Skilled to Work: Nursing Program

Published: Jan. 3, 2023 at 3:02 PM EST|Updated: Jan. 3, 2023 at 5:41 PM EST
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SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) - Even before the pandemic began, hospitals were already experiencing a nursing shortage.

Now, it’s even worse.

If there’s anything else you need just let us know ok.

Sherry Piper in one step away from becoming a Licensed Practical Nurse or LPN.

A goal she made for herself a year-and-a-half ago while helping with COVID-19 testing at the Savannah Civic Center.

“One of the nurses there just kind of inspired me and encouraged me to just go for it and be a nurse,” Nursing Program Graduate Sherry Piper said.

A stay-at-home mom for bulk of the last 21 years. Piper says saw herself doing this when she was younger but had no formal training.

“I’ve never worked in medical field before at all. So for me, I just wanted to get that hands on experience.”

She enrolled in the nursing program at Savannah Tech right away.

“They had the quickest program to get me to the job to a career. All in all, it was 16 months for the program and I think it prepared me very well to work here.”

During those 16 months, Piper got clinical experience through St. Joseph’s/Candler and started working a week after her program ended last month.

“We want to always open our doors to those that are ready to take that next step in their career,” Nurse Martha Weston said.

Martha Weston’s been with St. Joseph’s/Candler for more than 30 years. As a Registered Nurse, or RN, and most recently as a Clinical Nurse Manager.

While she oversees nurses, like Piper, who come in with training and education, others come in ready to learn from scratch.

“We have a apprenticeship program for CNAs and then once they get in and get their education then they can in turn, maybe want to take a route to become an LPN or an RN.”

While Piper studies for her licensure exam next month, she’s getting on-the-job training from her fellow nurses each day.

“They’re more than willing to help out and teach me things, show me things. “Whatever I need they’ve been wonderful.”