Dear Wildcat Nursing Community,
Adapting to life with COVID-19 mitigation has presented us with a new and challenging experience, and we as a College are rising to that challenge. Challenges can create opportunities and our outstanding team of staff and faculty have indeed turned chaos into opportunities for supporting our students on their educational journey.
Across the College, any academic program that was not already online or hybrid quickly moved to online delivery. Our amazing Learning and Healthcare Technology Innovations team mobilized technologies to support online program delivery, while our simulation teams are developing virtual simulation scenarios that can replace “on ground” clinical experiences.
Recognizing the ripple effect of COVID-19, we have reached out to students asking them to share their emergency financial needs, which are substantial. I am pleased to share that we have used gifts from our generous donors to provide students with as much financial support as possible and continue to assess requests and receive gifts into our emergency fund.
We remain in close communication and collaboration with our clinical partners. In order to respond to the need for more nurses at the front line, some faculty are working extra shifts providing direct care to patients. We are using telehealth technology to provide care remotely when direct care is not possible, with the added benefit for students who participate along with their preceptors. After taking an inventory of supplies in our simulation and research labs, we participated in a University wide initiative to donate unused personal protective equipment to our clinical partners and continue to look for ways to help in the community response.
Through it all, we have been impressed by the resilience and fortitude of our students. These men and women who had to make abrupt changes to their learning environments, lost in-person contact with their peer and academic supports, and ended clinical experiences early, continue to persevere. They are working hard academically and pitching in to help the community response, bringing pride to the Wildcat nursing community every day.
As you may know, 2020 was proclaimed the “Year of the Nurse and Midwife” by the World Health Assembly. When we in the College created a taskforce to plan ways to recognize nurses throughout the year, we did not anticipate this pandemic nor the attention it has brought to our precious field. It is heartwarming to see such positive attention to nurses world-wide, and we will work to share stories of our own Wildcat Nurses as the response continues to unfold. Please watch for more news about our many amazing nurses who are leading the way in education, practice and research.
I wish you all the best as we move forward together.
Ki Moore, PhD, RN, FAAN
Dean, The College of Nursing