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Academic Advising

How can I speak with an academic advisor in the Office of Academic Affairs?

All academic advising through the Office of Academic Affairs will be conducted online. Walk-in academic advising hours have been cancelled for the remainder of the Spring 2020 semester. Students are always welcome to contact an advisor in the Office of Academic Affairs and should email advisor@nursing.upenn.edu to discuss a question or schedule a phone or Blue Jeans appointment. Appointments will only be scheduled by contacting advisor@nursing.upenn.edu.

How can I speak with my faculty advisor for questions and advance registration?

All faculty advising meetings will be conducted remotely. Contact your faculty advisor directly to schedule an appointment to discuss summer and advance registration. Note that all students must have their faculty advisor remove their registration hold before the end of advance registration in order to register for Fall 2020 courses. If you have questions about who your faculty advisor is contact advisor@nursing.upenn.edu.

Will CAPS services be available for the remainder of the Spring 2020 semester?

CAPS remains available to students during these unprecedented times. Services may be performed via phone or video conference, as well as in person. If you are a current client, your counselor will communicate with you about your needs moving forward. All students are encouraged to call in advance should you wish to be seen in person at CAPS. Dial 215-898-7021 and press 2 to speak to the Front Desk or you can press 1 to talk to a clinician 24/7. CAPS has consolidated clinical services with those of Student Health for the time being. In person drop-in services are now available at Student Health at 3535 Market Street. CAPS will be offering services from 9:30 am to 4:30 pm Monday to Friday. Any time the CAPS office is closed, a clinician is still available by phone by pressing 1. Please refer to the CAPS website for more information.

Will the Weingarten Center be available for the remainder of the Spring 2020 semester?

The Weingarten Center staff remains committed to providing academic support services and programs for undergraduate, graduate, and professional students at the University of Pennsylvania in light of classes transitioning to an online format. At present, the staff is working remotely but will continue to support students by providing academic assistance (e.g., individual consultations with learning instructors, tutoring) through virtual platforms and by overseeing implementation of accommodations for students with disabilities. Please do not hesitate to contact the Weingarten Center at 215-573-9235 to get updated information about Student Disabilities Services, Office of Learning Resources, and Tutoring Services and to be connected with a staff member who can address your needs.

Will the Writing Center be available for the remainder of the Spring 2020 semester?

The Marks Family Writing Center will be providing one-on-one online writing consultations for undergraduates across the four schools beginning Monday, March 23rd, at 9 a.m.. They will have over 50 well-trained undergraduate peer tutors providing 200+ hours of tutoring per week. The writing faculty will also be on hand to provide a limited number (10 at last count) of appointments for graduate students enrolled in credit-bearing courses. They anticipate heavy demand, so will be limiting appointments to one 45-minute session per week.

Will Career Services be available for the remainder of the Spring 2020 semester?

Penn Career Services advisors are available via phone and video. Detailed information can be found on the Penn Career Services website.

Is the Graduate Student Center available for the remainder of the semester?

Graduate Center Staff and resources are available remotely. You can access detailed information on the Graduate Student Center website.

Will Penn Abroad be available for the remainder of the Spring 2020 semester?

In light of Penn’s move to online coursework for the remainder of the Spring 2020 semester, Penn Abroad is offering a number of ways to connect, have an advising session, and learn more about global opportunities. While the Penn Abroad office is not currently offering in-person meetings, they remain operational during regular business hours, Monday through Friday, 9:00 am-5:00 pm EST.

Here are some ways to connect with Penn Abroad this spring semester:

  • Semester Abroad, Penn Global Seminars, and Global Research & Internship Program advising has been moved to virtual sessions as of March 10, 2020. Please refer to each program on the Meet with an Advisor page to make an appointment.
  • While drop-in advising hours are suspended for the semester, students who have not yet selected a program or region of interest may sign up for a virtual advising appointment. Please visit the Spring 2020 Drop-In Hours page for sign up information.
  • General contact information for the office and by program can also be found on the Contact Us 

Clinical Compliance

All student questions regarding compliance can be directed to compliance@nursing.upenn.edu

As a result of the challenges students may encounter in obtaining required documentation due to COVID-19 closures, the School of Nursing has adjusted the compliance schedule and extended deadlines. Students will follow the schedule below for their cohort. We continue to monitor the COVID-19 situation closely and will update compliance requirements on an as-needed basis. Students will be informed if compliance deadlines are extended beyond the dates listed below as a result of continued closures due to COVID-19 restrictions.

