Carteret Community College nursing students assisting healthcare workers on front lines of COVID-19

Crystal Coast

MOREHEAD CITY, N.C. — In unprecedented times with a national nursing shortage, Carteret Community College nursing students rise to the challenge when called upon to administer COVID-19 vaccines.

Over the next two weeks, Carteret Community College nursing students will report to Carteret Health Care as COVID-19 vaccinators. These students are in their final semester of the nursing program have been instructed, trained and skill-verified by the Carteret CC nursing faculty over the past five semesters to safely administer injections.

“I feel ecstatic to have been presented with the opportunity to participate in Carteret Health Care COVID-19 vaccination clinic,” said Brenda Hernandez, a Carteret CC second-year nursing student. “Not only is Carteret Health Care allowing us to be part of the vaccination clinic, but [they] are also giving us the opportunity to build a real sense of achievement.

“From personal experience, I can say that the more I give, the happier I feel. By volunteering in the vaccination clinic, I am doing good for others and the community, and in return receiving a sense of accomplishment.”

Carteret Community College and Carteret Health Care share a unique partnership and work together to train future health care professionals.

“We’ve worked with the College for many years and we know the quality of their nursing program,” said Tonya Dixon, nurse recruiter for Carteret Health Care. “It was an easy decision to reach out to them to help distribute the COVID-19 vaccine.”

Just three months shy of graduation, these students are already hard at work in the nursing field. In addition to their coursework, they are logging clinical hours and interviewing for fulltime employment after graduation. However, when the opportunity to help make a difference presented itself, they took it.

“I feel privileged that we have access to this clinical learning opportunity,” said Kaitlin Guthrie, a Carteret CC second year nursing student. “It will not only provide our class with experience, but will also allow us to assist in the effort to administer these much-needed vaccinations to the community.”

Clinical hours are a vital component of a nursing student’s education, but can be challenging to schedule due to limitations imposed by clinical facilities, especially with additional COVID-19 precautions.

“As an instructor, it is a dream come true to get to participate in a clinic where the students can gain so much experience,” said Camella Marcom, Carteret CC nursing instructor. She and the rest of the nursing faculty at Carteret CC are very appreciative of the partnership with Carteret Health Care. They believe it is an important part of the students’ success. 

In response to the nursing shortage, Carteret Community College is expanding the nursing program by 10% over the next two admission cycles. Beginning Fall 2021, the nursing program will grow from 50 to 53 total students. This growth will continue until the program reaches 55 students, increasing the maximum capacity by 10%.

To learn more about the Nursing Program at Carteret Community College visit www.carteret.edu.

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