Nurse Shortage in Abilene

Published 05/15 2014 08:18AM

Updated 05/28 2014 02:56PM

National Nurses Week just wrapped up, and while one local hospital is honoring its hard working staff, they're also reminding everyone there is a major shortage of nurses, not only around the country, but right here in Abilene.

Not everyone is cut out to be a nurse. But Rona Fello is.

"I've heard people say 'oh, I couldn't do that job! The smells, the sounds, the sights!" says Rona Fello, nurse recruiter at Hendrick Medical Center.

"It's the best profession ever!" exclaims Fello.

Nursing isn't just her career, it's her passion.

"Every single day I am moved in my job--almost to tears. Just by being able to touch another person's life and make a difference," Fello tells us.

But along with a nationwide shortage of nurses, Rona says there's a number of reasons why her co-workers are ever changing.

"We are a little bit challenged geographically, and just like the rest of the country, the population is aging, and the population of nurses is aging as well," Fello says.

Hendrick prides itself on hiring military spouses, but says that can also contribute to staffing issues.

"We do have a measure of turnover that's due to our military. But one of the things I'm really proud of is that we hire every military wife that wants to work here and who passes our qualifications. We hire them, even though they may not be here for a long time," Fello tells us.

And though there are plenty nurses fresh out of school, the need for experienced nurses remains.

And for those considering going into nursing? Rona has a clear message, "Do it! It's the only degree I know of where you can do a hundred differen things in a hundred different places."

So if you're weighing your career options, Rona says the demand for nursing will only get heavier.

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