Oklahoma Christian University nursing students are helping to fill the nursing gap for hospitals.
The holiday season signals a time of family gatherings, shopping and school breaks that all look different during a global pandemic. In 2020, the semester break for nursing students is creating a desperate need for hospitals that are overrun with COVID-19 patients.
Bachelor of science nursing (BSN) students enroll in clinicals to gain hands-on experience before graduating. Now, hospitals are faced with bidding farewell to the group of fall semester, future-nurses and waiting weeks for the spring semester students to arrive.
"We knew that we had to do something to help," said OC President John deSteiguer. "Our School of Nursing faculty have been actively collaborating with other leaders in the field to pave the way for OC BSN students to begin clinicals a few weeks early. The bottom-line is that we want to serve, our students want to serve. This is the essence of OC."
The arrangement is a win for hospitals with a deeply felt need and for students who typically work for no pay. The Board of Nursing has temporarily changed some rules that will allow nursing students to be paid for their clinical experiences. Hospitals can hire the student as a nurse technician and pay them during their clinical work. The arrangement will continue for the number of hours required to complete the course work.
Program Chair for Nursing Shawna Hood and Dean of Professional Studies Dr. Jennifer Gray are members of a group that has been meeting over the last month to address the desperate need for nurses during the COVID pandemic. Other participants include chief nursing officers, managers and leaders of nursing education programs who are working alongside area healthcare providers who are now between expected clinical groups.
OC will start three nursing courses next week, which would normally begin mid-January. Clinical groups are scheduled to work at INTEGRIS between Dec. 7 and Jan. 24.
Oklahoma Christian University is a higher learning community transforming lives for Christian faith, scholarship and service with a 14-to-one student teacher ratio. Driven by missions - not just majors, OC believes everyone has an important significance to this world. Located at 2501 East Memorial Road on a 200 acre residential campus, OC is home to forward thinking, nimble creativity and a yearning to always serve others who are in need.