"We go through much of the same credentialing process as we do with doctors," she said. "We have applications that are submitted with all the background information, which is verified through independent sources, and get references from the church."
About five female volunteers went through the education and practice sessions and received recommendations from the chaplain committee before the vote went before the board.
The board also heard about the hospital's largest class of Thomas Health System Junior Nursing Academy participants.
The program, which teaches eighth graders about nursing, had 37 students during the week of June 18-21. The program began three years ago and offers two four-day sessions each summer. The goal is to teach students about nursing before they get to high school and choose a career track.
"They have to meet some minimum requirements, like a 2.5 GPA, and write an essay on why they would be interested in a field in nursing," said Bevin Osborne, a nurse who helps coordinate the academy.
"Then we bring them in; they're issued a set of nursing scrubs, their own stethoscope and blood pressure cuff. They learn to do vital signs and blood pressure. We introduce them to as many roles in nursing during those four days that we can."
The eighth-graders who complete a session can enroll the next year as ninth-graders and participate in the Senior Nursing Academy.
The next session will be July 31-Aug. 2.
For more information on participating in the academy next year, contact 304-347-6615.