The College graduated nurses entering the profession during the 1918 pandemic and just as their predecessors from a century ago, today’s students rose to the occasion.

Kansas City, Missouri – More than 140 Research College of Nursing students, faculty and non-clinical staff recently volunteered to help facilitate Research Medical Center’s first community COVID-19 vaccine clinic. The two-day event enabled 1,200 community members to receive their first dose of the Moderna vaccine. The Research College of Nursing Days of Service continued March 11-12 when community members returned for their second dose of the vaccine, with volunteers again helping with greeting, screening, escorting, data entry, vaccination and observation.

The accelerated BSN Class of 2021 learned how to perform injections ahead of the curriculum so more students, along with faculty, could be involved in administering the much anticipated “shot of hope” to the frontline workers at Research Medical Center on December 23. Accelerated nursing students who graduated from the College on December 13, 2021, returned to assist during the holidays.

Ushering Hope: What it means for Research College of Nursing

“We are proud to maintain a commitment to excellence that started when Research College of Nursing was founded in 1905 and part of our mission is to not only educate nurses and develop leaders, but to care for our communities,” says Research College of Nursing President Thad R. Wilson, PhD, RN, FAAN. “It was our pleasure to join with our partners at Research Medical Center to provide one of the area’s largest community vaccine clinics.

“It was a heartwarming experience for our team that was filled with such positive feedback from our community. From the moment the public walked in the door to the moment they walked out, there was somebody there helping them and almost always it was a Research College of Nursing student, faculty or staff member.”

Research College of Nursing is one of the few nursing colleges in the U.S. integrated with a hospital. Sharing a campus with Research Medical Center also positioned students to be among the first in the region to administer COVID-19 vaccines. After pivoting their education into virtual settings due to the pandemic, the nursing students were eager for the opportunity to step-up in the fight against COVID-19.

“It is remarkable to see our students, faculty and staff all doing their part to help end the pandemic,” says Research College of Nursing Professor and Director of Accelerated BSN Program Rebecca Saxton, PhD, RN, CNE. “Our skilled volunteers have worked in every aspect of the vaccination clinics and in some cases, actually injecting the vaccine.”

Ushering Hope: What it means for Research College of Nursing students

“I vaccinated people, getting valuable hands-on clinical experience,” says Research College of Nursing BSN Student ’21 Tasia Roberts. “It was wonderful to see people so excited to participate in such a life-changing moment.”

Ushering Hope: What it means for Research Medical Center

“Having the support of Research College of Nursing for our vaccine clinics was an invaluable community outreach experience for everyone involved,” says Research Medical Center Chief Executive Officer Ashley McClellan. “The aspiring nurses’ partnership, along with the staff and faculty of Research College of Nursing, allowed us to be seamless in offering compassion and camaraderie for a single purpose—to administer the vaccine, which is giving hope in the midst of the pandemic.”