Creighton University College of Nursing juniors are reaching the end of the first semester of clinicals with COVID-19, and some say their passions for their major haven’t been marginalized but have grown.

Nursing clinicals give students a firsthand experience in the workforce through shadowing nurses in different fields. They have specific rotations that show the different opportunities found throughout this particular degree in different hospital units such as OB- GYN, trauma and psychiatric clinics, as well as health care work.

Since her spring semester was cut short due to school closing from COVID-19, junior College of Nursing student Sydney Case came into the year feeling slightly unprepared to care for patients. However, through the guidance of the college faculty and her clinical instructors, her doubts were cast aside and a new confidence was formed.

Case said she adored her OB rotation in labor and delivery and postpartum.

“I am very passionate about caring for women and children and am very oriented towards women’s rights and well-being, so it was the perfect first clinical rotation, personally,” Case said. “I was able to watch the birthing process and work alongside the nurses and faculty to administer medications, assess the mothers and their newborns, as well as comfort the babies in the nursery prior to their newborn screenings or circumcisions.”

Her passions have been easily incorporated into her work.

This year’s clinicals have looked quite different than past years. Students say the stakes have become higher.

Junior nursing student Maddie Myrtue is thankful that the pandemic occurred during her clinicals.

“In a way, I’m grateful that I’m learning to become a nurse during this unprecedented time; it gives me an advantage,” Myrtue said. “ I’m learning how to take care of people during the worst times for patients, so it can only go up from here. If a global pandemic would ever happen again, I would be prepared.”

Nursing sophomore Kori Kimberly says COVID-19 has not affected her career choice at all, as she has always wanted to become a nurse.

Kimberly looks forward to her clinicals next fall, as she hopes to gain insight on the fields of nursing through firsthand experiences, but she has some doubts.

Her classes are half online and half in-person, which has made some material more difficult to understand.

“Nursing is a very hands-on career, and it is hard to feel completely prepared without practicing hands-on,” Kimberly said.“I hope I will be confident enough going into clinicals even with my schooling being online.”

Kimberly, like most of her nursing colleagues, has embraced this academic challenge through extra efforts in and out of the classroom.

Myrtue said it has been a learning experience for her.

“I’ve learned so much, and it’s only been three months,” Myrtue said. “The lessons I’ve learned will stick with me forever, and I’m so grateful for the opportunities that Creighton has given me with this nursing program.”

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