Welcome to our new students, and welcome back to those continuing their nursing school journey. I want to share with you our plans for delivery of Spring 2022 academic content. Given the progression of the COVID-19 pandemic and guidance from the University, we are planning to deliver all didactic instruction (lectures) via virtual platforms through Friday, Feb. 4, 2022. Our plan is to resume in-person didactic instruction beginning Monday, Feb. 7, 2022; we will continue to monitor the developments of the pandemic and may adjust this return date accordingly.
Selected labs and Performance Based Assessments (PBAs) must be done in person and will be scheduled (or rescheduled) as permitted by circumstances and UMB policies. Clinical experiential rotations scheduled for spring 2022 will continue to be offered in person, depending on course requirements.
Faculty will post expectations and logistics for in-person clinicals, labs, and PBAs scheduled through Feb. 4 on each course’s Blackboard page; these are expected to be available the week of Jan. 17.
The health and well-being of our students remain our top priority, and as such, UMSON will continue to adhere to UMB’s Internships and Field Placements guidelines for students. Nursing students are not permitted to participate in clinical or research experiences if they present symptoms, need to self-quarantine, and/or have tested positive for COVID-19. UMSON will provide students with appropriate personal protective equipment for use in health care environments and/or UMB facilities.
Please be aware that UMB’s Policy Requiring Use of Face Coverings is in effect. This means that while on UMB’s campus or at an off-campus location occupied by UMB community members, KN95s or equivalents are the only permitted face covering for faculty, staff, and students regardless of vaccination or exemption status. In addition, some of our partner clinical agencies are requiring students participating in clinical and practicum experiences to arrive in an N95 mask.
UMSON will continue to fit test students for N95 masks and half-mask respirators as needed; fit testing will begin the week of Jan. 10 in Baltimore and will continue through February. Students who require fit testing will receive an email with additional information from Ashley Hargrove. Two KN95 masks will be provided to students at fit testing, and additional masks can be picked up at the security desk in the lobby of the School of Nursing building in Baltimore or at the Clinical Simulation Labs at the Universities at Shady Grove.
I would like to remind every student that the vaccine mandate policy remains in effect, and all on-campus students are required to follow the UMB COVID-19 Vaccination Protocols. All students should regularly monitor the UMB and UMSON COVID-19 webpages for updates. In addition, updates will be shared with students via The Elm Weekly: School of Nursing newsletter, so please be sure to read it thoroughly each week.
Jane Kirschling, PhD, RN, FAAN
Bill and Joanne Conway Dean, Professor