The need for nurses have risen in the country after large numbers of health care workers have quit or taken a leave of absence from the industry after an extremely hectic past two years battling Covid-19. Yet enrollment has increased across the country by college students to fill these vital positions.
Enrollment in undergraduate and graduate nursing programs in the U.S. has increased by nearly six percent, according to American Association Colleges of Nursing.
Mercy offers an undergraduate and graduate program to prepare students for licensure and get them started on treating patients. They offer a variety of classes and programs such as the Family Nurse Practitioner program, clinical simulations, and learning labs. The clinical simulation as seen on the left is to simulate what it is like working at a hospital hence the monitor and the baby doll in the stretcher.
March of 2020 was the beginning of the Covid-19 lockdown. Students were told to stay home, quarantine, and finish up the semester via online classes and zoom. Fast forward to today and Mercy has stated the freshman class is very strong as of 2021. It is amazing that even now many are joining the field to combat not only this disease but to cure people and save lives from other ones.
As of Aug. 17, 2021 the vaccination is required to enter restaurants, gyms, and other indoor places. Mercy is even asking students to show proof of vaccinations in order to take classes on campus.
Some people do not like this mandate, some however think it is necessary. Briana Askaran, English major states: “I think it is forced, as the vaccination should have been thoroughly tested. You should not have to force someone against their will to take something they do not want to take.”
Toni Ann Ram, EMT in training, thinks the opposite, however. She said, ” I’m OK with mandated vaccines, mostly because it gives me comfort and reassurance of being in a room with vaccinated people. I was skeptical of it but mandated vaccines are not something that just came about. It has been around for years. We need to move on from this disease and this is the first step to doing so.”
Reasons cited for the nurses leaving positions vary. Some were not interested in getting the vaccine, while others argued for more proof of vaccination to citizens.
A Mercy College sophomore at the Dobbs Ferry campus works at a hospital. That student stated that learning how to battle COVID and being trained to appease CDC guidelines are completely different situations. That student also stated that in the hospital they work at, they learn how to conduct the COVID test. They are also required to take the vaccination in order to work in the field.
Martin Dadzid, a 28-year-old student at the Bronx campus had the following to say when asked how he felt about the vaccination policy: “It’s everyone’s choice, I took it not only to protect myself but of course my family and child.”
He also went on to explain further that in class, they do not learn how to battle COVID but how to treat and prevent it. However, they are asked to wear masks and even face coverings at times. They are to follow regulations and of course, keep themselves sanitized. Martin also works at a hospital. He has to follow the same procedures that the other student has to follow as well.
Even while being in school some students are in hospitals gaining the experience they need and being the heroes that they are. By the end of 2020, the state has averaged forty-five deaths with forty-three of them happening on a seven-day average. Keep in mind that this was only for New York, not the United States or the world for that matter. A pandemic like no other, it still has a hold on us, and with the cold/holiday season, one can expect those numbers to jump right back up.
Coronavirus aside however it seems as if the college is doing everything it can to help young minds learn more about the medical field. In the Bronx campus, the fourth-floor used to be a bunch of empty classrooms. Now it’s the main hall for the nursing students. As 2021 begins to wrap up and the world becomes more and more open. It is very reassuring that Mercy is doing everything it can to prepare the heroes of the near future.