Preparing nurses for the future amid the coronavirus pandemic


LOGAN COUNTY, W.Va. (WOWK) — Southern West Virginia Community and Technical College kicked off its nursing boot camp this fall semester, aiming to prepare new students for the challenges soon-to-be nurses will face during the pandemic.

“Choosing a field of nursing that takes a special individual,” Dean of Allied Health and Nursing Russell Saunders said. “To care for others is a commitment.”

After a year of learning through Zoom, students will once again receive in-person instruction in the classroom with mannequins simulating real-life patients.

However, COVID-19 isn’t the only problem future nurses are facing. Southern West Virginia President Dr. Pamela Alderman says the low number of people in the profession is becoming a big problem.

“We’ve always had a challenge over the years with nursing and we’ve always had nursing shortages,” she said. “The nursing shortage is getting to be almost a crisis.”

This year, the turnout has improved. The college welcomed 78 new students, with only one dropping out in a week.

“Nursing is a calling,” Alderman said. “You really want to be a nurse, you have to be here. They were so excited to be coming into the nursing profession and to be going out to clinical’s in hopefully four-to-six weeks.”

Saunders says there’s always a need for nursing and there are plenty of jobs available for graduates.

“It’s also very rewarding,” he said. “There’s many positions available locally, statewide in each county and all across the nation.”

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