YSU's class of 2021 received their diplomas in person this year at Stambaugh Stadium. 

For graduates of the nursing program, there are new challenges they face due to the pandemic.

Walking across the stage to receive their diplomas has been a journey, with COVID-19 adding many new challenges. 

Professors held hybrid online and in-person classes for nursing students and nurse practitioner students getting their Masters.

"We did have some students who had COVID or they were quarantined, but we were able to work through it by adjusting the way we held our classes, having them live stream from home during the quarantine, and then making up clinicals at the end of the semester," said Nicole Olshanski, an Assistant Professor of Nursing at YSU.

The pandemic meant more challenges, but it did not change commitment or make students think twice about the profession.

For Virginia Douglas, receiving a Bachelor of Science in Nursing has been a dream since age four.

"I just love taking care of people. We had to stop clinicals for a while and do simulation clinicals. Me I worked through the whole pandemic so I was able to do a little bit of clinicals through that, and we kept on growing," said Douglas.

Although there is a nursing shortage in Pennsylvania, Florida, Texas and other states, RegisteredNursing.org explains there are more nurses than jobs in Ohio, West Virginia, Michigan, and Kentucky. 

However, graduates are optimistic they will find a job in this climate. 

We asked Cory Ott, who received his Masters of Science in Nursing from YSU about the job market.

"Now more than ever, every hospital in the area is looking for nurses and good quality ones. Anybody who is graduating from YSU their degree has definitely set them up for success. Go out there and sell yourself and don't be afraid to shoot for the stars and go for your dream job," said Ott.

YSU also gave an opportunity for students in the graduating class of 2020 to attend an in-person graduation ceremony also held outdoors.