Six students graduated last week from the University of Alaska's nursing program housed at the UAF Kuskokwim Campus. Completing a nursing program during a pandemic posed both challenges and opportunities. Ruby Anvil said that she had to go through quarantine as a student, just like regular health care workers.
“And I didn’t work to the extent just as health care workers, but I was separated from my family. And this was really eye-opening to see how dedicated health care workers are to providing the care that they do. Just to step away from your family and offer yourself that way is very selfless, and I found a new appreciation for all these workers.”
Anvil was glad that she could do her clinical work at the Bethel hospital instead of virtually. The nursing students went through special training to help treat COVID-19 patients. Anvil graduated at the top of her class, and said that it was not easy. There were many tough days and challenges, but she just kept going.
“It’s only temporary,” Anvil said. “You can push through it. It doesn’t last as long as it seems. I’ve been in nursing school for two years, and it feels like I blinked. And during my studying times when I was exhausted it felt like an entire lifetime, but it really wasn’t. It’s only temporary.”
The idea that this will pass is something all of us in the pandemic can take away. Anvil plans to pursue a career in pediatric nursing specializing in children with epilepsy, something she has personal experience with because her daughter is epileptic.