Auburn University nursing students persevering amid pandemic

Published: Jan. 24, 2022 at 6:03 PM CST
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AUBURN, Ala. (WTVM) - It’s been nearly two years since the pandemic hit our nation, and it’s still pushing our healthcare heroes to work harder.

Nursing schools and students are also changing the way they approach the nursing field.

News Leader 9 talked with several nursing students who told her that their passion for the health field has not changed, but the need for nurses is critical in this day in time.

“No one graduates and says ‘I wanna be a COVID nurse’... that’s a new thing,” Auburn University nursing student Joanna Hotten explained.

Learning remote for most of nursing school, Hotten said it has been less than easy, but adapting has been key.

“As our first semester, there was a lot of ‘Here’s a video to give a shot’ and learning that way,” she explained. “We came back in the fall and had never stepped foot in a hospital. it was pretty intense.”

As for Reagan Salaman, a third semester nursing school, she said she has always had a passion for helping people, but even as a student, she feels the critical need for more nurses.

“With nursing, there’s always been a shortage, but especially now more than ever,” Salaman explained. “Nurses are at the point where we need more. I know Auburn Nursing is accepting more applicants each year, so I know there’s going to be a big surge each graduating class.”

Also, some big incentives for nurses right now, especially those who leave a hospital to travel for their career, instead of being dedicated to one hospital.

“Travel nursing is really big right now, but it’s also really hated in the nursing world,” Hotten said. “There’s a lot of COVID money out there that’s great for travel, so I think a lot of nurses are leaving hospitals and so a lot of scrambling going on.”

As for nursing student Anna Harris, she said she’s known since a young age that she wanted to be a nurse despite the added hardships of being in school during a pandemic

“My family has always, although they’re not nurses, loved to help people,” Harris explained. “I’ve always loved to help people. Especially during the pandemic, I know how scary that can be. I just want to be able to be there for somebody and help them through that.”

We talked with several nursing students Monday at Auburn University, and the bottom line: They said they are working to be in this profession that they have a passion for even if it means working harder at times in these unprecedented times.

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