Note: All students must have complete immunization records, including the annual PPD on file before they can do clinical rotations. The School of Nursing Knowledge Link HIPAA trainings are also required. There can be no exceptions or extensions for those requirements.

***Deadlines below may change pending COVID-19 updates***

MSN students who are scheduled to graduate in August

The School of Nursing is waiving the renewal of any items due to expire prior to graduation. Please note that this is contingent upon individual clinical site requests for updated documentation; some sites will allow a 1-year extension of your current documentation already on record in Complio and you will not be required to renew before graduation. Students will work with their Program’s Site Coordinator to determine placement and allowable compliance extensions.

Continuing students – MSN, DNP-NA, and 2nd year ABSN students

  • Women’s Health NP – compliance deadline will be May 30th*
  • Midwifery - compliance deadline will be May 30th*
  • Nurse Anesthesia - compliance deadline will be May 30th*
  • 2nd Year ABSN - compliance deadline will be July 31st*

*Please note: continuing students may be permitted to enter some clinical sites without the need to renew current compliance items (drug screening, child abuse, criminal checks and FBI clearance) but this policy must be reviewed by individual sites that may allow extensions for clearances. MSN students will work with their Program’s Site Coordinator to determine placement and allowable compliance extensions.

Once drug screening and background check locations return to a normal schedule, the deadline to update all clearances, even those that had been extended, will be July 31st.

Entering Students, Summer semester – MSN, DNP, and 1st year ABSN students

  • Women’s Health NP - compliance deadline will be May 30th • Child Abuse Clearance
  • Midwifery - compliance deadline will be May 30th
  • 1st Year ABSN- Student compliance deadline will be July 31st
  • Nurse Anesthesia - compliance deadline will be July 31st

Please note: New students must be fully compliant before entering clinical sites

Students have been notified of items that they can complete remotely and early:

  • Child Abuse Clearance
  • School of Nursing Knowledge Link HIPAA trainings

Entering Students, Fall semester - MSN students and Traditional BSN

  • Neonatal Clinical Nurse Specialist - compliance deadline will be Aug 15th

  • Neonatal NP - compliance deadline will be Aug 15th

  • Adult Gerontology Acute Care NP - compliance deadline will be Aug 15th

  • Adult Gerontology Primary Care NP - compliance deadline will be Aug 15th

  • Psychiatric Mental Health NP - compliance deadline will be Aug 15th

  • BSN Traditional - compliance deadline will be July 31st

Please note: New students must be fully compliant before entering clinical sites

Streamline Adult Gerontology Certification Program

  • Students enrolled in NURS 798 in summer - compliance deadline will be May 30th

  • Students enrolled in NURS 798 in fall - compliance deadline will be Aug 15th 

Academics

What are the academic deadlines for the Spring 2020 semester?

The following changes have been made to the Academic Calendar:

  • Spring 2020: The last day to change a grade type is now April 29 at 11:59pm EST
  • Spring 2020: The last day to withdraw from a course is now April 13 at 11:59pm EST
  • Summer 2020: The open enrollment period will begin on April 14 at 7:00am EST
  • Fall 2020: The Advance Registration period has been moved to April 14 (7:00am EST) through April 24 (11:59pm EST)

How will courses be graded this Spring 2020 semester?

The University has made the decision that all undergraduate students, across the four undergraduate Schools, may choose to designate any course pass/fail for the Spring 2020 term – including courses satisfying your major or general education requirements. You may take as many of your Spring 2020 courses pass/fail as you choose, and you will have until the end of the day on April 29 (11:59pm EST) to decide whether to take any course on a pass/fail basis. You must “opt in” to this expanded pass/fail option by making the selection in Penn InTouch, and any courses taken on a pass/fail basis during Spring 2020 do not count against the total number of courses you may take pass/fail according to the policy of your School.

BSN/ABSN: All undergraduate Nursing students may choose to take any of their Spring 2020 courses pass/fail, including courses that fulfill their general education or Nursing major requirements. You may use any course taken P/F in Spring 2020 to satisfy the academic requirements for the BSN degree, minors, dual majors, dual degrees, and second majors. However, you must satisfy all course requirements on your course planning guide. (Provost rules applied to Wharton, SAS, Nursing and SEAS). Note that you are opting to take an entire course for a letter grade or pass/fail. For instance, if students are in a course with simulation and clinical, then you can not choose to take the simulation portion pass/fail, but the clinical for a letter grade. Instead the entire course is taken for a letter grade or pass/fail.

