‘A critical shortage of nurses’

Published 3:24 pm Thursday, May 18, 2017

Florence Nightingale, the British nurse who founded the modern nursing profession, was born on May 12, 1820. While tending to the needs of wounded soldiers during the Crimean War, she earned a reputation as a merciful and devoted caregiver. After the war, Nightingale returned to England and established a training school for nurses. It opened in 1860.

In 1965, the International Council of Nurses designated Nightingale’s birthday as International Nurses Day.

The observance commemorates the contributions nurses make to society. In the United States, the week culminating with her birthday (May 6-12) is recognized by the American Nursing Association as National Nurses Week and Wednesday of that week is designated as National Student Nurses Day.

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Southside Virginia Community College (SVCC) joins in honoring the hard working women and men who devote their professional lives to caring for the sick and tending to the injured. Few others have such a lasting impact on the health and wellbeing of people in their communities.

Although many nurses say the rewarding feeling of serving others is one of their profession’s biggest benefits, credentialed nurses can also earn competitive wages in a career with a recession-proof track record, flexible scheduling opportunities and a variety of fields from which to choose.

Yet, despite these workplace advantages, there is a critical shortage of nurses across the nation — even here in Southside Virginia. Hospitals, doctors’ offices, clinics and other health care providers often struggle to find qualified people to fill vacant positions.

Education programs available from SVCC prepare students to embark on careers in nursing and related health fields.

The college’s state-of-the-art nursing simulation labs provide hands-on learning experiences in a safe, realistic environment.

Students also participate in clinical practice at health care agencies located throughout our service region.

Medical facilities are eager to hire college graduates, providing students immediate work opportunities close to home.

Dr. Al Roberts is president of Southside Virginia Community College. His email address is al.roberts@southside.edu.