Troy University nursing students participate in “signing day” with local hospitals

It’s an event we generally associate with sports, a signing day.

This time though, student nurses were the ones putting ink to paper.

“I am very blessed to have received this opportunity,” says TROY Nursing Student Alicia Victoria. “I’m so grateful to be able to participate in this. I’m really excited for what’s in store and I’m really excited to learn new skills and be able to apply it on the floor.”

This opportunity comes as the School of Nursing launches its student apprenticeship program.

“This is really an exciting day for us,” says Chief Learning Office for Baptist Health Judi Miller. “I think most people are aware that there is a significant shortage of nurses and coming out of the pandemic we’re feeling that even more so than before. So this opportunity to bring on board these apprentices and have them with us as they’re going through nursing school is tremendous.”

Not only will students be paid to further their education they’ll also have a better chance of finding a job post-graduation.

“It would be our absolute privilege to hire them at our hospital,” says Miller. “They they have the opportunity to go elsewhere should they choose but we are really hoping that we’re going to create a strong relationship with them and that they’ll want to stay with us.

This program comes at a time that local health leaders say is critical as healthcare workers continue fighting a health care worker shortage.

“We have always been a little short on nurses but it just really magnified with COVID,” says Chief Nursing Officer for Flowers Hospital Dan Cumbie. “We saw, nationally, a number of nurses that unfortunately chose to do something differently during the COVID crisis so we’re still catching up from that.”

As nurses work to meet the demand of the people who need expert care, leaders at both Flowers and Baptist Health say this program and class is likely a step in the right direction.

“This is a great partnership in between Troy University and Flowers hospital and really helping to solve a piece of the nursing shortage,” says Cumbie.