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A Message to Penn Nursing Undergraduate Students

Dear Penn Undergraduate Nursing Students,

The School of Nursing prioritizes your health and well-being above all, which guides our actions now and always. Our goal is to provide meaningful academic experiences on your journey to becoming an expert nurse and health care leader. Meeting that goal and assuring your health and safety, however, has been severely challenged with the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. But we are Penn Nursing, and we are redoubling our efforts to face the challenge and still achieve our goal.

You have been receiving ongoing correspondence from the University explicating the approach Penn is taking to reduce the possibility of viral spread while carrying on its academic mission. Specifically, the message from President Amy Gutmann and Provost Wendell Pritchett notes that  all students should not return to campus. Any students in University Housing and College Houses should depart by Tuesday, March 17 by 8pm. Any questions regarding housing can be directed to

We are writing to bring you up to date on how the School of Nursing is complying with the actions being taken. We hope this note helps to answer many questions that you have about how the rest of the semester will unfold for you, and we will continue to update you and work to resolve any issues and problems that arise.

We received information from Penn Medicine and its affiliates and the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia that clinical training experiences for all students in these facilities are suspended. The date for which clinical training opportunities will resume remains uncertain. This decision will impact the following Spring 2020 clinical courses:

NURS 215

NURS 225

NURS 255

NURS 390

Didactic and Simulation Course Components

In accordance with University communication to the Penn community, all simulation and didactic components of these courses will be delivered through a range of remote teaching methods. Your course director will be in contact with you about the course activities and will be your point of contact for questions you may have.

Clinical Course Components

We are rapidly assembling and reviewing options for how to complete your clinical hours in consultation with our peer institutions, other schools in the Pennsylvania area, and with the Pennsylvania State Board of Nursing. These options could include more simulation time, virtual clinical experiences, or possibly in-person clinical hours in the summer and fall (depending on the course). More information will be shared with you over the coming days and weeks as we learn more about these options and how to deploy them.

We appreciate your time and patience as the response to COVID-19 is continues to evolve. The School of Nursing faculty and staff will continue to support you and serve as a resource. 

In health and wellness,


Antonia M. Villarruel, PhD, RN, FAAN

Dean and Professor


Julie Sochalski, PhD, RN, FAAN

Associate Dean for Academic Programs