NDSU nursing students step up to the front lines

57 students will help over the next five weeks, vaccinating against COVID-19.

Signs for Sanford and Fargo Cass Public Health vaccine programs inside the joint vaccine center in Fargo at the old Gordman's store.

FARGO — North Dakota State Uunivesity junior, Annie Gatzke, has been moved to the front lines.

She's getting a look at her future.

"I think the COVID-19 pandemic has really solidified my decision to go into nursing," said Gatzke.

Gatzke worked a four-hour shift vaccinating people against COVID-19 at the joint vaccination center in Fargo.


"They jumped right in, they volunteered. Within minutes they were signing up for the time slots," said Shannon Harriger assistant professor of practice with NDSU School of Nursing.

Harriger trained the 57 students who will help over the next five weeks.

It's an assignment Gatzke says she never expected to have.

"We have to make changes quickly and adjust," she said.

It's also one she won't forget.

She remembers an elderly patient she greeted at the door.

"'Oh I'm great, but you are who we are worried about. You people are who we are worried about'. And that just hit my heart because it's almost been a year of this pandemic and people are still thinking of the health care workers," she said.


Gatzke says the vaccine brings hope as she returns to in person classes to get the skills she needs to graduate.

"I just wish that I could be graduated and get my hands in on everything. And just be those people that are making a huge impact whether it's physically helping those people or if it's spiritually, mentally, or just talking to the patients," she said.

The school is ready to help into the summer or fall.

"If we need to be there we will be there," said Harriger.

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