Seeing a Need, Fulfilling a Need: Local College Teams with Hospital to Address Nursing Shortage

“If you build it, they will come.” Most everyone is familiar with this takeoff of the phrase used in the 1989 film Field of Dreams, starring Kevin Costner. And most likely, one has also heard of the nursing shortage countrywide. Reasons for that shortage vary from an aging Baby Boomer population (including nurses nearing retirement) to advancements in medicine lengthening life, resulting in greater care needed overall.

Director of Hospital Education Rosa Brown shares, “According to the latest United States Registered Nurse Workforce Report Card and Shortages Forecast, Georgia will need an additional 32,868 nurses by 2030.” What does that mean locally? Colleges and hospitals are seeing those numbers and collaborating to provide educational, clinical experiences to meet that challenge. In Jesup, Coastal Pines Technical College (CPTC) responded by implementing in 2018 an Associate Degree of Nursing (ADN) program. The ADN program will complete its final phase of the accreditation process with the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing in 2021.

Recently in Jesup, CPTC brought their first group of students in the Associate Degree of Nursing program to Wayne Memorial for a presentation. With their instructors, 33 students attended a brief orientation of the current nursing opportunities within the organization and were given a tour of the facility. Welcomed by the Administrative Team, clinical managers and directors, each of the associates provided an overview of their work areas. This class of aspiring nurses graduates in May 2021.

“Wayne Memorial is a clinical training site for approximately 225-250 students in various fields including nursing, respiratory therapy, radiology and laboratory,” Brown said. “Most of the students are coming to us from CPTC. We also serve as a preceptorship site for other surrounding colleges for the final semester of Nursing School. We wish all of these students a wonderful year and invite them to take a closer look at Wayne Memorial in the future.”

Wayne Memorial Hospital, whose mission is to provide high quality health care services to all patients, built a state-of-the-art facility in 2007. It is the third largest employer in Wayne County with 500 employees, 84 beds and is a three-time winner of the Georgia Alliance of Community Hospitals Small Hospital of the Year Award.