BGSU nursing students to enter health care field early to meet demand

New nurses will help to care for COVID-19 patients among others in hospitals

Nursing student Evan Barnett 

By Sarah Bednarski '00

Eleven Bowling Green State University senior nursing program students will immediately join the health care workforce to help care for COVID-19 patients and others as a result of an executive order issued by Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine. Under the order, nursing students, who have completed all coursework and final exams, have the option to apply for a temporary license from the Ohio Board of Nursing.

“Through strong collaboration between faculty, we are able to get students to graduate early and into the workforce quickly,” said Dr. Shelly Bussard, director of nursing, in the College of Health and Human Services. “In a pandemic situation, it is critical to have the health care resources ready and available to care for all in need.”

Evan Barnett, senior nursing student, knew from his junior year in high school at Spencerville (Ohio) Local Schools that nursing was his career path. After helping to care for his grandfather in his final weeks of life after a long battle with cancer, Barnett knew that health care was the path for him.

“The experience with my grandfather set me onto this career path where I can now have the opportunity to better help people by making a difference in their lives,” he said.

When the early graduation opportunity came up, Barnett said it was an easy choice to apply. He is currently searching for a nursing position but plans to stay in the Bowling Green-Toledo area.

“In these unprecedented times, if I can become a nurse early, then sign me up. I chose my career to help people and that’s exactly what is needed right now, more so than ever,” he said.