In the midst of a global pandemic, nurses and doctors across the country have been working around the clock to provide care and support to those affected most. According to a report in The New York Times on Aug. 21, medical personnel and frontline workers have been disrespected, questioned, and belittled since the start of the pandemic. Many have found that the grueling hours, emotional drainage and the COVID-19 pandemic have caused many to either leave the field or change career paths altogether.
Since the pandemic, workload has increased for nurses, and the nationwide nursing shortage has made this even more difficult. An Aug. 23 article in The New York Times remarked on the understaffed hospitals and the issues the shortage has caused for both patients and nurses.
Apart from the emotional burden, nurses risk their lives and health every day to help those who are sick from COVID-19 and whatever else may bring them to the hospital. Julia Oliveria, an undergraduate Samford nursing major, offered her perspective on ongoing nursing shortages as a future nurse who will soon enter the field.
“This makes me upset for people currently in this profession, but encourages me as a nursing student to work hard and combat the shortage,” Oliveria said.
Samford University plans to help combat staffing shortages with its very own nursing students. Moffett & Sanders School of Nursing was recently awarded the Educator Loan Forgiveness Award, which will support educators or practicing nurses who are interested in starting a graduate nursing degree. Samford’s grant of $2.9 million will allow graduate nursing students to receive an education and be eligible for up to 85% loan forgiveness. The goal is to potentially encourage more prospective graduate students to pursue their dream and battle the shortage during a time when nurses are needed most.
Mikayla Alley, a junior nursing major, reflected on her time so far as a student in the Moffett and Sanders School of Nursing.
“I am so honored, blessed, and humbled to be a student here. Aside from the professors, the community that comes with it and I am thankful that God opened doors for me to come here to learn how to give and to be His hands and feet,” Alley said.
Samford University’s Moffett and Sanders School of Nursing continues to encourage its students and offer four pathways that immerse them in their preferred field. Oliveria , along with other nursing students, has known she wanted to be a nurse and help others since she was a little girl and is currently in her first semester of the nursing program.
“One thing I want people to know about students who are pursuing a nursing degree is how incredibly rewarding it is;” Oliveria said. “Not for the pay or hours or anything else other than nurses have such an important job and patients trust them so much!”
Oliveria said she hopes her nursing career will allow her to be a light for others inside and outside the hospital.
Prospective students can find the Moffett and Sanders School of Nursing’s mission on its website application page, which encourages the mantra that, “It’s long been said that people are drawn to nursing, not in search of a career, but in response to a calling.”