MSN/DNP:

  • APRN programs (MSN—CRNP and Midwifery, as well as DNP-Nurse Anesthesia) will follow the pass/fail rules as outlined in the student handbook (students are able to opt-in to take a graduate elective as pass/fail if the course is rostered for Spring 2020. No required course can be taken as pass/fail).
  • Only the MSN students in Nursing and Health Care Administration and Health Leadership as well as the Post-MSN DNP students will be allowed to select pass/fail for any course currently rostered for the Spring 2020 semester.

PhD: All University PhD students have the option to select pass/fail grading for any course rostered for the Spring 2020 semester.

 

What are the implications of taking a course pass/fail?

If you change a letter-grade course(s) to a pass/fail-grade course, you should consider if this will impact your financial aid package (scholarship), applications to graduate school including medical school, eligibility and competitiveness for awards and ability to transfer internally (within Penn) or externally, or add a dual degree. These are only some examples. Each student case is unique and therefore students are responsible for deciding whether to utilize the opt-in option. The deadline for changing grades is 11:59pm EST on April 29th, 2020. Late requests will NOT be considered as agreed upon by Wharton, SAS, Nursing and SEAS.

Important Note: If you opt to take a course pass/fail, you will not be able to uncover the grade for the course.

Submatriculation: Students should consider the GPA requirements for submatriculation eligibility and GRE waivers as they relate to applying for submatriculation when deciding on taking courses pass/fail. Important information regarding the pass/fail policy as it relates to submatriculation can be found here through the Office of Admissions. In addition, any courses that would be used to double count for submatriculation into an MSN or DNP degree must follow the grading rules of the MSN/DNP program. That is, those courses must be taken for a grade. This includes any required courses for a program and NURS 547.  

Licensure: Students are responsible for understanding the policies and guidelines for state licensure as it pertains to taking any courses, including clinicals, pass/fail.

Graduate Programs: Career Services has been staying apprised of the how pass/fail and academic performance during the spring 2020 semester will impact graduate school applications. Please refer to their home page (https://careerservices.upenn.edu/) which has advice and updates on this question. Students are responsible for understanding the policies and guidelines of any graduate programs they are pursuing and whether courses taken pass/fail will be recognized. Note that if you opt to take a course pass/fail, you will not be able to uncover the grade for the course.

International Students: International Student & Scholar Services indicates that taking pass/fail courses will not impact your visa status as long as you maintain a full-time course load. Please review other FAQs specific to international students here.

How do I change a course to pass/fail?

Before 11:59pm EST on April 13th, undergraduate students make this election themselves through the following process:

  • Access Penn in Touch
  • Select “Registration and Planning”
  • Select “Register for Courses”
  • Under Course Enrollments > Under “Action” > Select “Change”
  • Select “Grade Type” > Select “Pass/Fail”
  • Select “Save Changes”

From April 14th to April 29th, all students (undergraduates, DNP, MSN, and PhD) declare pass/fail grade type by submitting the Petition for Change of Grading Option.

What if I take a course pass/fail and I receive a grade of F?

In this case, students would need to retake the course(s) and this would impact their plan of study. A “P” is not calculated into the GPA, but an “F” is entered as a 0.0 and does affect the GPA. Policies regarding failing courses can be found in the Nursing Handbook here and will continue to be applied.

BSN & ABSN Students: In non-clinical courses taken on a pass/fail basis, a passing letter grade (D or above) assigned by the instructor is converted to “P” by the Registrar’s Office and entered on the student’s transcript. Instructors are not informed by the Registrar as to who is enrolled on a pass/fail basis. A “P” is not calculated into the GPA, but an “F” is entered as a 0.0 and does affect the GPA.

BSN & ABSN Students: Combined Theory and Clinical Courses - Students must pass the theory, clinical, and lab portions of the clinical course in order to pass the entire course and progress into the following clinical course. Students who earn less than a C- in a required clinical course, even if they change the grade type to pass/fail, will receive an F and will be required to repeat the course. Students who receive an F in a clinical course must repeat and successfully pass that course in order to progress into other clinical courses. A remediation plan (including the Course Faculty and the Office of Student Services) must occur before any course is repeated. A second F in any clinical course will result in dismissal from the program.

After receiving my final letter grade, can I change to pass/fail?

No. If you have already received a grade (Letter grade, I, or GR) you may not change the grade type. The University pass/fail for spring 2020 policy does not pertain to courses that have already ended or for which a grade has already been issued. The opt-in pass/fail deadline is 11:59pm EST on April 29th, 2020. Late requests will NOT be considered as agreed upon by Wharton, SAS, Nursing and SEAS.

Can I take some but not all classes pass/fail?

Yes.

Can I take a pass/fail-only class for a grade?

No.

