Prompted by the needs that arose from COVID-19, the Northern Marianas College is working on expanding its medical program beyond nursing.
In an interview with NMC interim president Frankie Eliptico, he said NMC is currently trying to determine how they will expand medical career-related programs in the CNMI “and how we’re going to expand not just the nursing occupation, but other health careers. We’re talking about radiology technicians, medical technicians, laboratory assistants, and other types of occupations that will be in higher demand as a result of COVID-19.”
Eliptico said NMC is proud of its alumni for the amount of contribution that they have been making day in and day out to help “flatten the COVID-19 curve”—a term that refers to lowering the transmission rate of the infection.
“We’re proud of the NMC alumni for working all over this Commonwealth. …There are front-liners everywhere—at the police department, the fire department, a lot of the nurses at the [Commonwealth Health Center] are NMC nursing graduates, so the care that a lot of the folks are receiving right now are from folks who received their training from here, NMC,” he said.
Additionally, Eliptico said NMC is proud of the students who continue to take classes and manage to work through the pandemic.
“Not just the nurses [but also] some of our other students. They’re just like any other college student, they’re working at the grocery stores, they’re working at gas stations, they’re working at many other places and they’re working still. They’re front-liners as well, so we’re super proud of them,” he said.
Eliptico said NMC appreciates and recognizes the hard work of these students and the courage they have to face this pandemic head on. “We try to give them props but I don’t think that will ever do justice for the amount of work they’re doing facing this pandemic head on face to face,” he said.