Lesa King joined the team in 2017 as a Care Partner, while still in school, working toward her RN degree at Northwest-Shoals Community College. As part of the nursing program at NWSCC, students can sit for their LPN license halfway through their training. Based on her strong performance as a Care Partner, North Alabama Medical Center hired Lesa as an LPN, with the intention of using her in this role until she finished the course requirements to become an RN.
In May, Lesa graduated from NWSCC and is preparing to sit for her nursing boards.
As a second career for King, getting her foot in the door in a healthcare facility was a top priority. “North Alabama Medical Center has been great to work with my school schedule. Starting as a Care Partner helped me realize I can do this. I knew this is where I needed to be,” said King.
Chief Nursing Officer, Barry Hawthorne, was eager to work with NWSCC and immediately contacted Brittany Humphres, Director of Nursing Education at NWSCC, to discuss partnership opportunities between NWSCC and NAMC.
“Most acute care hospitals eliminated LPNs years ago, leaving these students who obtain their LPN education, with no positions in acute care hospitals. NAMC realized this as an opportunity,” said Hawthorne. “Hiring a student and ultimately a new graduate from NWSCC who has already worked for NAMC and progresses their career at our hospital is a win-win for everyone.”
When NWSCC nursing students complete their RN degree, they often progress into various new or vacant RN positions at North Alabama Medical Center. These new graduate RNs, having worked as nursing assistants and LPNs, before completing their RN degree and license, become very valuable to NAMC
We are happy to work with NWSCC on this critical workforce development program. NAMC looks forward to working with NWSCC for many years, along with the students advancing their education through their program.