Engaged Learning

Rising to the occasion

If we’ve learned anything in the past year, it’s that nursing matters.

Nurses have responded to the global health crisis with courage and compassion, sacrificing so much to be heroes on the frontlines. The JMU School of Nursing, which celebrated its 40th anniversary in 2020, has a proud tradition of producing nurses who are ready to make an impact on day one.

“JMU has prepared me to care for many patients, no matter what their background or situation is.”
Meghan Schultz (’20)

When COVID-19 hit, students and alumni of the school were thrown into the middle of a crisis and forced to put their knowledge and experience to use in ways they weren’t expecting.

This past summer, senior nursing student Jacob Payne was hired to work in the Virginia Commonwealth University Medical Center. “I worked in supplemental staffing, so I worked on every single floor and it’s a monster of a hospital,” he said. “As difficult as it was, this program has prepared me for it. I felt comfortable and competent, and that’s because of JMU.”

Meghan Schultz (’20) was serving as shelter manager with Open Doors, which supports the Harrisonburg homeless population, when the pandemic hit.

“I wasn’t nervous to work with possibly infected patients due to the fact COVID-19 can be spread anywhere,” Schultz said. “Just because these people are homeless does not mean they are infected, which is a common misconception. JMU has prepared me to care for many patients, no matter what their background or situation is.”

Lauren Marinak (’05) shared a similar sentiment. “My nursing education at JMU prepared me to be resilient and open to the evolving world of medicine. My professors always encouraged us to continue learning and expanding our knowledge base to allow us to be prepared for anything life threw at us, even a pandemic.”

Read more about the School of Nursing's 40th anniversary and ongoing impact here

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