KCC Nursing graduate Fernanda Rivera on working in the ICU during the coronavirus outbreak: “The training happens when you hit the floors”

KCC Nursing student Fernanda Rivera.

As tens of millions of nurses around the world fight on the front lines of the current coronavirus outbreak, the World Health Organization could hardly have picked a better year than 2020 as the international Year of the Nurse and the Midwife.

Fernanda Rivera is among the ranks of those helping to combat the virus locally. She graduated from the Kellogg Community College Nursing Program in 2019, and today works as a nurse in the intensive care unit at Ascension Borgess Medical Center in Kalamazoo.

Rivera, a mother of two, said while a student at KCC in 2017 that she wanted to become a nurse to help people, and now she’s doing just that for a career.

The current coronavirus outbreak is “a scary time to be a nurse” for multiple reasons, she said.

While the virus is scary, what scares her more is the possible lack of personal protective equipment and the Centers for Disease Control changing their recommendations as to what protection is adequate in the midst of a crisis.

The CDC has been offering continuous guidance as increased demand for PPE items like respirators and face masks has increased exponentially among health care providers and the general public.

Rivera said KCC’s Nursing Program prepared her for her work as a nurse, but in times like these school can only take you so far.

“My education was adequate in preparing me,” Rivera said, “but in nursing I feel the training happens when you hit the floors.”

Pictured above: Rivera as a KCC Nursing student in 2017.

Nursing at KCC

If you want a flexible, in-demand career that lets you help people and make a difference every day, nursing may be the career for you. Applications for KCC’s Full-Time and Part-Time Nursing programs are available now. Visit www.kellogg.edu/nursing for more information.