(ST. JOSEPH, Mo.) This past year, nursing students at Missouri Western State University turned the pandemic into their classroom and joined the frontlines.
Some 60 nursing students were thrust into aiding during a once-in-a-lifetime public health crisis. Students receiving real life on the job training by helping administer coronavirus vaccines at local community clinics as part of their schooling.
Rylee Ellis, a 3rd semester nursing student at MWSU, said the experience has been invaluable, “I know one of my nursing teachers said we have probably already given more vaccines as students than she ever has in her nursing career.”
Nursing instructors for the university said the students stepped up to assist in the local fight against COVID-19 even during a time when their own learning experience was challenging as many classes had to go virtual at the start of the pandemic.
“I think resilience is the best word to describe them,” said Chrisi Campbell, DNP, FNP-BC Associate Professor MWSU Dept. of Nursing.
At a time of uncertainty and fear, as the virus has killed over half-a-million Americans so far, nursing students said watching health care workers risk their lives affirmed their belief they were in the right career path.
“Oh yeah, like 100%. COVID is scary. We had no idea what was going to happen, so the fact that they were willing to work with patients with a virus that we didn’t know a lot about was just really inspiring,” said Ellis.
That passion fueled students to assist in the battle against the virus in their community. MWSU nursing students spent many weekends volunteering to administer vaccines for surrounding counties.
Instructors said these future nurses are the heartbeat of what health care is.