It’s my Time – Being a Student Nurse in a Time of COVID

Young female student nurse in scrubs sitting in front of
Japheth Chin, NU Scholar and Student Nurse

By Japheth Chin, Bachelor of Science, Nursing, San Diego.

It’s my time.

Life gets complicated. And when it does, it’s easy to put large dreams like finishing school on the back burner.

Sometimes the hardest part of achieving your dream is finding a place to start. Especially right now, when everything seems to be changing daily, it’s difficult to imagine finding time to sit down and complete classes. I feel so lucky to be a student at National University during this pandemic- despite all of these changes, I have had the support I needed to continue my education. I really appreciate how hard National worked to keep their programs running smoothly and to keep their students afloat in a sea of difficulties and changes.

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In this carefree pre-COVID snapshot, Japheth connects with her fellow student nurses – never guessing how soon they would all be moving to real world COVID care.

For me, this time has a lot in common with my journey to go back to school in the first place.

Going back to school meant accepting my life up to that point as it was, and realizing that, as hard as things were, and as much as I wished they might be different, I could take action to make things better for myself and my future family.

As an aspiring nurse, I did all my core prerequisites for nursing school through National University. Even before getting accepted into their nursing program, I loved the format –  The 1-2-month classes made it easy to take small steps in what I felt was a very big journey; I also really appreciated that they were specifically geared toward working adults and those looking to change careers, and that staff and faculty understood the need to be flexible when life brought changes or complications. I remember feeling like getting into the nursing program was so far away, and then, once I was in, like graduation would never come. Now I am counting down the months on one hand until I graduate with my Bachelor’s in Nursing.

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Japheth perfects her clinical techniques on a lifelike medical simulator.

I feel so lucky to have found a family within my program, and I am strengthened by the support of my classmates. I love moving as a cohort in such a small group of people from class to class in pursuit of the same degree because of the continuity of support, the growth in understanding each classmate over time, and the willingness of other students to provide help. I owe so much to my cohort in their sustained support, especially during this pandemic, as they kept me on track even when I felt anxious.




When the quarantine was ordered, I was so anxious that my plans for my future would be delayed; however, the lengths I have seen the professors and staff go to care for the students during this time is amazing. I especially struggled with the move to fully virtual schooling and imagining how finishing my Bachelor’s in Nursing online would really look like. Professors adapted quickly to online-formats while fighting against phones, food, babies, and other distractions and applauded our resiliency as we push forward to graduation. I have been so lucky to have gained so many meaningful and memorable experiences during my COVID-19 clinicals – from working at an outreach call center to taking temperatures of nurses on shift at the hospital, to swabbing at testing sites. Although it was not what I expected for clinicals, I enjoyed knowing that my university was going to lengths to help me get my clinical hours to graduate on time.

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In a flash, NU student nurses found themselves on the front lines of COVID care – taking temperatures, answering phones, and administering swabs.

I think it is so great that National University is defying the traditional 4-year university and making it possible and comfortable for everyone to have an opportunity to dream bigger. They have adapted their learning and are continuing to change as the life gets more complicated, and have always been so easy to reconcile into the life’s many obligations and responsibilities. I am grateful that I pushed myself to start on this journey because every step counts.