MT. VERNON – Crossroads Community Hospital in Mt. Vernon recently donated more than a dozen hospital beds to the Rend Lake College nursing program. The beds will be a great training asset for students learning to be certified nursing assistants, licensed practical nurses and registered nurses through RLC’s ever-growing program.
Crossroads’ Chief Nursing Officer, Beth Horton, was there when college staff arrived to pick up the beds. They will be used at the college’s nurse training center located at the RLC MarketPlace in Mt. Vernon and in the LPN and RN programs on the main campus in Ina.
“We wanted to offer these beds to Rend Lake before anyone else to help them out with the training of nurses,” Horton said.
The gift is another example of a strong partnership between educator and employer. It’s a relationship that has grown over the years, according to Kelli Lewis, Chair of the Allied Health Division at RLC.
“Our connection with Crossroads Community Hospital is one example of how RLC works with area hospitals to guarantee our students are seeking employment in their home area after nursing school,” Lewis said. “Working together, we are fighting the nursing shortage one student, one skilled nurse, at a time. And that helps alleviate workload for those already in the field, which helps with employee retention, which helps hospitals offer the level of healthcare services deserved by patients who need them. Working together to make this happen is vital. Our strong relationships in the community, such as our relationship with Crossroads, are essential to the guarantee that you will have a job when you graduate from our nursing program.”
While Crossroads keeps RLC covered in nursing beds, the nursing program keeps Crossroads covered in highly skilled CNAs, LPNs and RNs.
“RLC students do a lot of clinical work here,” Horton said. “While they are in training, they get to know the nursing staff and myself. We think it’s good for them to get to know those they may end up working with in the future.”
In fact, through annual scholarships for RLC students, Crossroads Hospital bolsters the training of future nurses who will one day be a part of its nursing staff. Last month, the hospital provided $30,000 in nursing scholarships to RLC. They went to RLC nursing students Whitney Holland of Christopher, Stacey Rocket of Dahlgren and Lea Schulte of Mt. Vernon.
Horton said the hospital hires more students from RLC’s nursing program than from any other nursing school. RLC is a partner in the Crossroads Healthy Women’s program, which will be holding its annual convention Sept. 22 at the RLC MarketPlace. Crossroads CEO Ed Cunningham serves on both the RLC Board of Trustees and RLC Foundation Board of Directors. Lewis is the former CNO at Crossroads. At one time, the RLC MarketPlace Coffee Shop delivered coffee and cookies to Crossroads patients.
“Our relationship spans more than just patient care,” said Crossroads Director of Marketing and Public Relations Debi Richardson. “It is much greater than that.”
Opportunities in the RLC nursing program can be found online at www.rlc.edu/aca/ or by calling 618-437-5321, Ext. 1251. Crossroads Community Hospital is online at www.crossroadscommunityhospital.com.