Nursing students on front line of vaccine distribution

Nursing student giving vaccination

Marshall University nursing students have been on the front line of the COVID-19 vaccination clinics this winter. With a need for those qualified to give the vaccine, Marshall administration looked to its most qualified students, nursing students in the College of Health Professions.

Dr. Denise Landry is the chair of the School of Nursing, and she says it’s been invaluable experience for the nursing students.

“Our faculty and students have demonstrated a great degree of professionalism and community activism during this pandemic on multiple occasions,” Landry said. “They helped to make sure that Marshall faculty, staff and students were tested for COVID-19 at the beginning of the academic year, and they have done a great job in helping to ensure the Marshall community get the COVID-19 vaccine. I could not be prouder.”

Through the state’s Higher Education Policy Commission, the university was selected to supply the Marshall University community with the vaccine. With the use of a survey near the first of the year Marshall compiled a list of those wanting the vaccination and prioritized them by age and physical conditions. Through Feb. 25 the university’s vaccination system had supplied 1,364 first doses and 892 second doses. And many of those were done by students in the School of Nursing.

Tracy Smith is Marshall’s director of environmental health and safety. He says much of the success the university has had with administering the vaccine is owed to the School of Nursing and its students.

“The assistance provided from our School of Nursing faculty and students was key to the success of vaccine administration on campus,” Smith said. “Without their commitment, we would have to rely on vaccination clinics elsewhere. They have done an amazing job helping us reach our goal in the vaccination of our employees.”

Assistant Professor in the School of Nursing Tammy Minor played a key role in helping to coordinate the nursing students.

“I feel this has been a valuable experience for the nursing students,” Minor said. “This pandemic is one that we have never experienced in our lifetime thus far. As the future generation of nurses, it is imperative these students learn the importance of community and strive to make their communities a healthy and safe place to live for all people. Volunteering their time, skill and expertise is key to community sustainability and the promotion of health and wellness.”

Marshall University plans to vaccinate each employee who favorably responded to the survey.

Photo: Nursing Student Cameron Wallace administers the COVID-19 vaccine to a Marshall staff member.