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‘It encouraged me, and reinforced what I wanted to do’: WSU sees an increase in their nursing department

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WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – Towards the beginning of the pandemic, Wichita State University saw an increase in students registering for their nursing program. Now, several of those students are getting ready to go out into the workforce and become medical professionals.

Among that group is Christina Shriver. She’s just months away from graduating from WSU with a nursing degree, but this isn’t her first degree. During the pandemic, Shriver says she saw the need and decided to go back to school to help fill in the gap.

“It’s been a wild ride,” said Shriver.

Shriver is a Wichita native, embarking on a new journey.

“Just going into it we needed to have flexibility already,” said Shriver.

She says during the pandemic she saw there was a great need missing in her community.

“Just the desire to help the patients and their loved ones during a time of need,” said Shriver.

That’s when she decided to take on an extra degree. Shriver enrolled in the nursing program at WSU. Within months, she was out helping those who needed it the most.

“I think that it has been more encouraging or reenforcing,” said Shriver.

Now several students like Christina are putting their skills to work participating in internships with local hospitals helping doctors and nurses within their ICU units.

“If the pandemic doesn’t stop them nothing is going to stop them from coming into the nursing field,” said Shaunda Rakestraw, registered nurse and nursing career coach

Shriver will receive her degree in July and cannot wait to start her new job at Ascension Via Christi.

“It’s a very proud moment when you see these students still coming down our hallways and eager to find new opportunities and to start their career,” said Rakestraw.

“I don’t think that any of us realize how big this pandemic was going to be and having to adapt quickly and provide the best care we can as a team was really important,” said Shriver.

Shriver says although her decision was a little impulsive, she would never take it back. She plans on adding more to her career within the next couple of years.

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