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Chattanooga State night nursing students with their supervisor work the front lines preparing to administer COVID-19 vaccines at the CARTA bus barn. / Contributed photo

Chattanooga State's nursing program prepares students to be registered nurses to help meet current and emerging needs in the workplace; however, the coronavirus pandemic in 2020 added an entirely new layer of urgency for the program.

As agencies raced to provide testing availability, it wasn't until the last half of 2020 that accurate tests were ready. Chattanooga State's nursing department was asked to help with COVID testing at the former Alstom plant. Associate Professor Marie Loisy and instructor Brittany Williams have been coordinating the student rotations but noted that the entire project was a "team effort" among program Director Dr. Martina Harris, faculty colleagues, and the county health department.

Each week, since fall 2020, about 16-30 students from first- and second-year day and night nursing classes have participated in this project, which has now advanced to include administering COVID-19 vaccinations at the River Park, CARTA bus barn and Enterprise South.

Chattanooga State's nursing program was recently ranked number one by Nursing Schools Almanac for best associate degree in nursing in Tennessee.

Betty Proctor

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