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Studying to be a nurse during a pandemic

ESU student nurses are learning online after coronavirus concerns shut down universities in the Commonwealth.

EAST STROUDSBURG, Pa. — Online classes are in session for East Stroudsburg University.  Coronavirus concerns prompted the university to switch to this type of learning for the rest of the semester.

One student has already been on the frontlines of the outbreak.

"I actually had the experience to have patients come in with the coronavirus and see the whole process. It's actually quite interesting to see how much the nurses do and care for these patients, and I think it's very important, it shows the value of nurses in a community and how much we need nurses, especially during this time," said Jenna Vledder, ESU senior nursing student.

After seeing how the virus is being treated first-hand, senior nursing student Jenna Vledder feels that this current situation is an important time for student nurses.

"This is a really good time for us to be educated and be educators. Especially with all the false information and hysteria," said Vledder.

Laura Waters is an associate professor at ESU and chair of the nursing department. She says it's crucial for her students to get back to learning.

They have a community health course that is very appropriate that they have it this semester now with the pandemic. Within that course, they are doing a lot of things in terms of talking about the nurse's role in the community during a pandemic and keeping the public safe," said Waters.

Senior Tamia Watson is ready to graduate and get to work.

"This really kind of shows you if this is the right field for you if you chose the right field. You're willing to go in and help others no matter what risk it puts you at," said Watson.

Because of online courses, right now, these senior nursing students are on track to graduate later this spring.