DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – It’s National Nurses Week, and some recent graduates from Sinclair Community College are joining those ranks during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Nearly 140 students have graduated from Sinclair Community College’s nursing program this academic year, including 65 students this month, according to officials.
“With all the panic and all the anxiety surrounding this pandemic, I want to be a part of the success stories,” said Madison Herres, one of the graduates.
Herres, who is from Kettering, told 2 NEWS she first became interested in nursing after her sister had a heart transplant.
Now, after recently graduating from Sinclair Community College, she’s preparing to start her new job next month as a nurse at Miami Valley Hospital, which has been treating COVID-19 patients.
“I want to see people get better, take their first breath off that ventilator,” Herres said. “I want to have them go home and get discharged and go back to the family that they haven’t seen in weeks.”
Herres said she’s set to work in cardiology but is prepared to help wherever needed.
At Sinclair, instructors have emphasized proper hand hygiene and social distancing, Herres said.
“One thing they did stress is take care of yourselves,” she said. “Keep yourselves healthy. Eat well. Sleep well.”
A state law passed in March allows nursing grads to work at hospitals with urgent need before taking the state licensing exam.
Herres told 2 NEWS she and her classmates have still received the hands-on clinical training needed, adding that she is excited to get started.
“You’re with people during the most dark and scary times of their lives, and you get to be a part of a treatment team that can watch people walk out with a new face of life,” Herres said. “And I think that’s incredibly fulfilling.”
In addition to the nurses, several respiratory therapists who have also recently graduated from Sinclair will be joining the front lines, according to college officials.