More than 30 students from the Nursing Department lent a hand as the Missouri National Guard offered a COVID-19 vaccination clinic Thursday and Friday, March 4-5, in the university’s FEMA shelter.

While they weren’t actually administering vaccine doses, the students played an important role in coordinating the event – from getting recipients check in to monitoring them afterward for potential side effects.

“From a leadership perspective, they’re getting to see how a community organizes something like this,” said Memory Curry, a clinical instructor in the department. “This is something none of us have experienced in our lifetime, and hopefully something they’ll never experience again.

“But to see how it’s coordinated and managed has been a good lesson for them.”

Several faculty members from the department – including Dr. Lisa Beals, department chair, and clinical instructors Chris Floyd and Sunny Lawrence – were on hand to help coordinate and keep the event running smooth.

Lacy Schofield, a senior nursing major, spent her Thursday morning serving as one of the initial points of contact for those getting vaccinated, helping them check in and get situated. A global pandemic was something she had never imagined when deciding to go into the nursing field, but it hasn’t changed her resolve.

“I think it’s changed my end goals in that it’s made me realize how much more I want to be a nurse,” she said. “I want to be part of the solution rather than part of the problem.”

Rion Boyd, also a senior, echoed that sentiment.

“It’s pretty exciting … students before us haven’t had this opportunity,” she said. “We’re working to help try and limit the pandemic; moving forward and finding the best solution for everybody.”