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Penn Nursing Update - Week of December 6th

Dear Penn Nursing Students,


Please take a moment to review important updates below.


Information Updates

  • COVID-19 REMINDERS: All Penn Nursing students are expected 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

§ Submit a Course Absence Report (CAR) to notify your faculty. Details about the CAR system can be found in the online BSN Handbook.

    • HONOR RED PENNOPEN PASS STATUS: If you receive a RED PennOpen Pass, you are not to attend in-person class, simulation, or clinical experiences. Students can call the telephone number provided by PennOpen Pass for questions or concerns. Faculty are working with students regarding missed classes, assignments, simulation labs, and clinicals.
    • WEAR MASKS. All members of the Penn community and visitors are required to wear masks while indoors or in public or shared spaces. 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. We have also implemented a process for reporting non-compliance with the mask mandate through a simple online form.
    • CONTINUE TO SCHEDULE YOUR SCREENING TESTING: All vaccinated undergraduate and graduate students enrolled in an on-campus program will be required to participate in mandatory screening testing twice a month. All undergraduates and graduates will test on alternating weeks. More information can be found here. Unvaccinated students with approved exemptions will continue their twice weekly screening testing. Please ensure you complete your required testing by 12/11/2021 to avoid a red pass on 12/14/2021 during final exams. As of yesterday, there were over 100 Nursing students who have not completed their required testing.
    • STAY UP-TO-DATE: The University is paying very close attention to COVID-19 cases 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 website. Monitor the Penn COVID Dashboard. The rates of positive cases increased with the week ending 12/4/2021 to 0.74% after 17,500+ tests were administered. The symptomatic and contact tracing positive testing rate is now at 7.33%, the highest it has been all semester. I completed a screening test at Houston Hall following Thanksgiving as recommended by the University. We all need to do our part to keep the campus and our community healthy and safe especially as we are heading into the holidays and winter season.
    • Social Events: The University issued a Penn Alert today prohibiting all indoor social gatherings due to the rising case counts of COVID-19 on-campus.
    • Testing around the Holidays: Please know that you can test more frequently before winter break if that would make you feel more comfortable around your family, friends, classmates, and patients. Testing is open to the Penn Community beyond the required screening testing. Just schedule the testing appointment on the University testing site.


  • Staying Involved at Penn Nursing:
    • Fall 2021 Student Group Leader meeting discussion: As a reminder, all students have an opportunity to get involved at Penn Nursing. On Wednesday, 12/1 the existing Penn Nursing student organizations met with Dean Sochalski and Dean Costanzo to discuss: May 2022 Penn Nursing Commencement, the December 2021 Graduation Recognition Event, update on staff hiring in OAA, wellness programming for spring 2022, mental health concerns of students, and promoting students and student organizations on School of Nursing social media pages. We were joined in the meeting by Dr. Batsi Bvunzawabaya, the Director of Integrated Care Initiatives and Staff Psychologist at Student Counseling. She shared some helpful programs for students including the Let’s Talk program that has Counseling staff in buildings throughout campus (see information here) and workshops and groups like those listed here. Mike Fisher from our Marketing and Communications office joined the second half of the meeting to brainstorm ways to feature more students and student organizations on the School’s social media pages. Students are encouraged to reach out to these student leaders to find out more. You can find a comprehensive list of student leaders online here.


  • CONTACTING THE OAA: As a reminder, we encourage students to refer to the contact table below for the 2021-2022 academic year.




Financial Aid Packages, Scholarships, Student Financial Concerns

Prospective Students, Submatriculation Application Inquires

Academic Policies & Procedures: Course Load, Course Selection, Academic Support & Resources, General Student Advising

Exposure to known or presumptive COVID-19 positive persons, Nursing- specific COVID testing questions, report non-academic personal travel

Course Registration Questions, Switching Clinical Sections

Clinical Compliance: Immunizations, Clearances

Education Verification, Good Standing & Enrollment Letters, State Board & Certification Paperwork


Upcoming Events/Activities Updates


  • Wednesday, December 15 - Weekly Virtual Financial Aid Student Hours: Student hours can be found each week on zoom. This will be the last financial aid student hours for the fall 2021 semester. We will resume hours in the spring 2022 semester. Please save this information for your quick reference Zoom Meeting Meeting ID: 941 6442 3058.


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. 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.


New OAA Staff Hires: The OAA has filled three of the five open staff positions. Nicole Murphy, Admissions Coordinator, joined us on December 1, 2021. Alyssa Davella and Cadence Lake, Associate Directors of Advising, joined the OAA on December 6, 2021. All three are working with current OAA team members to orient to their new positions, learn the Penn systems, etc. They look forward to meeting you soon. If you see them, please give them a warm welcome as all come to us from outside Penn. We will have two additional coordinator staff members join us in January 2022.


As always, these OAA emails can be found archived online. You can find a full listing of departmental contacts online here.


I wish you a successful end to the Fall 2021 semester and a restful, healthy and happy holiday season.


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