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CENTRAL COAST, CA – November 7, 2020 – As we do annually, Dignity Health Central Coast hospitals hired new graduates from the esteemed two-year Cuesta College Nursing Program. This year, those 20 new graduates were vital in supporting health care in our communities during the COVID-19 pandemic.
In order to foster the learning for Cuesta nursing students, the college had to quickly adapt in order to continue their education throughout the pandemic, providing online instruction and simulation at the inception of the pandemic until students were able to return to the facilities to learn. In early April students were able to resume clinical rotations at Dignity Health hospitals, where students worked alongside nurses for training.
Kelly Maguire, RN, a recent hire to French Hospital Medical Center’s Telemetry Unit and Jessica Carros, RN, a Critical Care Unit Nurse at Marian Regional Medical Center, both from Cuesta College, have quickly become integral members of their respective health care teams at a time when additional support was needed.
“There were some mixed emotions about entering the nursing field at the beginning of the pandemic, but I quickly realized that this was what we had been training for,” says Kelly. “I encourage others to consider this important field. I feel as though I am making a difference in the lives of others, and there’s no better time for that than now.”
Near the beginning of their employment at the hospitals, the new grads experienced some apprehension entering the health care field during such an unprecedented time, but once on staff, they felt the desire from their peers to safely care for the community, which allowed them to feel supported and comfortable in their new roles.
“Becoming a Critical Care Unit Nurse at such an extraordinary time in health care came with feeling equally overwhelmed and honored,” said Jessica. “I am thankful to be a part of such a great team, as we are adapting our care to meet the needs of especially vulnerable patients.”
Dignity Health Central Coast has a long-standing partnership with local nursing programs to support those going into the nursing field. Arroyo Grande Community Hospital hired six new grads, French Hospital Medical Center hired six, and Marian Regional Medical Center welcome eight Cuesta graduates.
[Photos: Left-Jessica Caros, RN, Marian Regional Medical Center; Right-Kelly Maguire, RN, French Hospital Medical Center]
About Dignity Health Central Coast
Dignity Health Central Coast is comprised of five award-winning hospitals, all recognized for their quality of care, safety and service, primary care offices, premier ambulatory surgery centers, technologically advanced imaging centers, outpatient services, and comprehensive home health services. Hospitals in the Dignity Health Central Coast region include Arroyo Grande Community Hospital in Arroyo Grande, French Hospital Medical Center in San Luis Obispo, Marian Regional Medical Center in Santa Maria, St. John’s Pleasant Valley Hospital in Camarillo, and St. John’s Regional Medical Center in Oxnard. Each hospital is supported by an active philanthropic Foundation to provide additional funding to support new programs and services, as well as to advance the community’s access to health care. For more information, visit dignityhealth.org/centralcoast.
Sara San Juan