Southeast Health turns to student nurses to fill nursing shortage

Local News

DOTHAN, Ala. (WDHN) — Since the pandemic began, nurses have become a necessity that is quickly running out.

Some of the problem stems from new regulations that allow nurses to take positions they may not have had access to before the pandemic.

“We are working extra shifts, extra hours, to get that coverage to make sure our patients are getting that care that they deserve,” Kysha Howard, Director of Patient Care Services at Southeast Health, said.

Many registered nurses are picking up travel nurse positions as they make a higher salary and are able to travel to different areas of the country to do their job.

“Nurses are trying to get out there and see what’s out there,” Howard said. “Bu it is causing problems here in our community because we have several schools in this area and where we would before get those nurses to work in our facility that now have options to travel elsewhere.”

Despite many nurses seeing the pros of becoming a travel nurse, Southeast Health believes that its intern nursing program will bring in fresh graduates especially now that it has more nursing opportunities.

This comes after the State of Alabama decided in December of 2020 that student nurses are allowed to administer medication to patients.

“What that does is open them up to more things to where when they do graduate they’re more prepared to get out here and work on that force,” Howard said. “Historically, we’ve had good success rates with returning our nurse interns and they come on and they’re nurses here at the hospital so I think with that increase scope that will really get our nurses here in the door and we’ll do a great job retaining them.”

To apply for Southeast Health’s open nursing positions, visit the hospital’s website.

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