BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) — Over a dozen nurses working in the Obstetrics Department at Princeton Baptist Medical Center walked out for the very last time Wednesday night.

“Princeton Women’s has served the West End community for over 100 years. It’s a loss for this community,” said Kristi Lake, an RN at Princeton Baptist Medical Center’s Obstetrics Department.

Lake is one of the nurses walking away, after spending 12 years caring for mothers and helping to deliver their babies. She said the discontinuance of Princeton’s OB Program could be a lot more detrimental than people think.

“Our mortality rate are some of the worst in the nation and I think the policymakers and the administrators need to wake up and do something about this epidemic of maternity units closing across the state,” said Lake.

Registered nurse Amy Hicks is voicing the same concerns about following the end of maternity services at Princeton.

“If she’s not able to have a place where she can come and get adequate prenatal care you know I do have concerns about the outcomes of those patients,” Hicks said.

In a statement from Brookwood Baptist Health, the decision to discontinue OB programs at Princeton Baptist Medical Center and Shelby Baptist Medical Center came after careful consideration.

“We are confident this decision will allow these hospitals to focus more strongly on the services their patients trust them to provide. We are grateful to the obstetrics department of staff and physicians… their professionalism and skill have helped create cherished memories for countless families over the years.”

There are memories both Hicks and Lake said are very personal to them.

“I’m so glad that with our last baby, I had him here at Princeton and I have that wonderful experience and those wonderful memories,” Hicks said.

Both Lake and Hicks said they were informed about their last day at Princeton Baptist Medical Center six weeks prior to Oct. 25. They said several of the nurses within that department have found nursing jobs elsewhere.