By Christopher Gillett
For the first time, the Centofanti School of Nursing is celebrating Nurses Week April 24 to 28 with a series of events for nursing students.
Dr. Nancy Wagner, the director of the Centofanti School of Nursing and a nursing professor, organized the celebration and events. Wagner said nurses play a role in both medically and emotionally caring for patients.
“[Nurses] have to have the knowledge to understand what is wrong with the patient. So caring is very important, safety is very important. And beyond that, they certainly need to be a part of the healthcare team,” Wagner said.
Conner Crogan, a senior nursing major at Youngstown State University, said Nurses Week celebrates the commitment nurses like him give.
“Nursing is not an easy job, and it’s a lot of time and commitment, and I think [Nurses Week is] just a week to celebrate all the care and love [nurses] give to their patients,” Crogan said.
Karleigh Huber, a junior nursing major, also said Nurses Week pays respect to nurses’ hard work.
“It’s just a celebration of all the hard work that we do,” Huber said. “A lot of us have additional jobs where we work in the hospitals, so it’s just the way we are appreciated, and then also to appreciate the faculty too and all the hard work they do.”
Alongside working jobs while at YSU, Wagner said nurses deal with being overworked and underpaid.
“Staffing and pay and just scheduling is an issue, and nurses are really overworked, but a lot of them still love what they do.” Wagner said.
While many students are learning about the hard work that comes with nursing, passion is pushing some forward. Paris Bumgardner, a senior nursing major, said his passions brought him into nursing.
“I just have a passion for taking care of people — I’m a people person — and I just have a passion for just healthcare and anatomy,” Bumgardner said. “Combining the two put me into the position of nursing.”
When COVID-19 vaccines were rolling out, many nursing students were given the opportunity to vaccinate people at the campus vaccine clinics. Sterling Roberts, a senior nursing major, said giving COVID-19 vaccines allowed him to use what he learned in the classroom.
“I wasn’t giving many vaccinations at the time and I think it helped me to hone in all my skills to do that, and it was a very different experience because we haven’t dealt with COVID before. So, it’s a whole new thing for us and I felt like I learned a lot,” Roberts said.
Among the Nurses Week events was a social in Cushwa Hall on April 24 where nursing majors could converse and enjoy food.
There will also be a celebration for the almost 100 graduating nursing majors April 27 where they will be given gold and red-ribboned medalions to wear at graduation. A banquet will be held for graduating students April 28.
YSU’s celebration of Nurses Week is earlier than the official National Nurses Week, which lasts from May 6 to 12 this year, so nursing students can celebrate Nurses Week before the semester ends.
During Nurses Week is also International Nurses Day on May 12, the birthday of Florence Nightingale, the founder of modern nursing. Nurses Month is also honored throughout the month of May.