SAN ANTONIO – During this pandemic, nurses and medical professionals are seemingly more important now than ever before.
Thanks to a $75,000 grant from the Baptist Health Foundation, the Hallmark University nursing program is able to teach and prepare more future nurses.
“I do wanna make the world a better place,” Britteny Whitaker, a nursing student at Hallmark University, said.
Whitaker is a third-year nursing student at Hallmark, as well as a Marine Corps veteran and a single mom. She said she feels a unique responsibility to make the community a better place.
After seeing conditions during this pandemic, she was only more motivated to help out.
“During clinicals, I kind of felt ... like these patients need nurses now more than ever, so I became even more determined to finish and finish strong,” Whitaker said.
What she saw in hospital rooms and what she didn’t see is a real need here in Bexar County.
“It’s very, very important for us to have quality efficient nurses to take care of our sick ones,” Dr. Gabriel Oluwakotanmi, Hallmark University dean of nursing, said.
“If we have a ready supply of nurses, I am sure this pandemic will not be as devastating as it is now.”
Right now, the country and the San Antonio community is dealing with a nursing shortage. That means fewer medical professionals bedside and less help on the front lines of this pandemic.
“Right now here in Texas there are 17,000 nursing positions that can’t be filled,” Oluwakotanmi said.
Even in a year when we aren’t facing a pandemic, that is a clear cut need for help. And the lack of nurses and resources is a big problem, Whitaker says.
“Patients aren’t necessarily getting the care they could because of the shortage of nurses,” she said.
The hope is that this grant can help nursing students, students like Britteny who want to make the world a safer place.