Helping Find Nurses

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Valdosta State University's College of Nursing will soon work with three local hospitals in a program to bring college graduates back to school and convert them into nurses.

Instead of a multi-year program, the returning students will complete their nursing program in just over a year.

Dr. Anita Hufft, Dean of VSU College of Nursing, says, "We're already finding out that it's very attractive for people who want to get on with their lives and get on with their careers."

During the intense one-year course, nursing students will study at VSU and even get some real world experience at hospitals. It’s all part of Georgia's statewide $7 million program to create 300 new nurses in just two years.

"Hospital officials around our region say this program is extremely important because the need for new nurses will only continue to grow throughout the coming years, and this program may be the best way to meet the needs."

Deborah Sauls, SGMC Nurse Administrator, says, "We definitely need more nurses. This program will fast track people who've decided they want to become nurses into our population of nurses that we can hire."

It means local doctors and hospitals will have enough nurses to provide a high level of care.

"We hope it’s just the beginning of some exciting and innovative partnerships."

The partnerships could save lives for years to come. The program is designed for current professionals looking for a change, and it’s all funded through the state, participating hospitals and Valdosta State University.