Once students choose a pass/fail option for a course, will they be prohibited from switching back to a letter grade?

You can change your grade type option as many times as you like. However, you MUST complete your changes before 11:59pm EST on April 29, 2020.

Will students be allowed to uncover their grades after choosing pass/fail?

No.

Will current policy hold that, if students choose pass/fail and pass a course, they cannot repeat the course later to earn a letter grade?

You cannot repeat a course that you have passed.

I am a student and Penn employee. What does the current pass/fail policy mean for my tuition reimbursement?

Penn Nursing leadership has crafted this letter Re: Tuition Benefit Considerations for our Academic Partners.

How will the new pass/fail rules affect international students and their visa status?

According to ISSS, visa status is dependent on the number of course units taken in the semester and not the grade type choice.

Can I “opt in” if I am currently studying abroad?

Yes. The expanded pass/fail options also apply to undergraduate students on Penn-sponsored study abroad programs during spring 2020. The last day to change an abroad course to pass/fail is the last day of classes for your program. E-mail advisor@nursing.upenn.edu to request an abroad course pass/fail by that date.

Will the 4 CU cap on P/F courses be enforced?

No. The number of P/F courses you take in Spring 2020 will not count toward the total.

What if I want to withdraw from a course this Spring 2020 semester?

Students in the School of Nursing have the option to request withdrawal from a course if they obtain written permission from the course instructor and the Assistant Dean of Admissions and Academic Affairs. If withdrawal is approved, the registration for the course remains on the record and the notation of W is placed as a permanent entry in the grade section of the student’s transcript. The W does not affect the student’s grade point average. A student may only attempt a required Nursing course twice; therefore, only one withdrawal per course will be permitted. Students must submit the official Course Withdrawal form electronically to registration@nursing.upenn.edu. Although the withdrawal deadline was extended to April 13th, 2020, the rules remain the same and a “W” will appear on your transcript.

How will pending clinical hours be completed and how will this impact my Summer 2020 and Fall 2020 academic plan of study?

BSN & ABSN Students: The School of Nursing is working to make arrangements for students to complete their clinical hours in NURS 225 and NURS 255 in the upcoming terms. These decisions are dependent on our clinical partner sites and their guidance on resuming clinical training. Students in NURS 225 and NURS 255 will receive an Incomplete (I) on their transcript, which will convert to their earned grade when the clinical hours are completed.

Final decisions have not been made; however, we are advising students to prepare for the following:

  • Students may be able to make up clinical hours for NURS 225 and NURS 255 in Summer 2020 while they are in NURS 380.
  • Students in NURS 380 or those who live locally to Philadelphia should try and hold Monday, Wednesday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday for make-up days in Summer 2020. 
  • In Fall 2020, we are aiming to schedule make-up clinical time for students from 225 and 255 on Friday, Saturday, and/or Sunday. When making your Fall 2020 schedule, students should try to keep Friday, Saturday, and Sunday available.
  • Students in NURS 215 in Spring 2020 should be completing the remainder of their clinical hours through simulation and virtual clinical. If any additional hours are needed, these will be made up in Fall 2020.
  • Note that these make up times will not span the entire summer or fall semester, but will be for a specific number of clinical days.

MSN & DNP Anesthesia Students: Clinicals will resume when our healthcare agencies determine it is appropriate.

As a PhD Student, how should I proceed with program milestones and research?

  • Qualifying Exams, Candidacy Exams, and Dissertation defenses should continue as planned but will be held remotely.
  • Dissertation Deposit instructions have been updated for the Spring 2020 semester.
  • Please continue to meet with your faculty advisors and committees remotely; this is more important than ever.

Will Dean’s List be awarded for the 2019-2020 academic year?

The University has decided to suspend awarding Dean’s List for the 2019-2020 academic year. However, there will be a notation placed on every undergraduate’s transcript to recognize and honor the extraordinary disruption to the Spring 2020 term and the changes in academic policies. The specific notation on undergraduate student’s transcripts will be: “COVID-19 significantly disrupted the Spring 2020 term; students were granted unlimited pass/fail options for that term; Dean’s List honors were suspended for 2019-2020.”

While we expect that graduate schools and employers will take a holistic approach to reviewing students’ records, we want to ensure we have done what we can to note these policy changes on your academic records.

Will I still be able to receive Graduation (Latin) Honors?

Yes, students will be able to receive Latin Honors. 

