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UAH nursing student shares experience; fall 2021 commencement happening on Monday

Published: Dec. 10, 2021 at 11:45 AM CST
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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WAFF) - Flexibility, creativity and dedication; those are three words that sum up Emily Johnson’s nursing school experience at UAH. She’s graduating on Monday with her bachelor of science in nursing.

The COVID-19 pandemic hit during Johnson’s second semester of nursing school and her schedule was turned upside down. However, Johnson said her perspective of nursing changed for the better and she became even more passionate.

“Nurses really have to be very flexible and adaptable and I feel like that’s something that was definitely instilled in us during this time...You just gotta go with the flow,” Johnson said.

As soon as the pandemic hit, Johnson said her instructors jumped into action. They came up with creative and innovative ways for the students to learn.

“They did virtual clinicals, and virtual simulations, and escape rooms and case studies and all sorts of different things,” Johnson said.

Once the COVID situation settled a bit, Johnson and her peers jumped right back to in-person clinicals. Working in the hospital during the pandemic didn’t shy Johnson away. In fact, she said it made her and many of her classmates more eager.

“I think it strengthened everybody’s resolve to become a nurse because they knew that we were so needed,” she said.

Nurses are in high demand nationwide and in North Alabama. In September, Governor Ivey allocated millions of dollars of CARES Act federal funding to help. However, dozens of travel nurses who came to the state, are already back home.

Johnson said she’s eager to get out there, no matter how tough or long the days may be.

“As a nurse every single day, you are going to touch somebody’s life or they are going to touch yours,” Johnson said. “So it’s a very special, very unique opportunity and I highly highly recommend that other people pursue nursing too.”

Johnson hopes to go into pediatrics or labor and delivery. Her ultimate goal is to teach at a university and share her experiences with the next generation of nurses.

“The instructors that I’ve had played a very influential positive role in my life and so I’d really like to be able to love on the future generation of nurses and have a part in their education...so that’s my ultimate goal,” Johnson said.

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