Pandemic triggers interest in nursing field in Abilene

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ABILENE, Texas (KTAB/KRBC) – While things may seem quiet over at Texas Tech here in Abilene, the work still continues.

“It’s not the norm of our last semester,” said Joe Gomez, a student at Texas Tech Health Sciences Center.

Gomez has finished his final class and is now just looking toward passing his RN certification tests.

“It’s a little different,” said Gomez.

He says that because the class ended a little earlier than he was expecting due to COVID-19, but this year, that isn’t the only change these students are facing.

“Seeing how different parts of the world need more nurses and more help and stuff, that brings us a hunger to go out and help out our community even more,” said Gomez.

As Dr. Pearl Merritt says, that seems to be the same feeling for most students no matter the grade.

“I’ve had emails saying that it makes them so glad that they are in nursing and reemphasizes why they went into nursing,” said Dr. Merritt, Texas Tech Health and Sciences Center.

While that excitement holds true for the current students, it’s also trickling down into those who are still waiting for the chance to sit in these seats.

“Nursing has always been the most trusted profession, it’s always been number one and now that people are seeing how heroic they are, it certainly emphasizes why nursing is number one,” said Dr. Merritt.

What a lot of it boils down to is the coronavirus isn’t just bringing more awareness to the field, but it’s giving those who have an interest the opportunity to learn something new.

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