Nursing students inspired to help others amid pandemic

Nurses working tirelessly on the frontlines during the coronavirus pandemic are inspiring nursing students as they prepare for the job.

"Helping people is something I've wanted to do," Brianna O'Sullivan, a senior at Stony Brook University School of Nursing, told FOX 5 NY. "This is such a time now when more people need help than ever."

As she and her classmates get ready to put their training to the test, they say they've never been more confident in their career choice.

"It's very exciting, each time we go in there's new patients and challenges we have to overcome," student Philip Massaro said.

Each year, Stony Brook's nursing school accepts around 240 students. And despite COVID-19, Dr. Annette Wysock, the dean, still anticipates a slight uptick in enrollment this coming year.

"It's motivated a lot of people to go into nursing who see it as an important part of the healthcare system," Wysocki said.

This is an anticipated trend at nursing schools throughout the tri-state area, according to Dr. Eileen Sullivan-Marx, the president of the American Academy of Nursing. Sullivan-Marx is also the dean of NYU's Rory Meyers College of Nursing, which has seen a nearly 9% increase in overall applications.

"Staying, joining, and rededicating is what I see among people interested in nursing," Sullivan-Marx said.

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Adelphi's nursing program has received just under 1,600 applications for fall 2021.

"From a perspective or the pandemic causing a decrease in nursing applications, that's simply not proving to be true," said Dr. Elaine Smith, the dean of the College of Nursing and Public Health.

Third-year students Gianna Gatien and Molly Searight are getting the opportunity to work in clinical settings. They call this an invaluable hands-on experience, especially during the pandemic, to pursue dreams through drive and dedication.