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COVID-19 Student Volunteering Update

Antonia Villarruel, Margaret Bond Simon Dean of Nursing
Julie Sochalski, Associate Dean for Academic Programs
Rosemary Polomano, Associate Dean for Practice
Terri Lipman, Assistant Dean for Community Engagement


We have heard from many students that you have been approached to support various onsite volunteer efforts in relation to COVID-19.   We call your attention to the email from March 12th regarding student community engagement during the COVID-19 pandemic.  To protect your safety, and the safety of patients and community members,  it is essential that the School of Nursing remain consistent in our messaging that we are suspending student involvement in our community outreach programs and any volunteer work until the dangers of COVID-19 have eased and “stay at home” restrictions by the City and State have lifted.

We know that students – like many faculty – are being called on to volunteer.  Therefore, in accordance with the guidelines from AAMC (Association of American Medical Colleges), we agree that “it is essential to ensure that students do not experience any sense of social coercion to volunteer” and, therefore, “participation should be purely voluntary and not considered for any course credit”.    In addition, it is important to understand that volunteer work in the community, regardless of the nature of this work, could result in exposure to the COVID-19 virus, and may require 14 days of self-quarantine prior to resuming any clinical experiences as part of clinical courses.

Thank you for helping us all be safe at this extremely difficult time.