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A Message to Faculty and Students in MSN programs

Dear Faculty and Students:

We appreciate your forbearance as we navigate the thicket of rapid change and conflicting information to bring you clear, coherent direction on how we are moving forward in response to the COVID-19 virus pandemic.

As you know, a number of our clinical practice partners have imposed restrictions on student clinical experiences, with the goal of keeping our students, staff, faculty, healthcare professional colleagues, and, importantly, patients and the public safe and to the extent that is possible protected from any unnecessary exposure to environments posing risks for the spread of this virus. We are monitoring the situation very closely and are being proactive to address the implications of these restrictions that continue to change..

As of today, we have been notified by the following hospitals/health that they are suspending student placements;  University of Pennsylvania Health System (Penn Medicine) and affiliated sites, Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, Thomas Jefferson University Hospital, Temple University Hospital, Einstein Healthcare Network,  Nemours, RWJ Barnabas Health in New Brunswick, NY Presbyterian (NYC), and NYU Langone Health. All students should check with the course faculty and directors for ongoing updated information about their clinical sites and course work. Below we provide guidance for the remainder of the semester:

Clinical Placements Sites:    

1)   For those clinical placement sites that have notified the School of Nursing of suspended clinical experiences for students, students should not report to the practice site or have contact with preceptors until further notice by your faculty. Faculty will be working together to arrange for students to meet their required clinical hours by extending clinical time once these restrictions are lifted and through alternative experiences to meet clinical hours and are compliant with accrediting/certifying bodies.

2)   For sites that faculty have been advised are still accepting students for clinical experiences, students may resume their plans for obtaining clinical hours and should continually be aware that decisions regarding placements may change. Students are to follow the CDC guidelines (https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/hcp/guidance-risk-assesment-hcp.html) regarding COVID-19 risk and should disclose to faculty any potential risk so further clinical access can be assessed and determined if safe. Students should not report to any clinical site if they have a fever, cough or any flu-like symptoms, have returned from travel from a CDC Level 2 or 3 country that requires 14 days of self-isolation according to the CDC guidelines, or have come in direct contact with a person known to have COVID-19 virus.  

Please be aware that restrictions by our clinical partners may change over time, and that the restrictions are likely to vary. With everyone’s help we will be able to track and be vigilant about these changes and to swiftly deploy all needed training modifications.

Faculty Advising:  All faculty advising will now be accomplished through Bluejeans or remote technology.

Access to the School of Nursing Building:

1)   While students are permitted to come to Fagin Hall if necessary, we strongly encourage accessing faculty/resources at Fagin Hall and on campus remotely to assure proper social distancing.

2)   Faculty will have access to Fagin Hall and are expected to resume normal work at the School of Nursing as appropriate. Department Chairs and Program Directors are connecting with all faculty regarding preparation for remote teaching. While faculty may convene small group meetings, they are encouraged to use bluejeans or other virtual meeting technology to conduct their meetings.

Thank you for your patience and understanding as we respond to the restrictions imposed for our safety and the safety of others. The School of Nursing leaders and faculty are working diligently in these stressful times to support all of our students and provide the necessary instructional experience to complete their respective programs. We will redouble our efforts for clear, timely, and accurate communication so that we minimize unnecessary confusion and stay focused on the goal—an excellent program experience that will prepare all students to be the nursing practice leaders of the future.


In health and wellness,


Antonia M. Villarruel, PhD, RN, FAAN

Dean and Professor


Julie Sochalski, PhD, RN, FAAN

Associate Dean for Academic Programs