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Charleston nursing grads to face front lines of pandemic

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.(Live 5 News)
Updated: Apr. 3, 2020 at 9:55 PM EDT
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CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - Universities are preparing nursing students for the workforce during a pandemic, as graduates are heading to the front lines.

ECPI University has transitioned to remote learning for its students. While it has been a challenge converting to virtual instruction, faculty say that the COVID-19 crisis has also been a good learning experience for the students.

“It hadn’t been in our lifetime per se, but this gives a good taste as to what they can experience and the importance of maintaining the same standard,” RN Faculty member Tammy Steplight. “This means the safety, confidence, and caring for the patients.”

After about 13 months of constant studying and hard work, ECPI graduate Cherise Shaw finished her studies to be a licensed practical nurse.

She is currently working at a medical office, but she says this pandemic has presented new challenges for her.

“We’ve had lots patients calling with lots of questions. I’m currently working remotely, so I’m working at another office right now,” Shaw said."We’re told to do social distancing, take proper precautions, and wear the appropriate PPES. We also have to self-monitor daily and take our daily temperatures."

Regardless, Shaw says there is nothing else she would rather be doing than working as a nurse.

“If it is in your heart to be a nurse, you have to study hard and listen to your instructors,” Shaw said. “Nothing is going to be easy and you cannot quit. We need you, they need us.”

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