Hospitals offer incentives to attract providers

In 2019, registered nurses were listed as the third most in-demand job in the U.S., and even though enrollment in nursing programs is also on the rise, it’s not keeping pace with the market demand.

Growing the pipeline: Amid pandemic, educators train new generation of healthcare professionals

As a respiratory therapist, Bruce Moyle is trained to deliver breathing therapies to people who struggle to draw oxygen. As a respiratory therapy instructor at Southwestern Community College, he’s trained to deliver the next generation of healthcare workers to a region that struggles to hire enough of them. 

Nursing students find purpose amid difficulties of pandemic

For students in the nursing program at Western Carolina University, the Coronavirus Pandemic sauntered into their world during spring break 2020. On Wednesday of that week, the university informed students that the break would be extended by one week. By Friday, the news was more dire, students wouldn’t be returning to campus at all. 

As cases recede, health experts urge caution

Vaccination numbers have nearly doubled in the four-county area of Haywood, Jackson, Swain and Macon counties over past month and case numbers are way down, but with Easter weekend and spring break trips on the horizon, public health officials are urging the public to continue taking measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

A glimmer, and it sure feels nice

A year later. We’re still mourning the deaths and illnesses, the disruption of life as we knew it, the months of gut-wrenching unknowns causing unfamiliar anxiety. It was March 17, 2020, when Gov. Roy Cooper began shutting down businesses and most of us waited for the tsunami that we could see — or at least imagine — in the distance without having any idea how horrific its final toll, when the worst of it would come, when it would finally recede, and who or what would be left standing.

One year later: COVID-19 killed 189 in the four-county area

When life as we knew it slammed to a sudden stop in mid-March of 2020, the novel coronavirus from Wuhan hadn’t yet infected a single resident of Western North Carolina, but with the virus continually expanding its territory  since the United States’ first confirmed case on Jan. 21, 2020, it seemed only a matter of time. 

Living Through A Pandemic — Year One

Think back to 2019. Back when things were normal. Back when masks were only for Halloween, or for bank robbers. Back when social distancing was mostly for people who’d recently eaten ramps. Back when the biggest story in Western North Carolina was about a congressman who decided not to seek re-election. 

When the job can’t stop: Trash collection picked up during the pandemic

When meetings moved to Zoom and schools shut down last March, Zach Sorrells kept on reporting to work. As a maintenance worker with the Town of Sylva, he’s responsible for jobs that simply must get done, pandemic or no — like trash collection, for instance.

‘My place in life’: Nursing student finds peace in COVID-19 response

For Malcom Skinner, the pandemic was not a pause, but rather a call to action. 

“I’ve been trained up to this moment,” he said. 

Using humor, finding purpose during a pandemic

Many people in the high-risk category for COVID-19 began isolating themselves at home last March to wait out the pandemic, but not Virginia Wall. 

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