Nursing students who have recently graduated are now able to quickly join the workforce after a provision put in place by the Oklahoma Board of Nursing. This allows recent graduates to begin working in hospitals before they take their licensing exams.
Samantah Tryon said she never imagined going through nursing school in a pandemic, but she's never been more ready to get to work.
"Just knowing that you get to be a part of that, and knowing you get to help, and be at the bedside with those patients," Tryon said.
Tryon graduated from Tulsa Community College last weekend and begins work in the critical ICU at Saint Francis next week. She said she is aware of the nursing shortage happening right now and is ready to help where she can.
"Now knowing that I'm actually going to be that nurse that is going to take the weight off their shoulders is the best thing," Tryon said.
Tryon said her work will be restricted until she passes the licensing exam, but she's looking forward to learning from experienced nurses. She said she feels like she will be a better nurse because of the learning that has happened during the pandemic.
"Just kind of seeing like the progression of what COVID was, was pretty interesting because we started off not knowing, is it airborne is it contact," she said.
Tryon said she is ready to start working and knows there are patients who need her.
"Just being at their bedside at their time of need and their darkest hour, and just being their light," Tryon said.