Nursing shortage means more opportunities for nursing students

Published: Aug. 23, 2021 at 11:07 PM CDT
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MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) - Troy University’s Montgomery nursing students get hands-on experience in situations they could face on the job.

First-year nursing student Feteri Hamilton says it is not an easy road, especially now that she will have to attend to patients who have COVID-19, but she says she feels Troy’s nursing program is preparing her for whatever she may face.

“I’m excited about it. I’m nervous about it, but at the end of the day know I made the right decision,” Hamilton said.

Hospitals across the country continue to see staff shortages as a result of the pandemic, and that’s offering new opportunities for nursing students who are ready to graduate.

“As soon as you graduate we have 100% job placement rate. Everybody finds a job. And so as soon as you graduate, you pass your boards, you can basically pick where you want to be,” said Robin McCormick, assistant ASN coordinator for Troy University Montgomery.

Troy-Montgomery’s overall enrollment has remained constant over the last year, but the Auburn University at Montgomery nursing program has experienced a 15-20% enrollment increase.

Dean of the program, Jean Leuner, says the program’s challenge is getting students the necessary clinical experience in today’s environment.

“Well, we are seeing some of those clinical spots decreasing because of the increase in COVID in the area,” Leuner said. “We assign students to other units, look for more units to work with, so we’ve been able to work with our community partners and find spaces.”

Leuner says they’re preparing the workforce for the area so once nursing students graduate they don’t have to travel to other states or cities and may remain in Montgomery.

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