In recognition of distinguished academic achievement and high standards of academic integrity, the University of Pennsylvania awards Latin honors to undergraduate students based on the cumulative GPA on their transcripts at the time of graduation. Graduation honors are as follows:

Cum Laude                          GPA of 3.40 or above

Magna Cum Laude            GPA of 3.60 or above

Summa Cum Laude           GPA of 3.80 or above

A student who has received a sanction of probation or greater for a violation of the Code of Academic Integrity, the Code of Student Conduct, or the Sexual Violence, Relationship Violence, and Stalking Policy is not eligible for Graduation Honors.* Notation of Graduation Honors will be removed from the transcript if the finding occurs after this honor has been posted.

*The level of sanction rendering a student ineligible was revised effective April 26, 2016. Sanctions imposed prior to that date are evaluated based on the policy in effect at that time. 

What will Summer 2020 look like for continuing students?

Summer 2020 classes will start on Tuesday, May 19 as scheduled. Summer classes in the School of Nursing will be offered remotely to take preventive measures related to the coronavirus (COVID-19). The health and safety of our campus community are of utmost importance. You are not required or expected to reside in the Philadelphia area for the summer term. We anticipate fall semester classes will be offered in residence.

Course registration for both the summer and fall terms has been postponed until April 14. Registration activity in Penn InTouch will open at 7:00am EST that day.

What can I do to prepare for working and learning remotely?

Nursing ITS has created a guide for the Penn Nursing community, featuring tools and tips for using technology outside the classroom and office.

Read more: Resources for Teaching, Learning, and Working Remotely

Have questions or need help? Contact the Nursing ITS Service Desk at servicedesk@nursing.upenn.edu or (215) 898-5981.

What if I have trouble adjusting to learning online or need special accommodations?

Weingarten Learning Resources Center services are available to all Penn students. Please reach out to the center to find the resources you need to be successful this semester: +1.215.573.9235 or vpul-lrcmail@pobox.upenn.edu. Disability-related inquiries can be directed to vpul-sdsmail@pobox.upenn.edu.

What if I am currently working in a hospital and am finding it challenging to attend to coursework?

This is a challenging time for all but especially for healthcare workers on the front lines. If you are currently working in a hospital during this time and find yourself struggling with coursework please email advisor@nursing.upenn.edu and an advisor can speak with you about options and available resources.

Will I be able to access library resources?

The Penn Libraries staff will continue to offer services that are beneficial to faculty and students even as the University moves to virtual instruction. Please visit the website for the most up-to-date information on the Libraries’ hours, policies, and access to collections:

COVID-19: Libraries Policies and Information

Students can connect with Biomedical Library liaison, Richard James, for any questions or concerns:

If students have books currently checked out that they won’t be possible to return, the library is waiving any late fees. Due dates for books checked out through Ivy InterLibrary Loan will also be extended until the end of semester.

What if I need assistance getting the internet to access my courses online?

If you are unable to get internet access through these services, contact Student Financial Services at sfsmail.pobox.upenn.edu OR contact your assigned Financial Aid Counselor.

Campus/Student Life

Is Fagin Hall closed to students?

Fagin Hall is closed to students for the remainder of the Spring 2020 semester.

Are Nursing sponsored events cancelled for the remainder of the Spring 2020 semester?

All events by Nursing affiliated student organizations are cancelled for the remainder of the semester.

Is graduation cancelled?

March 16 – Message to the Penn Community on Major Changes to Commencement

To protect the health of graduates, their families, alumni, faculty, and staff—the highest priority in the face of this unprecedented coronavirus pandemic—the University is cancelling the May 2020 on-campus Commencement- and graduation-related events and moving them to a virtual ceremony that will be broadcast online. We also will celebrate and honor you in person with Commencement ceremonies on Penn’s campus when it is safe and feasible to do so.

Visit coronavirus.upenn.edu for the most up-to-date information. 

Will there be a virtual graduation?

With the impact of the coronavirus pandemic prohibiting on-campus gatherings, in lieu of a traditional, in-person ceremony, the University will be saluting the Class of 2020 with virtual celebrations. 

Penn Nursing’s Virtual Celebration will be held on Monday, May 18th, at 3pm

On the day of the event, the virtual ceremony will be live here: www.nursing.upenn.edu/virtualcommencement.

More information about our virtual ceremony will be available soon. Please check back for updates at: https://www.nursing.upenn.edu/news-events/annual-events/commencement/

The University’s celebration will be Monday, May 18th, at 11am.

Please remember that, although we are holding a virtual celebration, our traditional in-person ceremonies are not cancelled but merely postponed, waiting for a day when we can all once again safely gather together. 

What if I have financial questions?

Schedule a remote meeting by emailing financialaid@nursing.upenn.edu