Source: News and Record

Nurses across the country are graduating from school and heading into a workforce that is facing its most difficult challenge in recent memory. The Triad is home to a number of such schools, and their nurses are ready for the difficult task ahead, the Greensboro News and Record reports

Chelsea Carmon, a student at UNCG, was midway through her preceptorship — a hands-on experience where nursing students gain firsthand knowledge of the job — when it was canceled in March. It would have been the final piece of her preparation to be a nurse, but because of the pandemic the process was cut short.

“The preceptorship really gives you that confidence you need,” Carmon told the News and Record. “I was able to do a lot of patient care, assessments. Online courses seem fine. But in all honesty, as nursing students we like to be in class, we like to be engaged. We want to learn hands-on. We were really sad about this.”

While the availability of PPE is a chief concern, the new nurses told the News and Record they were eager to start their careers.

Delays in the NCLEX test — part of the process of licensure for nurses — means that many are entering the field with temporary permits provided by the North Carolina Board of Nursing. 

“These students (working with the permit) will be able to do what a registered nurse can do, but a registered nurse has to be available at all times,” said Lynne Lewallen, associate dean for academic affairs at UNCG’s School of Nursing told the News and Record.

As frontline workers in the fight against coronavirus, many have called nurses and similar professions heroes in the last few weeks. But Carmon wouldn’t dub herself one.

“We’re not heroes,” she told the News and Record. “This is our job. This is what nurses have done forever. It’s true we’re front-line workers, we do what we do. Nurses are doing their jobs the way they’ve always done them. It’s just now, we’re in kind of an unknown situation.”
Read more about how Triad nurses are entering the fight against coronavirus from the News and Record.