SRTC Nursing Program Provides New Opportunity for Non-traditional Student

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Tricia Rich

You’ve likely heard about the ever-prevalent ‘nursing shortage’ in the United States for years now and have likely assumed it has been resolved. That, however, is not the case. According to data from the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics employment of registered nurses is expected to grow by 16% through 2024, which is over double the standard job growth rate. While a lack of nurses certainly presents an issue for medical facilities, it likewise provides an abundance of opportunities for those seeking entry into the field.

You may have also heard that National Nurses Week begins each year on May 6 and ends on May 12, Florence Nightingale's birthday. These permanent dates enhance planning and position National Nurses Week as an established recognition event. As of 1998, May 8 was designated as National Student Nurses Day, to be celebrated annually. And as of 2003, National School Nurse Day is celebrated on the Wednesday within National Nurses Week each year. As a supplement to National Nurses Week, Southern Regional Technical College (SRTC) will highlight several successful nursing alumni.

“National Nurses Week is a time to recognize those who spend their lives and careers giving to others. It is an honor to watch our nursing alumni continue to share their passion for nursing and patient care as their careers continue to evolve. All nursing alums exemplify the true characteristics of the Nightingale Pledge and I look forward to seeing them continue their personal and professional development,” commented Tammy Bryant, SRTC ASN Program Chair.

Tricia Rich, currently a registered nurse at John D. Archbold Memorial Hospital (AMH) in Thomasville, GA, is the walking, talking personification of utilizing education as an opportunity for personal and professional growth. A native of New Jersey, Rich relocated to Thomasville in 2009 and began working as a medical office manager shortly thereafter. Feeling like she had more to offer in terms of patient care, Rich took a leap of faith and enrolled in the Associate of Science in Nursing (ASN) program at SRTC. Almost immediately she knew she was where she needed to be.

“Southern Regional afforded me the opportunity to fit in – even as a non-traditional student. From the onset everyone wanted me to succeed and the resources were there to make sure I was able to see it through. The faculty were warm and welcoming and never for a minute made me feel like I wouldn’t succeed because of my unique path,” commented Rich.

Upon completing the requirements for graduation in December of 2013 and subsequent passage of her nursing board licensure examination, the 46 year-old Rich was offered a position at AMH in the 24 bed Cardiac Progressive Unit. She says performing from the beginning was not a problem, thanks to the quality of education and hands-on learning environment facilitated by SRTC.

“I was absolutely prepared to work. Honestly, I didn’t feel overwhelmed and there really isn’t anything negative I can say about the transition from SRTC to AMH. I would absolutely suggest the program to anyone. They have turned my life around,” added Rich.

In the three-plus years she has been with AMH, Rich has already been promoted to Nurse Manager for the Cardiac Progressive Unit and has also completed a Bachelor of Science in Nursing at Thomas University.

“I see some of the College administrators on a regular basis and continually rave about how wonderful the nursing program is at SRTC. It provided me with a wonderful foundation for my new career.”

The Associate of Science in Nursing (ASN) program is designed to prepare students as entry-level practitioners to provide safe, effective nursing care and promote healthy transitions for diverse clients in a variety of settings. This program develops critical thinking, integrates accumulated knowledge from nursing, the sciences and humanities, and emphasizes the values of caring, accountability, responsibility and professional ethics. The SRTC ASN program has been granted approval by the Georgia Board of Nursing and is accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN).

SRTC offers over 148 degree, diploma, and certificate programs that are designed to get you quickly into your desired career, and 27 general education courses that transfer to the University System of Georgia institutions and 19 private colleges and universities in Georgia. SRTC has instructional sites located in Ashburn, Cairo, Camilla, Moultrie, Thomasville, Tifton, and Sylvester for the convenience of our students. The College is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC). SACSCOC is the regional body for the accreditation of degree-granting higher education institutions in the Southern states. For the most up-to-date information on registration, class dates, and program offerings, log on to

Summer Semester 2017 begins May 18th. Don’t wait, enroll today!