By Fatima Magana '22
ALLIANCE, OH- Many students attend Mount Union because of its beautiful campus, family-oriented atmosphere, community, sports, and academic programs, like nursing. The University has many future nurses whose goals are to care for loved ones and those needing cared for. Raider nurses often describe their chosen career as a passion. Students, Allison Waggoner ‘23 and Leeah Dulaney ‘23 discuss their experiences in the nursing field along with how the coronavirus pandemic impacted their academic, professional, and personal lives.
“I chose nursing in general after spending many summers with my great grandma growing up. She initially took care of me, but after she was diagnosed with dementia, the roles reversed. I then realized how much I enjoyed taking care of other people,” explained Waggoner.
Waggoner, who is a recipient of the Investment Alliance Scholarship, could have attended any other university to pursue her college career, however, in addition to the full tuition scholarship, the exceptional things she heard of Mount Union’s nursing program made her choice easier and clearer.
Dulaney, also a recipient of the Investment Alliance Scholarship, chose Mount Union’s nursing program because of the closeness to home, her love to do something in the medical field, and throughout her journey, the nursing faculty.
“Mount Union’s nursing faculty are amazing. They are always supportive and honest, which is something I’m grateful for,” explained Dulaney. She added that specifically, Clinical Assistant Professors Monica Andreski and Kelly Schwendiman have guided and supported her throughout her nursing career at Mount Union.
Both Waggoner and Dulaney stated that as nursing majors they were scared when the COVID-19 pandemic broke out due to them being in a field that dealt with it directly. However, because they wanted the situation to better itself and be a part of a change, they trusted the vaccines and were vaccinated.
Dulaney remembers that her first clinical was at Cleveland Clinic Mercy Hospital in Canton, Ohio back in the spring of 2021 while the pandemic was still not as well understood.
“I was scared to go to the hospital for clinicals because I knew that COVID was still in full swing, and some clinical sites didn’t even allow students to go to the hospitals,” said Dulaney. “However, as nursing students, the hospitals allowed us to get vaccinated early.”
Waggoner explained that her favorite memory from the nursing program is when the lockdown was lifted, and she began clinicals as she was able to vaccinate her grandmother.
“It was also a cool learning opportunity to learn about COVID itself and the vaccine process in the classroom and having it so closely relate to what was happening within the hospitals,” added Waggoner.
Lastly, as both Waggoner and Dulaney will graduate this coming spring, they hope to work at a hospital that provides them with many learning experiences. Waggoner expressed loving the oncology field and would like to be an oncology nurse upon graduation. Dulaney would like to be either an obstetrician or gastroenterology nurse.