Rural nurses invited to educational seminar Dec. 1

Published 7:51 pm Thursday, November 16, 2017

Rural-area nursing is more important than ever in the United States.

In a rural area such as Beaufort County, health care facilities are not always available. The county saw one hospital shut down in 2014, and in some cases, had no room for new patients in primary care offices.

Although there is access to more specialized care in Greenville, it is still vital for nurses to know how to handle any situation thrown at them.

That’s why the Eastern Area Health Education Center and Southeast AHEC are partnering to host a local conference Dec. 1 for nurses to gain access to continuing education resources and chances to network.

“Nurses in rural health departments, clinics and hospitals, such as in eastern North Carolina, must be competent in the entire range of patient needs from ‘birth to death’ and ‘routine to critical,’” said Laura Bliley, assistant director at Eastern AHEC. “These agencies are the first access for ill and injured patients that may have traveled from many miles away or limited access to transportation.”

The Washington conference will cover topics including the opioid crisis, agricultural-related traumatic injuries, pesticide use and the infection risks while fishing, according to a press release. Another conference will be held in Tarboro that day.

Bliley described rural nurses as “uniquely talented” with a “vast depth of knowledge and skill.”

She said the conference is meant to highlight the talent of rural-area nurses, while also building upon what they know. Nurses can also use these contact hours toward licensure renewal.

“Rural nurses need increased opportunities for affordable continuing nursing education and networking opportunities,” Bliley said. “These conferences intend to recognize, honor and enhance this capacity.”

AHEC welcomes any nurses in the area who would like to attend.

“Nurses will gain insight into the cause and potential solutions to the decreased overall health for our rural citizens compared to their urban counterparts,” Bliley said. “The health of the community is dependent (on a) highly prepared nursing workforce.”

The local AHEC rural-nursing conference will be held Dec. 1 at the Turnage Theatre. Advanced registration is required. Visit to register.