Hospital bucks state trend with full staff

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, October 4, 2006

DEMOPOLIS &8212; Reports of nursing shortages throughout Alabama have become common place as the national problem has received more attention lately.

But at Bryan W. Whitfield Memorial Hospital, that trend is being bucked.

Danny Smith, director of human resources, said the hospital received a bit of good luck in May, which allowed the hospital to fully meet its nursing needs.

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Smith said UWA has &8220;an outstanding nursing program,&8221; one with which the hospital works closely.

Smith said the graduating class of 2006 featured several area residents, which made it easier to recruit them home. But he said they don&8217;t rely just on home-folks to fill the slots.

Smith said hospital staff and recruiters do follow-up visits with nursing students, in particular.

The hospital currently employees approximately 75 Registered Nurses and 35 Licensed Nurse Practitioners. Keeping the staff where it needs to be to meet the needs of patients requires a dedication to the profession, Smith said.

Smith said location is also a factor in the hospital&8217;s ability to recruit people.

Once there, Smith said most new hires find a favorable experience.