The perks of rural nursing, per 1 chief nursing officer

Erica Carbajal – Monday, January 8th, 2024 – Becker’s Hospital Review

Robin Tice, BSN, RN, started her nursing career as a licensed vocational nurse at Eastland (Texas) Memorial Hospital about 14 years ago. Today, she serves as chief nursing officer of the facility.

After becoming a registered nurse and a few several-year stints at larger hospitals in Texas, Ms. Tice returned to Eastland Memorial. The hospital has a 36-bed acute care unit and services a population of more than 18,000, with the next other closest hospitals both an hour each way on the highway.

“I will never go back to a big facility,” Ms. Tice told Becker’s. “I love rural healthcare.”

Eastland Memorial has about 50 RNs and unlike the case for most hospitals and health systems, it hasn’t experienced significant staffing challenges in the past few years, something Ms. Tice attributed to the hospital’s family care model and the ability for nurses to closely care for patients with conditions they may not always be able to at bigger hospitals.

“Our model of care is the people you know caring for the people you love, and that’s pretty much it,” she said. “My nurses … know how to handle things without all of the bells and whistles. We don’t have bells and whistles. We’re small. We don’t have all of the IV teams or code teams. You are all of those people and so you’re more versatile and you’re a bit of a better-rounded nurse.”