When the COVID-19 pandemic hit last spring, UVM was one of the first schools in the nation to allow undergraduate nursing students to make the transition from classroom to hospital floor. All 95 nursing Class of 2020 graduates agreed to make that life-changing jump.  

As these nurses marked one year working in the pandemic, two spoke with ABC 22/FOX 44 in Vermont to share their experiences.

Jessica Hartman described working on the cardiovascular floor at the University of Vermont Medical Center. While the pandemic upended the last semester of her senior year, she says she couldn’t turn down the opportunity.

“I definitely think every single person I graduated with is resilient and showed their resilience. It was something we were almost taught without knowing,” Hartman told reporter Jolie Sherman. “I am eagerly looking to see what the future will hold and I am immensely thankful for the foundation I have formed at UVM.”

Anna Garbolski, a registered nurse in the surgical unit at UVM Medical Center, said that, while she missed the regular, in-person traditions like a graduation or pinning ceremony, she feels gratified and accomplished.

“I feel pretty proud of the class of 2020 because I feel like we’re a very robust, adaptable group of nurses now,” Garbolski said.

See the interview on the ABC 22 website.