Nursing students at McMaster University are the latest health-care students to ask for early certification to join the fight against the novel coronavirus and ease the burden on the health-care system

Laura Freeman, a fourth-year studying at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ont., is one of those students.

Freeman told The Roy Green Show on Global News radio Saturday she went as far as to launch a petition for early nursing certification that she said is finally starting to see some results.

“We were just asking universities to make sure that they did what was right and try and send our information as soon as (is) feasible for them,” she said, adding that certified nurses were “crucial at this time with a respiratory illness like (COVID-19).”

“Guidelines are constantly changing. We’re trying to set everything up as best we can with what we have. And the only thing that I’ve noticed consistently is change.”

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Under normal circumstances, Freeman said nursing students would be required to complete between 350 and 360 hours in clinical consolidation before being reviewed by a panel that included nurses and the school’s dean, who would assess them and then decide whether a student was eligible to write their exam.

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Currently, the College of Nurses of Ontario is granting temporary certifications to recent graduates,