Southwest Mississippi Regional Medical Center has signed a five-year agreement with the University of Mississippi’s and Alcorn State University’s schools of nursing to help train nursing students.

“It is just training to make them better nurses, and we definitely need to encourage them,” SMRMC Chief Nursing Officer LaVoyce Boggs said. “Our goal is to have competent nurses that are confident in their skills, and the only way to do that is to have training like this.”

The program is similar to an internship, but with more involved supervision.

The hospital’s board of trustees signed the agreement at their meeting Tuesday.

Boggs noted that the hospital also has agreements with the University of Southern Mississippi, Southwest Mississippi Community College and Copiah-Lincoln Community College.

She said these programs are a wonderful way for nursing students to see “how it looks in the real world of nursing.”

“We collaborate and work with them, providing them an area where their nurses can do clinical training so they can get their requirements fulfilled,” she said. “You want to get them in an environment where they can get as competent as possible before graduating.”

All nursing students are required to have clinical training, Boggs said.

She said that the number of students involved will fluctuate, but she sees clinical training program like this as an important recruitment tool for new nurses.

In other business, the hospital board also agreed to advertise to bid for elevator replacements in front of the lobby.

Board member Renan Richmond said he was on board with the renovation, noting that the work would have the elevators open up to the lobby rather than at a corridor just outside the lobby.

“When those elevators were originally constructed, they were opened to the lobby, but they were renovated and were closed, so I think this was a good move,” he said.

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