Aspiring RNs get real-world experience at Tidelands Health
The first class of students in a new registered nurse program at Williamsburg Technical College will get valuable real-world experience of caring for patients through a partnership with Tidelands Health.
The aspiring RNs were introduced to the health system during an orientation Wednesday, Dec. 12, at Tidelands Georgetown Memorial Hospital. In January, the group will be back to get experience through clinical rotations every week.
That real-world experience allows the students to work with a supervising nurse to put their skills in action caring for patients.
“So they can have real-life, hands-on experience,” said Ginger Lewis, an instructor in Williamsburg Technical College’s new associate degree in nursing program and a nurse on 2 East at Tidelands Georgetown Memorial Hospital. “Just practicing in the lab does not give them the chance to experience the real emotions of our work and establish patient relationships.”
The dozen students make up the first group in the college’s new associate degree in nursing program. Some already work in the medical field but want to earn their associate’s degree through the two-year program.
“I just love it and I’ve always wanted to do it,” said Courtney Godwin, who works as a tech in the ER at Williamsburg Regional Hospital in Kingstree. “I want to keep going.”
The new degree program has given Kerri Miller, a tech in the emergency department at Tidelands Georgetown Memorial Hospital, the chance to enroll and eventually advance her career in a field she’s always loved.
“I love helping people,” she said. “Now that we have another program, it just makes it easier.”
Tidelands Health has partnered with Williamsburg Technical College on other nursing programs, so it was natural to extend that partnership with the college’s new degree program.
The partnership is another example of Tidelands Health’s aggressive efforts to help train and recruit the next generation of nurses.
“There is a nursing shortage in our region, in South Carolina and across the country,” said Busy Kimball, talent acquisition manager at Tidelands Health. “Anything we can do to assist in developing more nurses to combat this shortage is to our advantage and will help the state as a whole.”