Skip to main content

Penn Nursing Update - Week of February 21st

Dear Penn Nursing Students,


Lots of exciting news from last week and this week! Please read the updates and recurring reminders below.


Information Updates

  • Leonard A. Lauder Gift to the School of Nursing
    • Last Monday, Dean Villarruel announced that the School of Nursing received a $125 million gift from Leonard A. Lauder, a Penn alum of the Wharton School and chairman emeritus of the Estee Lauder Companies. This donation is the largest gift ever given to any American nursing school, and it will be used to create a tuition-free primary care nurse practitioner fellows program beginning next fall. Read about this announcement and plans for the program here.
  • University updates on COVID-19
    • Announcement on 2/15/22- In light of the dramatic decrease in COVID-19 positivity rates among both undergraduate and graduate students, the University has lifted restrictions on social gatherings that were implemented back in January. Please see the most current public health guidance here.
    • Announcement on 2/22/22- As emailed to the University Community and posted today on the University Dashboard, the campus positivity rate is now at a remarkably low rate of 0.97%. As a result, further restrictions have been lifted:
      • Double masking or wearing a KN95/KF94/N95 mask is no longer required in campus buildings. However, you must still wear a mask in indoor spaces on campus.
      • Additionally, February 28 is the deadline to update your booster information to the Student Health Portal.
  • Graduation updates
    • The School of Nursing Graduation Ceremony is confirmed for Monday, May 16th at 3pm at the Kimmel Center in Verizon Hall.
    • The Kimmel Center requires all guests to show proof of full COVID-19 vaccination (2 weeks past the 2nd dose of Moderna or Pfizer vaccine or 2 weeks past a dose of the J&J vaccine). Valid proof of vaccination (COVID-19 vaccine card) and a picture ID will need to be shown for entrance to the Kimmel Center. Please see this website for more information about their requirements.
    • Continue to keep your eyes peeled for graduation emails in the coming weeks. These emails will include info about University/School of Nursing ceremonies, reserving tickets, purchasing academic regalia, pinning and more.




  • Penn’s Next Generation Student Systems, the new course registration platform, will be launching in March 2022. In light of the launch, the periods for Summer 2022 course registration and Fall 2022 advance registration have been adjusted on the main University Academic Calendar. Please view the calendar for exact dates.


  • COVID Testing: Continue scheduling your screening tests! All fully vaccinated students are required to test every other week. Failure to do so will result in students receiving a RED PennOpen Pass. This is especially important for nursing students as it may affect their participation in clinicals.
  • Please be sure to read your emails thoroughly as not to miss any pertinent information about the School of Nursing.


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


Food for Fuel

Monday, February 28th, 11:30am-12:30pm

Prepare for clinicals with some fun activities organized by Penn Nursing Wellness! Tune into a workshop, win some prizes and build your own trail mix. 


Support and Empowerment for Racial Trauma Among Black Students

Fridays from March 4th to May 6th, 2022, 2:00-3:15pm EST via BlueJeans

Student Counseling is putting together a support group for Black students at Penn to discuss experiences with racism and the impact on their mental and physical health and well-being. The group is open to undergraduate and graduate students who identify as Black/African American/part of the African Diaspora. 


Save the Dates: Spring 2022 Virtual Colloquia

The ONR has put together an exciting schedule of virtual colloquia taking place over the course of the semester! Meet scholars and professionals, and gain insight to the various types of work they do in the nursing field. Each seminar will touch on a different health topic from grant writing to medical technology to Medicare policy. 


2022 Penn Nursing Renfield Foundation Award for Global Women’s Health

Tuesday, March 29th, 3:00-5:00pm

The University of Pennsylvania, School of Nursing-Center for Global Women’s Health is pleased to invite you to the 2022 Penn Nursing Renfield Foundation Award for Global Women’s Health presentation that is taking place on March 29, 2022, from 3pm – 5pm. This year’s awardee is Gabriela Meléndez Peláez, a midwife who is receiving the award for her tireless work in addressing maternal health inequities in Guatemala. 


The Office of Academic Affairs will continue to send regular email announcements in the Spring 2022 semester which can be found archived online. You can find a full listing of departmental contacts online here.


Sprinkling some extra positivity into your day: The COVID positivity rate at Penn has continued to go down! Of the 0.97% total positivity rate, the undergraduate rate makes up a mere 1.16% - a huge decrease from 12.89% from 2 weeks prior! Please continue to follow all health and safety guidelines so we can keep these numbers down!


Despite the rainy day today, wishing you a wonderful week ahead!


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