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Penn Nursing’s Plans for the Spring Semester

Dear Penn Nursing Students,

This morning along with each of you, Penn Nursing learned the University’s plans for the Spring semester, which will begin on January 20, 2021. The full release can be found online here.As has been expected, these plans detail that the hybrid learning model will continue into the Spring 2021 term. Most classes will be delivered remotely, with limited exceptions, such as lab and clinical experiences.For some of our courses, students may need to return and begin lab or clinical at an earlier date. In these instances, faculty will communicate directly with students with all needed information as it becomes available from the University and our clinical partners.Please know that our continued planning is grounded in ensuring your health and safety, and that each of you graduate on time.With that in mind, the use of Fagin Hall will continue to prioritize skills-lab and simulation.

While many aspects from the Fall semester are going to remain, the following information outlines updates for the Spring. More detailed information will be forthcoming.

Academics and Instruction (Spring 2021 Term)

BSN/ABSN

  • All didactic content for all Nursing courses (NURS XXX)—lectures, seminars, discussion groups regardless of class size—will be conducted virtually using Canvas, BlueJeans, Zoom, or other platforms as needed.
  • Only Nursing simulation/skills labs and clinicals will be held in-person (See Simulation and Clinicals).
  • The format of courses offered in other Schools at the University will be determined by their respective departments.
  • In compliance with University policy, all classes will offer content in both synchronous and asynchronous format.

 

MSN and DNP (Nurse Anesthesia)

  • All didactic content for all Nursing courses (NURS XXX)—lectures, seminars, discussion groups, regardless of class size—will be conducted virtually using Canvas, BlueJeans, Zoom, or other platforms as needed.
  • Only Nursing simulation/skills labs and clinicals will be held in-person (See Simulation and Clinicals).
  • DNP Anesthesia students will continue/resume their DNP projects which require data collection in conjunction with guidelines set by healthcare facilities and agencies.
  • The School of Nursing Orientation for new MSN students (Spring 2021) will be delivered in a virtual format using Zoom. Detailed information will be forthcoming.
  • In compliance with University policy, all classes will offer content in both synchronous and asynchronous format.

 

Simulation and Clinicals

  • The School of Nursing student clinical compact will remain in effect in order for students to be permitted to engage in clinical and simulation training.
  • Simulation course instructors will provide guidelines for participating in simulation and skills lab activities that meet COVID-19 precautions, including social distancing, masking, hand-washing and other requirements and as dictated by Fagin Hall occupancy guidelines.
  • Clinical course directors/faculty will provide students with orientation to and guidelines for participating in clinicals in each course.
  • Each clinical agency will determine how student clinicals will be structured (i.e., rotation dates/times). We will all need to be flexible to ensure that each agency can accommodate us given their workloads and our need to fulfill clinical requirements.
  • Each clinical agency will also determine safety measures that must be strictly adhered to—including the use of PPE, attesting to being asymptomatic for/no exposure to COVID-19—in order to participate in clinicals there. Failure to abide by site guidelines could result in student removal from clinical training from that site, and placement in another site could be delayed.
  • Students will be provided all needed PPE by the clinical site where they have been placed or by the School. PPE requirements are subject to change and may vary among sites.
  • Clinical site placements, and training requirements at individual sites, are subject to change. Clinical training may be discontinued at any site per directives from the site.
  • Students that are exposed to, or test positive for, COVID-19 will be required to undertake 14-day quarantine before returning to clinical. Guidelines for return to clinical will be provided and will need to be met in order to return to clinical training.
  • Public health guidelines, heightened risks and precautions in healthcare settings, and expectations of patients and patient care require that students strictly adhere to the Student Campus Compactthroughout the term to remain in clinicals. Violations could result in missed clinical and delayed graduation.
  • In compliance with University policy, all classes will offer content in both synchronous and asynchronous format.

 

DNP (Post-MSN)

  • Starting with the Fall 2020 incoming cohort, this program will be fully online.
  • All didactic content for all Nursing courses (NURS XXX)—lectures, seminars, discussion groups, regardless of class size—will be conducted virtually using Canvas, BlueJeans, Zoom, or other platforms as needed.
  • DNP (Post-MSN) students will continue/resume their DNP projects which require data collection in conjunction with guidelines set by healthcare facilities and agencies.
  • In compliance with University policy, all classes will offer content in both synchronous and asynchronous format.

 

PhD

  • All didactic content for all Nursing courses (NURS XXX)—lectures, seminars, discussion groups, regardless of class size—will be conducted virtually using Canvas, BlueJeans, Zoom, or other platforms as needed.
  • All Qualifying Exams, Candidacy Exams, and Dissertation Defenses will be delivered via BlueJeans or other platforms as needed.
  • PhD student research will be consistent with and directed by the University and School Research Resumption Plans. Please visit the COVID-19 Sharepoint Sitefor any Research Resumption information.
  • In compliance with University policy, all classes will offer content in both synchronous and asynchronous format.

 

Student Group Leaders Involvement with the Office of Academic Affairs

  • Throughout the current semester, I have been listening to students, faculty, and staff, and hearing a similar message: “Zoom fatigue is real.” I want to say to all of you that I “see” you. I hear what you are saying, how you are learning, and what you are bringing every day to Penn Nursing. With that said, we are working on ways for teaching/learning practices in the spring to be mindful of this.
  • I want to take a moment to recognize the Penn Nursing committees that include student representation. These student group leaders will be meeting monthly with Penn Nursing leadership and I am grateful for their engagement and contributions.

Advising and Student Support

  • Faculty advising and mentoring for all Nursing students will be offered in a virtual format using BlueJeans or Zoom.
  • The Office of Academic Affairs will continue to offer programming to students in a virtual format throughout the spring semester. We are exploring options for limited in-person programming that can be offered in compliance with COVID-19 precautions and all University safety guidelines.
  • The Office of Academic Affairs professional advising staff are available to schedule virtual appointments with students utilizing BlueJeans or Zoom. Use the following email addresses in place of walk-in advising.
    • Advisor@nursing.upenn.edu
      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


Your well-being is essential for academic success. I encourage you to access the wide range of Penn Student Support Services for continued care. Please refer to the Wellness Services: COVID-19 Information and FAQs webpagefor the most up to date information about testing, contact tracing, isolation and quarantine, life during quarantine, PennOpen Pass, and campus life.

We find ourselves in extraordinary circumstances, and I would like to express just how proud I am that you have responded with determination, adaptability, and care for yourselves and others.

Thank you, enjoy the weekend, and be safe.

 

Antonia M. Villarruel, PhD, RN, FAAN

Professor and Margaret Bond Simon Dean of Nursing

Julie Sochalski, PhD, RN, FAAN

Associate Dean for Academic Programs

José A. Bauermeister, PhD, MPH

Chair, Department of Family and Community Health

Julie Fairman, RN, PhD, FAAN

Chair, Department of Biobehavioral Health Sciences

Christina M. Costanzo, EdD

Assistant Dean for Admissions & Academic Affairs