Colquitt Regional Medical Center addressing nursing shortage through apprenticeship program

Colquitt Regional Medical Center addressing nursing shortage through apprenticeship program
Published: Nov. 16, 2022 at 7:00 PM EST
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MOULTRIE, Ga. (WALB) - It’s National Apprenticeship Week, which celebrates workers across America. And Colquitt Regional Medical Center is doing its part to participate.

The hospital program serves as a sort of recruiting tactic for the hospital where students can get real-life experience and get paid.

Colquitt Regional Medical Center has partnered with Southern Regional Technical College to offer apprenticeship positions to nursing students.

Students can work at the hospital and strengthen their clinical training and other skills.

They also get to shadow and see some actual experiences of the position that they’re pursuing.

Dena Zinker is the Colquitt Regional Medical Center vice president of patient services and the chief nursing officer.

“It’s very much strengthening their skills, their relationship with patients, their relationship with other team members that are in the healthcare arena,” Zinker said. “And it allows our staff an opportunity to meet them, work with them side by side. Help them improve their clinical skills. But also to consider them as a future part of our team.”

Dena Zinker is the Colquitt Regional Medical Center vice president of patient services and the...
Dena Zinker is the Colquitt Regional Medical Center vice president of patient services and the chief nursing officer.(WALB)

Zinker says programs like these can help some students get through school.

“I think it’s a huge win for the students. Because it is very expensive. You know, the economy is struggling right now,” Zinker said. “It’s hard to afford an education. It’s hard to afford the things that come with just life. A lot of them have families that they’re raising. And adult responsibilities. So I think it gives them a lot of support and benefits financially to help them afford the things they’ll need for their education.”

Zinker says this program also has many other benefits.

“The biggest win for the hospital is that in this time of healthcare worker shortage, we have extra hands at the bedside helping us deliver exceptional care to the patients that we’re serving,” she said. “And as far as the economy, it is creating workers for the future that will make a significant income, and will be able to continue being a part of this community.”