Graduating nurses say they’re ready for the next challenge

Published: May. 27, 2021 at 8:59 AM EDT
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WATERTOWN, N.Y. (WWNY) - It’s a time-honored tradition at Jefferson Community College.

One by one, 37 JCC nursing graduates are pinned, signifying an end to two years of studies -- both in person and at home.

“It was very tough going through the pandemic and not being able to do clinicals in certain areas,” Kristyn Yaklich said, “but this has still always remained my passion and my number one goal.”

Yaklich joined her classmates Wednesday night to celebrate the beginning of their professional careers in nursing.

“I get to be able to take care of patients, and people, and brighten their days by just being able to take care of them,” Yaklich said.

This class, the class of 2021, dealt with what most students endured during the COVID-19 pandemic -- online learning -- all while preparing to join a health care industry that is working on the front lines of the global health crisis.

“We’re going through a pandemic at this time, people are burnt out, and they need help,” Allison Howard said. “They need replacements and we need to relieve some of those nurses and be there for them.”

And to the nurses out there providing care now, “Just keep doing what you guys are doing,” Lesley Wood said. ‘Eventually, we are going to be right there with you and we will make sure that we can help in any way that we can.”

For Sarah Lovely, it’s the feeling she gets from helping patients that kept her on this path.

“I don’t know, just being there,” Lovely said. “It makes you feel full, taking care of them and treating them like family.”

As for what’s next, it varies. Whether it’s in the emergency department, medevac helicopters, or in pediatrics, they will all be putting the last two years of study to good use.

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