COVID-19 motivates next generation of nurses

The virus is drawing attention to America’s nursing shortage.

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WLNE) — Mariam Badaru, 17, is pursuing a career in healthcare, following in her family’s footsteps as they all march into battle against COVID-19.

“We pray for each other every day,” she said. “Stay safe, wash your hands. We keep updating each other on what’s going on with COVID.”

Badaru is a senior at Rhode Island Nurses Institute Middle College, the first public charter high school in the U.S. focused on the nursing profession.

The goal is to start a pipeline into the healthcare field.

“We’re always, in healthcare, preparing on how best to take care of patients,” said the school’s CEO, Dr. Pamela McCue. “And it seems that the world now is recognizing that we need to have more and more programs, starting in high school, to prepare kids who are interested in this.”

Badaru is among the students training in health care facilities like nursing homes.

“It’s okay to be scared and nervous about it, but you’re honestly going to be fine if you keep doing what you’re doing,” she said. “You’ve been taught this PPE stuff, wearing gloves, washing your hands.”

Badaru says the COVID-19 pandemic has only confirmed that this is her calling.

“Now people are appreciating what you do normally, more than ever. The feeling that you’re doing good and helping people is better than anything.”

©WLNE-TV/ABC 6 2020

Categories: Coronavirus, News, Regional News, Rhode Island