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Penn Nursing Updates - Week of August 23

Dear Penn Nursing Students,

Please take a moment to review important updates below.

Information Updates

  • FROM THE UNIVERSITY - EFFECTIVE IMMEDIATELY: On Wednesday, 8/25, President Gutmann and senior University leaders sent an email to the University community with an update to the start of the semester. The full release can be read online but effective immediately all nursing students are required to:
    • SUBMIT PennOpen Pass daily to reduce the risk of COVID-19 spread within the Penn community. In the event that you report symptoms, exposures, positive test results, or notification of quarantine, all students must also:
      • Email nursenet@nursing.upenn.edu with quarantine and isolation information and;
      • Submit a course absence report (CAR) to notify your faculty. Details about the Course Absence Reporting System can be found in the BSN StudentHandbook. Please note that all degree levels can use the CAR system from Penn-In-Touch.
    • WEARS MASKS. Consistent with the University’s message sent on August 5th, all members of the Penn community and visitors are required to wear masks while indoors. Detailed information about the exceptions can be found on our Public Health Guidance page. Information about types of masks can be found at: Universal Mask and Cloth Face Covering Precautions. Penn has also implemented a process for reporting non-compliance with the mask mandate through a simple online form.
    • UPLOAD PROOF OF VACCINE to Complio, Penn Nursing’s system of record for compliance. Note* only students engaged in clinical/simulation this academic year will see a Complio account associated with their name. All other students (part-time MSN not in clinicals yet, part-time DNP, and PhD students) should proceed to the following bullet point and;
    • REPORT PROOF OF VACCINE to Student Health Services (SHS). On Thursday, 8/19/21, all students received a communication from Penn Cares outlining that unless proof of vaccine is submitted before 8/23/21, an Immunization Compliance Registration Hold will be applied to student’s accounts, blocking students from adding and dropping courses, as well as changing their grade type. Proof of vaccine submission instructions can be found online for new students and existing students.
    • STAY UP TO DATE to rapidly changing COVID-19 updates. The University is paying very close attention to the increase in COVID-19 cases and the spread of reported variants, and will continue to update University guidance based on the recommendations of the Philadelphia Department of Public Health. Public health guidance on-campus continues to evolve and the most recent University updates can always be found at the coronavirus.upenn.edu website. These updates include vaccination, testing, masking, PennOpen Pass and more.

 

  • Appointments with the Office of Academic Affairs (OAA): The Office of Academic Affairs will be offering in-person and virtual appointments for the Fall 2021 semester. In order to maintain good public health practices, we will be offering in-person meetings by appointment only. Appointment types may vary by individual, so please reach out to schedule an appointment via email, rather than dropping by in-person to any offices.
  • Looking ahead with optimism: On a positive note, we have a highly vaccinated campus (especially in the School of Nursing). We know that COVID vaccination reduces infection and prevents serious disease, and we know that adding on additional layers of mitigation (masking, testing, etc.) also assist in monitoring and preventing COVID cases. Our Penn Wellness and Campus Health partners have told us that COVID transmission among Penn Nursing students has not occurred in classroom, simulation, or clinical settings. Cases on-campus and among members of the School of Nursing community have occurred in social settings (bars, restaurants, roommates) where folks were unmasked. We also saw cases drop in the last academic year and this summer when our Nursing students were eligible and received the COVID vaccinations. I want to take a moment to thank you for continuing to follow good public health practices and encourage you to keep these practices in place during this Fall semester.

Upcoming Events/Activities Updates

  • Wednesday, September 1 - Weekly Virtual Financial Aid Student Hours: Student hours can be found each week on zoom. Please save this information for your quick reference Zoom Meeting https://upenn.zoom.us/j/94324852864 Meeting ID: 943 2485 2864.

As always, these OAA emails can be found archived online. Please remember that we are available for appointments or by email and that you can find a full listing of departmental contacts online here.

As we begin a new semester next week, I share with you a few thoughts. I encourage all of us (faculty, staff, and students) to practice grace and patience. We need to be courteous with each other and remain calm in the face of continued uncertainty. These last 18 months have not been easy and all of us have weathered this journey in many different ways. We are all here to do our best, and if we treat each other with grace and patience and extend kindness and compassion to all those we encounter, we will have a much better Fall semester and academic year. I look forward to seeing you on-campus next week and wish you the best as we begin the Fall 2021 semester!

 

Christina M. Costanzo, EdD
Assistant Dean for Admissions & Academic Affairs