In support of the COVID-19 pandemic, Dignity Health Central Coast hospitals have hired 20 new graduates from the two-year Cuesta College Nursing Program.
A press release from Dignity Health Central Coast stated students were able to resume clinical rotations at Dignity Health hospitals in early April, where students worked alongside nurses for training.
According to Sara San Juan, Director of Marketing and Communications at Dignity Health, Cuesta College had to quickly adapt in order to continue the nursing program throughout the pandemic. This meant providing online instruction and simulation at the inception of the pandemic until students were able to return to the facilities to learn.
During such an unprecedented time, the new grads experienced some apprehension entering the healthcare field near the beginning of their employment at the hospitals.
“Once on staff, they felt the desire from their peers to safely care for the community, which allowed them to feel supported and comfortable in their new roles,” San Juan said.
Recent hire and Cuesta College alumna Kelly Maguire, RN to French Hospital Medical Center’s Telemetry Unit, said there were some mixed emotions about entering the nursing field at the beginning of the pandemic.
“I quickly realized that this was what we had been training for,” Maguire said. “I encourage others to consider this important field. I feel as though I am making a difference in the lives of others, and there’s no better time for that then now.”
Jessica Carros, RN, a Critical Care Unit Nurse new hire and alumna at Marian Regional Medical Center, is thankful to be a part of such a great team, as they are adapting to meet the needs of especially vulnerable patients.
“Becoming a Critical Care Unit Nurse at such an extraordinary time in health care came with feeling equally overwhelmed and honored,” Carros said.
Arroyo Grande Community Hospital hired six new grads, French Hospital Medical Center hired six, and Marian Regional Medical Center welcomed eight Cuesta College graduates. Annually, Dignity Health Central Coast hospitals hires new graduates from the Cuesta College Nursing Program.
Jill Stearns, president and superintendent of Cuesta College, said Cuesta College pre-hospital and nursing programs have continued to offer skills lab courses on campus to ensure students are well prepared to enter the workforce, even during the shelter orders.
“I am incredibly proud of our nursing and allied health program students who have completed their training and begun their careers as essential workers during the prolonged pandemic,” Stearns said. “Our recent graduates have made a positive impact with their commitment to service and brave entry into healthcare during this period of uncertainty.”