Although the students will not be activated until at least graduation, Ulrich said the students are excited about jump-starting their career after the second week of May.
“This is what they wanted to do and they’re very excited that they’re going to get to be involved,” Ulrich said.
Most nursing grads will not be directly in the ICU, Ulrich said, but they will be part of the frontline health-care team.
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“They may be taking care of the patients who are less severe and not in the ICU with COVID-19,” Ulrich said. “But some of them may make it in there. You just don’t know.”
Not only is the 2020 nursing class the largest ever to graduate from Wright State, but 26 additional nurses will be graduating from the Wright State Lake Campus — taking the total to almost 150 new nurses.
“Most of them are local, too,” Ulrich said. “Not all, but the vast majority are local and they stay local. So that’s what makes it even more special, that they’re actually going to be in our community, serving the communities that they live in.”
Such a big undertaking does not come without some nervousness, Ulrich said, and students might even be scared at times — just like everyone can be.
“The reason is, this isn’t like the flu,” Ulrich said. “This isn’t like something we know anything about. Every day we’re learning new things about this disease and we really don’t know what’s going to happen.”
Watching the progression of the virus in places like New York City and hearing about other nurses not able to return home or having to stay in hotels can take a toll on nurses everywhere, especially nurses only beginning their career.
“Still, when they came into nursing, they came in for a reason,” Ulrich said. “They know that they have the knowledge how to keep themselves safe and I think they also know that they need to ask for what they need … For the most part, I think they’re excited but a little nervous and a little scared. But we’ll get through this, that’s what I tell all of them.”
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