Valdosta - Good, trained nurses are few and far between. "We are always looking for qualified nurses and we have openings now," said Sarah Register, Smith-Northview Nursing Director.
But thanks to a new program at Valdosta State University, that won't be a problem much longer. "It's our hope and goal that within the next two years, we'll add an additional 36 nurses who will stay in this area and be committed to working with patients in acute care settings," said Dr. Anita Hufft, VSU Nursing Director.
The degree plan is part of the University System of Georgia's ICAPP program. It's designed for people who already have a bachelors degree in another field, but are looking for a fast track to a career in nursing. "We have folks that graduated with degrees then were unable to find the kinds of jobs they really wanted and folks who really always wanted to be nurses but took other routes," said Hufft.
It takes undergraduates two years to complete nursing school, but with this program, students can finish in half the time. "They begin in June and they go to school through the summer, fall, spring, and then finish the next summer," said Hufft.
Smith Northview Hospital and South Georgia Medical Center in Valdosta, and Archbold Medical Center in Thomasville are helping fund the program and providing clinical study sites, in hopes that graduates will stay in this area and help remedy our nursing shortage. "This is going to give us the opportunity to offer something to our community and the outlying areas, and pull more people into the health care field," said Register.
More people who can provide high quality health care in hospitals across South Georgia.