Superhero Nursing Students!

By Paige Kennedy, RN, MSN ’19

June 15, 2020

By Paige Kennedy RN, MSN '19

Superheroes are more likely to be wearing scrubs than a cape since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. Across the country, registered nurses are working tirelessly on the front lines and behind the scenes to keep patients safe and medical facilities running. Franklin Pierce University is proud to be educating hundreds of these healthcare heroes in our RN-to-BSN and Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) programs.

Balancing work, academics, and family, Franklin Pierce nursing students must prioritize daily to excel in their courses and manage changing work protocols during this time of pandemic. They work long hours, extra hours, and many are assigned care of COVID-19 positive patients. Others continue to work in surgery, pediatrics, and outpatient departments, and behind the scenes in triage, management, and administration.

Nursing Superheroes
Heather Comeau MSN ’20 has been a nurse and clinical practice leader for 13 years. She explains, “My colleagues are amazing. They have changed their schedules around a hundred times and they’ve missed their families. One nurse I know is living in an ice fishing house so she doesn't bring the virus home to her small child!”

Comeau says that working on the frontlines has impacted her as nurse and as a person. “As a nurse, I have found my inner voice. I have spoken up for things that I might otherwise have taken at face value, and worked hard to keep myself and my staff members safe while providing care for our patients. As an individual, I found out just how strong I can be.”

Jodi Van den Heuvel MSN ’20 has been an emergency room nurse for 17 years, as well as a preceptor and charge nurse, homeschool teacher, mother, and wife. “I have learned the power of collaboration, cooperation, discussion, honesty, a good attitude, and a sense of humor. I
am in awe of the skill and precision with which we work in the Emergency Department, to give quality care regardless of the threat. Each night after a very long and very hot shower, I hug my children and husband tighter. I try to be present in all the moments.”

Others are working behind the scenes in the pandemic, like Elizabeth Avicolli MSN ’22, who performs COVID-19 testing in an ambulatory setting.

“This pandemic has shone a light on cracks in the core of our infrastructure - healthcare, the environment, the economy, and social systems. I have to believe that enough people have seen these issues emerge, and that positive changes will have to come from all of this. I hope we can make a better place to live for our kids. We are all in this together.”

At the bedside, in the classroom, or at home with their families, the nurses from Franklin Pierce University shine with passion and dedication. For the nurses working on the frontlines, in the clinics, and behind the scenes, The Franklin Pierce community is proud of the dedication of our nursing students to their work and academics. With their resilience, their giving hearts and their unlimited perseverance, they are truly the superheroes of our time.

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