Local student selected for first nurse apprenticeship program at Troy University

Published 1:07 pm Thursday, January 26, 2023

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By JOYANNA LOVE | Managing Editor

Nursing apprenticeships are relatively new to Alabama with only two programs available in the state.

Ryleigh Gilliland of Thorsby was recently selected for Troy University’s first Nursing Student Apprenticeship Program.

“We are going to be able to have a one-on-one experience with a mentor as opposed to being in a group, so I feel like … (it) will be a more efficient way to learn things faster, and a more effective way,” Gilliland, a college junior, said.

Getting into the program was competitive. An interview process was held, and the two participating healthcare providers selected their apprentices.

Baptist Health is the health system Gilliland will be working for as a part of the apprenticeship. She said does not know which medical facility she will be at, but it will be in Montgomery or Prattville.

“I have always been intrigued by the medical field,” Gilliland said. “The human body is just so cool to me and learning all of the fun things it can do is really fascinating.”

She is finishing up her last lab requirements before she can begin the apprenticeship clinicals, which she expects to do in the next month or two.

The apprenticeship will be a two-year program, allowing Gilliland to get paid for her clinical experience. Ordinarily, clinicals are unpaid experience. Gilliland said the one-on-one format will give her more opportunities to schedule clinical work outside of the normally assigned days.

“Another positive is this mentor or journey worker that I will have, I will have for the next two years, so I will be able to gain a relationship with someone as opposed to getting new people every semester,” Gilliland said. “… I just feel like it is easier to learn from someone once you gain that trust and that relationship, so hopefully that will be beneficial.”

Her initial interest in the medical field came because of her parents, who both work in the medical field.

“In the future, I think I want to be in the operating room, doing surgeries and stuff like that,” Gilliland said.