Bay County (WJRT) — A new class of nurses says they’re ready to help fight the coronavirus pandemic.
But they can’t, in a way, because of the pandemic.
Nursing students at Delta College were hoping to graduate next month.
While the state is asking retired nurses to jump back into the hospital because of the coronavirus, there are a number of would-be nurses asking: What about us?
“We have to have the graduate nurse title in order to work,” said Alexis Irwin.
She is so close to becoming a nurse.
“One test and our final exam,” Irwin said.
She is in the Delta College nursing program and already has a job lined at Ascension St. Mary’s in Saginaw. Many of her 69 classmates also have jobs lined up.
Irwin said she can’t be on the job until she graduates, which was originally scheduled for April 21. But Delta College has suspended in-person instruction, along with many other schools, and is developing a way for all students to finish classes online.
Irwin and the nursing students who are close to graduating also have to finish clinical rotations in hospitals before becoming a licensed nurse.
“I want to graduate, I want to go work, I have a job waiting for me, I know some of my classmates do too. We just want to help in anyway we can,” she said.
“Our health agencies have asked our students not to return because of the executive order of the Governor limiting no visitors to the hospitals, ” says Ginny Przygocki, the Dean of Career Education and Learning Partnerships at Delta College.
She said Delta College is doing its best to help the students meet their requirements for graduation in a timely fashion. She says its a complex situation.
“It is and its not just affecting Delta College, its affecting all the university and community colleges in other training areas in the state,” Przygocki said.
In the meantime, Irwin has started a petition on change.org to expedite the process of graduating senior nursing students as hospitals are expected to be busy with COVID-19 patients.
“Its not just Delta, we are pushing for everybody because they need us,” Irwin said.
She put that online petition up Thursday looking for 500 signatures. As of Friday evening, it had 418.
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