Media report UMaine nursing students graduate early to help on front lines

News Center Maine, WABI (Channel 5) and WMTW (Channel 8 in Portland) reported 38 students graduated two weeks early from the University of Maine School of Nursing to help on the front lines during the pandemic. “Words cannot express my gratitude to this class,” Kelley Strout, interim director of the School of Nursing, told News Center Maine. “Essentially we asked them to submit assignments three weeks early, and they’ve been working around the clock. They have not complained, they’ve been motivated.” The students will become registered nurses when they pass their national licensing exam. Thirty-three of the students plan to work at health care facilities in Maine, according to the reports. “This is the end goal. This is what we’ve been preparing for through our rigorous curriculum. Over 1,000 hours of clinical rotations,” said graduating student Nicole Brown, who will begin working in the intensive care unit at Northern Light Eastern Maine Medical Center after passing her board exams. “There are things during this time that we can change, and things that we cannot change, so it’s going to be having the courage to change what we can,” said graduating student Kately Ford, who will work in the ICU at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Maryland. “They will be the most memorable group of students we’ve ever graduated from our school of nursing, because honestly, it’s a historic moment,” said Strout. A virtual pinning ceremony was held at 7 p.m. Saturday, April 25 via Facebook Live.