Nursing Students ready to help

By Chloe Nott

Frontline healthcare workers have faced many additional challenges in the last year that no one was prepared for. But that is not stopping Quincy University’s nursing students from pursuing a career of helping others.

QU partners with Blessing-Rieman College of Nursing (BRCN) and Health Sciences to provide a four-year bachelor of science in nursing. This partnership allows students to have a traditional college experience while gaining a professional nursing education. It also give these students the opportunity to participate in extracurricular activities such as QU’s athletic programs.

BRCN was founded in 1891. Today, BRCN is a regionally and nationally accredited institution, as awarded by the Higher Learning Commission. BRCN partners with Blessing Hospital, the largest medical center in the tri-state area.

Students were required to finish the 2020 spring semester online due to the pandemic. This learning adjustment from hands-on experience to fully digital was difficult for both students and instructors. Students were able to complete virtual simulations and clinicals as well as theoretical study.

Junior Emilee Autry found the transition to online learning particular hard as she was just beginning to participate in clinicals and start the practical nursing curriculum. However, this struggle did not deter her from wanting to become a nurse.

“When we did get sent home I just remember like watching the news and watching everything blow up and I was like, I feel like I should be helping, I feel like I should be doing something right now,” Autry said.

Junior Paige Anderson has learned that as a healthcare professional you have to be ready for whatever you may face. She says the pandemic has been a reminder for everyone that we can’t predict the future, but we can be better prepared.

“You’ve got to expect the unexpected. No one obviously saw this (COVID) coming, so I think you’ve got to be ready for anything at this point,” Anderson said.

Nursing students Emilee Autry, Paige Anderson, and Emma Vaughn. Image source: Emilee Autry

All nursing students have now been able to return to in-person learning both in the classroom and at Blessing Hospital. The students wear masks and goggles at the hospital and have been fitted with N95 masks if they are needed in the future.

Frontline workers, as the name suggests, are society’s first line of defense and protection. They carry a great responsibility to care for others and often go to great lengths to do so. Long hours and environmental dangers do not stop these courageous members of our communities.

Junior Emma Vaughn has always had a strong connection to nursing. Her mother is a nurse at a children’s hospital in St. Louis, Missouri and Vaughn is ready to follow in her footsteps.

“Just like seeing her not even on the COVID floor but just what she was dealing with throughout the situation too, it just made me realize how much I do want to be out there helping people as well,” Vaughn said.

Autry and Anderson have accepted nursing jobs over the summer where they will be able to gain valuable experience in the field. After the summer, all three nurses will return to QU for their senior year.

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