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McNeese Nursing Graduate Aiding Coronavirus Patients in New York

April 8, 2020 | McNeese Public Relations
Sydnie Sutherland outside the airport before heading to New York.

Sydnie Sutherland, a 2018 McNeese State University nursing graduate, is changing lives by answering the call to serve patients fighting the coronavirus at Elmhurst Hospital in Queens, N.Y.

“I knew I wanted to help others in the best way possible and I’m so grateful I can do this as a nurse,” says Sutherland.

For the last two years, she has been an ICU nurse in Lubbock, Texas, but her unit is not treating coronavirus patients.

“Everyone on my team was so supportive of my decision,” explains Sutherland. “This is what we do as nurses. We don’t turn away from the challenge – we face it head on.”

Within just a matter of days, she was able to contact Krucial Staffing, a firm that supplies urgent employment to organizations in need, and arrive in New York.

“I was shocked at how quickly everything went,” says Sutherland. “It wasn’t until I contacted Krucial that I found out the firm had a group of nurses going to New York that same week. This really just fell into place.”

She is now working nights in the hospital’s ICU where she will be through the end of April.

Throughout her time in Texas, and now aiding those patients with coronavirus, Sutherland says her time at McNeese prepared her for these challenges.

“The nursing professors at McNeese bring their expertise to the classroom and base everything on real-world experiences,” says Sutherland. “I completed a 10-week internship in various ICU units before being hired full time after graduation. My hands-on learning opportunities at McNeese allowed me to be competitive with anyone else for a job.”

Dr. Peggy Wolfe, dean of the College of Nursing and Health Professions, says, “Sydnie’s passion and dedication to help patients during this time represent what we prepare our graduates to become – excellent health care providers to their communities. We are so proud of her and every health care worker on the front lines.”

After her time in New York, Sutherland plans to continue her career as a travel nurse.