora Health Care St. Luke's (Milwaukee): inpatient

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