Baylor Nursing Students Volunteer at COVID-19 Vaccination Clinics at Waco Convention Center

January 28, 2021
LHSON Contact: Whitney Cortner, Baylor Louise Herrington School of Nursing, Dallas, 972-576-9117
Baylor Media Contact: Lori Fogleman, Baylor University Media and Public Relations, 254-709-5959
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NOTE: For information about vaccine availability in McLennan County and how to sign up for the wait list, please visit or call the Waco-McLennan County Public Health District at 254-750-1890.

DALLAS, Texas (Jan. 28, 2021) – Around 120 senior-level, second-semester nursing students and assigned faculty with Baylor University's Louise Herrington School of Nursing (LHSON) have volunteered to help administer the COVID-19 Moderna vaccine at the Waco-McLennan County Public Health District vaccination clinic beginning today and every Thursday through March at the Waco Convention Center.

Two LHSON faculty and approximately 24 nursing students will serve at each weekly clinic. LHSON also plans to assist with vaccination clinics at Baylor Scott & White Health in Dallas and Plano, Parkland Hospital in Dallas and several other DFW hospitals in the weeks ahead.

"It is extremely important that we get as many people as possible vaccinated as soon as the vaccine becomes available," said LHSON Interim Dean Linda Plank, Ph.D., R.N., NEA-BC. "The more people available to assist, the sooner we gain herd immunity and get past this pandemic. Also, we are so grateful for the 30+ hospital/clinics/community sites that allow our students in their doors every semester so our students can have great learning opportunities that we want and feel obligated to help those sites whenever they need help. Our students want to participate to gain more experience and because they may never again have this opportunity to see how a massive immunization clinic works."

"We are participating in these clinics as a means for nursing students to use their gifts and skills to help be a solution for this global health pandemic," said Lyn Prater, Ph.D., R.N., CNE, Clinical Professor, Level IV Coordinator and 2020-2021 Senior Baylor Fellow. "By partnering with Baylor Health Services and the Waco-McLennan County Public Health District, we can maximize resources and live out the mission of Baylor University, which is 'to educate men and women for worldwide leadership and service by integrating academic excellence and Christian commitment within a caring community.'"

Population health nursing

LHSON nursing students participating in the vaccination clinics are graduating level-4 senior students, currently taking the Population Health Nursing clinical course. The course description reads: Professional nursing practice emphasizing meeting the health needs of culturally diverse and vulnerable individuals, families, groups, and communities. Population health principles are examined and applied as students integrate the nursing process while providing culturally relevant care. Population focused nursing practice includes family health, school health, occupational health, home/hospice health, faith community health, and public health.

"Our students have all been taught how to give immunization injections, but they may not have many opportunities to give them in their regular clinicals," Plank said. "If they participate in an immunization clinic, they will have much experience and be confident in their skills. Our faculty have already posted instructional modules to allow quick access to educational information. Our students will have firsthand experience at meeting a community need, and they can add this experience to their resume as they seek employment."

LHSON nursing student Everly Yifei Zhao will be helping administer the COVID-19 vaccine on Feb. 4 in Waco.

"I see this as a great opportunity to apply the nursing skills I have learned and be able to serve our community," Zhao said. "Baylor nurses carry strong values and beliefs for patient care. So, being able to immerse myself in the Baylor culture in this way will help me build an even bigger heart for nursing.

"I hope that throughout this pandemic people will have learned the importance of teamwork and the ability to work towards one goal," she said.

"We know we have the very best students in the world," Plank said. "We love how they care for others and how they want to help. They have experienced the pandemic since March and now they can help put the pandemic behind us. The public will love seeing the 'sea of green scrubs' come into the room and help those desiring the vaccine."


Baylor University is a private Christian University and a nationally ranked research institution. The University provides a vibrant campus community for more than 19,000 students by blending interdisciplinary research with an international reputation for educational excellence and a faculty commitment to teaching and scholarship. Chartered in 1845 by the Republic of Texas through the efforts of Baptist pioneers, Baylor is the oldest continually operating University in Texas. Located in Waco, Baylor welcomes students from all 50 states and more than 90 countries to study a broad range of degrees among its 12 nationally recognized academic divisions.


The Baylor University Louise Herrington School of Nursing (LHSON) located in Dallas was established in 1909 as a diploma program within Baylor Hospital in Dallas, which is now Baylor Scott & White Health's Baylor University Medical Center and in 1950 became one of the six degree-granting schools of Baylor University. The first Baccalaureate degrees were granted in 1952, establishing the school among the earliest baccalaureate nursing programs in Texas. In 1999, the School was renamed the Baylor University Louise Herrington School of Nursing after Louise Herrington Ornelas, a 1992 Baylor Alumna Honoris Causa, who made an endowment gift to the school. LHSON offers Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degrees through a traditional program, FastBacc® (one-year accelerated) and Distance Accelerated BSN. Ranked among the U.S. News 2021 Best Graduate Schools, LHSON's Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) program, which includes programs in anesthesia nursing, executive nurse leadership, family nurse practitioner, neonatal nurse practitioner, nurse-midwifery and pediatric nurse practitioner – is ranked No. 59 nationally. In the specialty rankings, LHSON's U.S. Army Graduate Program in Anesthesia Nursing, is ranked No. 8 nationally, while Baylor's nurse-midwifery program is ranked at No. 21 in the nation. Visit to learn more.