Nurses rally at state capitol

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) - Several hundred nurses from across Alabama rallied in front of the Alabama Statehouse to encourage legislators and Gov. Bob Riley to take action to address a shortage of nurses.

The nurses held signs and listened to speakers Thursday.

The Alabama State University marching band played during the rally.

Afterward the nurses walked through the Statehouse and met with legislators.

A faculty member at the Capstone College of Nursing at the University of Alabama, Ruby Morrison, said the problem is the state's nursing schools are turning away applicants because they do not have enough qualified instructors.

The nurses are asking lawmakers to support several bills aimed at easing the problem.

Those include a measure to fund more scholarships for nursing students.

(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)