Faces on the front

UIC Nursing faculty, students and alumni are confronting the COVID-19 crisis in brave, novel and inspiring ways. These are just some of our #facesonthefront.

This video entry in our Faces on the Front series was released to coincide with National Nurses Week 2021. The production was funded by generous donors and was the result of a collaboration between the UIC College of Nursing and the UIC College of Architecture, Design and the Arts.

Springfield students who deliver vaccines to public are ‘part of history’

  • Bachelor’s degree students at UIC Nursing-Springfield gave some of the first COVID-19 vaccinations to the Springfield public at St. John’s Hospital last month, the first day the hospital administered vaccines to the general community.

UIC Nursing students help with COVID-19 vaccine effort in Urbana

  • UIC Nursing students in Urbana are gaining valuable clinical skills and providing a critical service to the community by helping local public health departments administer the COVID-19 vaccine.

UIC Nursing leads volunteer effort at COVID-19 vaccine clinics

  • UIC College of Nursing students and faculty are among the 165 students and 43 faculty members from UIC’s colleges of Nursing, Pharmacy and Medicine who, in less than a month, have combined for more than 2,000 hours of volunteer time at a University Health Service vaccine clinic.

‘Did I miss something?’

  • After staying by her COVID-19 patient’s side for five hours straight, Rockford DNP student and ER nurse Beth Todd, RN, PEL-CSN, felt devastated when she heard a Code Blue called to the patient’s room.

‘Community nursing on steroids’

  • Norah Kilpatrick, a master’s degree student in the graduate-entry track, was feeling powerless without a license, but found her calling during the pandemic with the COVID Rapid Response Team.

‘A true learning curve’

  • As a UI Health pulmonary specialist, Susan Corbridge, PhD’ 09, APRN, FAANP, FAAN, works with patients who have the poorest outcomes if they contract COVID-19, making telehealth a top priority.

‘I wanted to do something’

  • Called a “rockstar” for her work battling COVID-19, UIC Nursing clinical instructor Minseung Chu, DNP ’19, is part of an initiative to limit the spread of COVID-19 among Chicago’s homeless community and provides care for COVID patients at UI Health.

‘Never more proud to be a nurse’

  • After working a 13-hour shift at University of Illinois Hospital, UIC Nursing clinical assistant professor Julie Schwind, DNP ’17, MS ’06, BSN ’00, RN, clocked out, got to her car, and started sobbing. Two days later, she took to her computer, letting loose a torrent of words and emotions in a Facebook post.

‘No one has ever done this’

  • UIC Nursing clinical assistant professor Rebecca Singer, DNP ’18, RN, pulls from her background working with Doctors Without Borders to manage a COVID-19 testing site for UI Health employees.

‘Providing comfort and closure’

  • Graduate-entry MS student Jenine Johnson, who shifted careers to nursing in her 40s, says she may be one of the last faces a dying COVID patient sees.

‘A small thing, but so practical’

  • Recognizing that critical COVID-19 patients likely wouldn’t think to bring their cell phone chargers to the hospital with them, Megan Cairns Tress, MS ’18, is trying to raise enough money to buy the critical lifeline for every hospital bed she can.

UIC Nursing APRNs help run UI Health COVID-19 clinic

  • Last month, the UI Health Pilsen Family Health Center Lower West was a comprehensive family clinic. Now, it’s serving as a temporary COVID-19 assessment site, staffed by an interprofessional team of providers, including UIC Nursing’s Carolyn Dickens, Janey Kottler and Karen Cotler.

‘We have to do it in a different way now’

  • Elisabeth Schreiber, MS ’11, left her 8-year-long job as an emergency room nurse in 2014 to become a nurse practitioner (and, ultimately, clinical lead) in the UI Health Clinical Decision Unit. But the COVID-19 crisis has brought her back to her old crew, triaging patients in an expanded role.

‘This is a marathon, not a sprint’

  • Tom McClure, BSN ’18, is caring for the most severely ill COVID-19 patients as an ICU nurse at Memorial Medical Center in Springfield, where he recognizes he’s in the midst of a “marathon, not a sprint.”

‘Plans changed’

  • Janey Kottler, DNP, FNP-BC, clinical instructor and nurse practitioner at the nurse-led Mile Square Health Center – Humboldt Park, was supposed to be returning from her honeymoon in Panama on Monday, March 30. Instead, she was working at the UI Health Pilsen Family Health Center Lower West assessing patients for COVID-19.

‘They’re so vulnerable and fragile’

  • Karen Cotler, UIC Nursing clinical assistant professor, normally spends her Fridays providing primary care to patients who visit a needle exchange site. The pandemic has hindered her ability to reach this disenfranchised population, but she’s still committed to caring for them.

‘It hit me very hard’

  • Annette Lopez, a senior BSN student graduating in May, understood why senior year milestones needed to be canceled or postponed. But working on a COVID floor has driven it home.

Check back for updates.