Career growth & engagement opportunities

At UAB Medicine, we design programs and opportunities for our nursing team members to develop their personal and professional skills. We empower nurses to be more autonomous – to advocate, collaborate, and innovate with the goal of providing the highest quality, evidence-based care. Learn more below about our 2022 career growth and engagement opportunities and their impact.

Ambulatory Internship Program

This is an opportunity for new nurses with an interest in ambulatory care to gain exposure to a variety of ambulatory clinics through our RN internship programs. These programs help new nurses determine what clinical area is the best fit for them.


Two of the three interns who completed this program remain full time on the nursing team in the ambulatory environment. The third intern had a positive experience but relocated out of Birmingham.

Nurse Residency Program

All new RN nursing graduates and LPN hires (effective 2023) are automatically enrolled in this one-year learning program, to help them transition from the classroom to the clinical practice environment.


  • 439 new hires enrolled
  • 102 seminars presented
  • 85 projects presented
  • 93% retention rate

Nursing Student Graduate Aide (NSGA)

This role is designed for third- through fifth-semester nursing school students, to increase their clinical experience in different nursing specialties and gain confidence in their skills.


  • 50 students hired into NSGA roles in 2022
  • 32 active students in NSGA roles at the end of 2022
  • 52 NSGAs hired as RNs or LPNs at UAB upon graduation from nursing school
  • Schools represented include UAB School of Nursing, Jacksonville State University, Jefferson State Community College, University of North Alabama, University of Alabama, Auburn University, East Mississippi Community College, Wallace State Community College, Samford University, Gadsden State Community College, Lawson State Community College, and Shelton State Community College.


  • “I was able to gain confidence in my skills and in working alone. I also learned a lot of time management skills that have helped me in my nursing career.”
  • “The time I spent as an NSGA helped me excel in my clinicals, in both skills and patient care. I was also able to find an amazing job while working as an NSGA.”

Mentoring Program

This program is designed to help nurses reach their own individual goals in their nursing careers through a one-to-one mutual relationship with a mentor. Mentors can help mentees define and meet their goals by providing resources, learning opportunities, and ideas for improving performance.


  • 29 mentees
  • 29 mentors


  • Mentees
    • “My mentoring journey has been so valuable. I really enjoyed Jessica being my mentor. She made me feel very comfortable in talking to her and voicing my concerns. She pointed me in the right direction in furthering my long-term goals, but more importantly, she gave me advice that increased my confidence.” – Christina Birchfield
    • “My mentoring journey has been incredible. Megan has been an incredible sounding board, full of advice and wisdom. She has been encouraging and supportive during my transition to a nurse manager role, and I know she will continue to be a resource for me beyond this formal mentoring season.” – Alyson Duncan
  • Mentors
    • “This has been an amazing experience. I have gained a new sister/friend, and I am fortunate to have been able to be a part of this.” – Katrese Smith
    • “This platform has allowed me to meet and work with a future leader whom I would not have known otherwise. It has been an excellent experience for me and renewed my passion for the true ‘spirit of nursing.’ My hope is that the program will continue to grow and serve multiple generations of nurses.” – Kelley Williams

Recruitment & Retention Council

This council was formed to recruit and retain the right workforce, address current and future staffing shortages, promote opportunities, and support diversity. Council members come from all levels of nursing, from bedside to senior leadership, and they represent all inpatient and ambulatory areas.


Using feedback from clinical nurses and nurse leaders, the council began working on initiatives to improve recruitment and retain existing nursing staff. Listed below are highlights of some initiatives that have been started or accomplished because of this council:

  • Alternative 4-6 hour shifts for nursing staff
  • Weekend orientation for RNs and PCTs
  • Blocked calendar no-meeting-days for nurse managers to focus on individual unit efforts
  • Hiring manager toolkit and leadership training
  • Baylor shift created to add flexibility for nursing staff and interested candidates
  • Career navigator support for new hires
  • Professional Nursing Development Program expanded eligibility for assistant nurse managers
  • An improved process to hold patients accountable for negative behavior
  • Leader education for conducting hire, stay, and exit interviews

Partnership with Wallace State supports career growth and loyalty

Nursing leadership searched for a creative way to build stability in our workforce, foster career growth among current staff, and build upon our partnership with local nursing school programs. The UAB Nursing/Wallace State Community College (UAB/WSCC) Nursing Workforce Initiative was established to create a path for non-licensed UAB Medicine staff to advance their education and career as a licensed practical nurse (LPN) while working full time. This three-semester partnership with Wallace State Community College is funded through a scholarship by UAB Hospital. Learn more about this program, how enrollment has increased tenfold since the program launched, and the new expansion that includes an ADN track.


Eight employees took advantage of this new scholarship program, and three are now LPNs at UAB Medicine.

Nursing recruitment advertising campaign

Nurses are among the most sought-after professionals in the world, and recruiting and retaining nursing talent is a top priority for our organization. How UAB Medicine projects its brand through advertising is critically important, because the recruiting process happens long before a candidate applies for a job. We researched, developed, tested, and produced an advertising campaign aimed at recruiting new nursing talent to our ever-growing organization.

This strategic effort helped attract top candidates in a competitive job market, with the goal of converting them into applicants and, eventually, employees.


  • More than 68 nursing staff hired (RN, LPN, PCT, CMA, APP)
  • Improved interviewing and hiring process
  • UAB Medicine Marketing & Communications earned two Gold Awards and several other honors for this campaign in the 40th annual Healthcare Advertising Awards.

This story is part of the Nursing Annual Report 2022. Click here to view the report.

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