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Majority of FranU early grads already helping fight virus at local hospitals

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BATON ROUGE – Normally, at Franciscan Missionaries of Our Lady University, nursing and respiratory therapy seniors would be diving into the books studying for finals week. However, they've already graduated and are getting ready to go to work.

“I got the offer a few weeks ago, and I'm pumped,” Madelyn Stuntz said. “I will be working on the surgical ICU at Our Lady of the Lake and I’m really excited. I start May 11.”

Madelyn can proudly say she is no longer a nursing student. She is one of 37 at FranU who fast-tracked their senior year, graduating nearly a month early. 

This is in response to the governor’s office asking nursing programs to push up their graduation date to help ease the pressure workers at local hospitals dealing with the coronavirus outbreak.

FranU is the only program in the state to do so.

“Wherever they need us, whether it's a med surge unit or running things up and down halls - whatever they need - I'm very hopeful that we can help them,” Madelyn said.

The private university says the majority of graduates have already landed a job.

“A good bit of my class is going to be at OLOL in different departments. Some are going to Ochsner, some are going to the Baton Rouge General and Woman’s Hospital. Some people are going to New Orleans too."

Knowing that she will be helping increase the number of workers combating the novel coronavirus on the front line, Madelyn says she has never been more ready to enter the health care industry.

“FranU has prepared us so well and made us comfortable in being ready to get out there and help. I think it's awesome. I'm really proud of that."

Madelyn and her former classmates received their temporary licenses from the Louisiana State Board of Nursing last week, allowing them to join the workforce right away. Those licenses last for about three months.

The university also held a car parade to celebrate the graduates one week ago.

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