WINCHESTER, Va. (DC News Now) — The medical community is recovering from the desertion of nurses from their profession during COVID. Many places are facing shortages.

Now a health system and a university have teamed up to address that problem.

“One of the things we’ve heard from our workforce is they get really stressed when they have to care for patients and also train our workforce, having to carry that dual load of work,” said Theresa Trivette, chief nurse at Valley Health.

The State of Virginia has stepped in with a program to pay retiring nurses to mentor nursing students while still providing patient care.

“The shortage is really there with people calling out every day or just being burned out,” said Gabriella Raspanti, a nursing student at Shenandoah University. “Some are having to work more than full time.”

Classmate Bryanna Morrell said, “As we go through our training we see the evolvement of the chart, what is happening with the patient, the benefits or consequences of what we’re doing.”

Abigail Burkhart has just completed her nursing training and is embracing her new profession.

“I always wanted to feel like I have a place in the world, so nursing is where I feel I will fit in,” said Burkhart.

The State of Virginia has committed almost a half-million dollars to the training program. Students devote 500 hours of clinical training to earn their nursing degrees.