Perhaps it’s you, or someone you know, that is just beginning in healthcare, or someone wanting to change careers. For that person, choosing to become a member of the rural nursing community is an excellent choice.
Of all the healthcare personnel in rural-America, probably none are better educated or have greater responsibilities in a broader range of patient care than the nurses working in rural nursing at Critical Access Hospitals such as the Morris County Hospital in Council Grove.
Ask any of the nurses you know – especially those who have served in metropolitan health care systems or in the larger hospitals in the area – and they will probably tell you nurses’ responsibilities are greater and more demanding in a rural setting, but they are also more satisfying and that rural nurses enjoy being a part of the “team” so necessary in the smaller, rural healthcare facilities.
Nurses in metropolitan facilities usually specialize and rarely have the opportunity to “broaden” their experiences outside of their “specialty”. Working in a small, rural hospital nurses not only have the opportunity to learn from many and varied experiences, but they must be capable of “filling many shoes”.
Nursing in a rural environment is just as important and “busy” as being in a “big city” hospital but brings with it the required teamwork and camaraderie necessary for success in a small hospital environment. The Morris County Hospital is one of nearly 2,000 rural community hospitals in America and the nurses serving these hospitals must possess more skills and more qualifications in order to serve the broad spectrum of patients seen in these smaller hospitals. They must be well-grounded in their basic nursing skills as well as having advanced skills and qualifications to go from delivering babies; to the high-intensity emergency room, then to plying their skills with geriatric or rehabilitative patients. Most local nurses will tell you there’s never a dull moment serving as a “rural nurse” at the Morris County Hospital.
Those interested in such a career may begin their nursing education and training locally at Butler Community College in Council Grove to attain their CNA (Certified Nurses Aide) and CMA (Certified Medication Aide) designations – then they may attend classes at Butler of El Dorado where they can become a Registered Nurse (RN) when earning their Associate Nursing Degree. LPN (Licensed Practical Nursing) qualifications may be attained at an area vocational-technical school. Quality nursing degree programs also may be found at Emporia State University and other schools of higher learning in Kansas. Individuals as young as 16 may become a Certified Nurses Aide.
It’s an important, exciting and satisfying career – that of rural nursing and it can be the ticket to a wholesome life while serving the needs of patients and the community as a rural nurse at the Morris County Hospital in Council Grove.
By Kay Hutchinson