Nurses in demand in state

Published 11:39 pm Monday, May 6, 2019

More than 2K openings now

LBW Community College nursing instructor Renee Faust said that the journey to becoming a nurse is long and difficult, but extremely worth it.

Nurses are among the most sought-after employees in Alabama, with more than 2,000 currently-advertised openings.

“Of course all of our students have to follow the school’s requirements,” Faust said. “The course of study within the nursing program is difficult. It requires a lot of time and discipline.”

By the time nurses graduate from the LBW program, Faust said that they will have gained much more than knowledge.

“Not only will they have gained their diploma,” Faust said. “They have also developed a sense of discipline in themselves. Often times the students give up a lot of their social lives because of the requirements of study.”

The main thing that a nurse has to have, Faust said, is compassion.

“You have to have compassion if you want to be a nurse,” Faust said. “You can have knowledge and skills, but if you don’t have the heart to get in there and take care of not only the patient, but the family, then it won’t work. You have to work with a team and the only thing that you can truly rely on is your compassion.”

Faust said that for nursing students, earning their pin is a rite of passage.

“The pin, I think, is something very prestigious for the nursing students, as well as the instructors that have gone along with them in their journey,” Faust said. “That nursing pin just represents your hard work and dedication to achieve your degree. Then once you pass your board certification, you can legally use your nursing credentials and that is another thing that nurses are so proud of.”

Faust said that the emotions that nursing students go through change throughout the semester.

“From the beginning of the semester we see a lot of apprehension and anxiety,” Faust said. “As they continue through the semester, we see them start to relax and they enjoy the clinical component. Once they complete the semester, they look back and realize what they have accomplished and it is amazing. Sometime when you are teaching, you see this light bulb that comes on and you see that on their face, they understand and they can embrace everything and move forward.”

Faust said that in Alabama, there is a nursing shortage.

“In Alabama, and throughout the nation there is a nursing shortage,” Faust said. “And there will continue to be a nursing shortage because nurses that are my age and older are retiring. There are just not enough nurses being replaced, so we definitely have a nursing shortage.”

According to the Alabama Board of Nursing, there are 80,903 registered nurses and 17,594 licensed practical nurses in Alabama.