Dear Entry-level Nursing Students,
We are in a public health emergency in Maryland, across the nation, and around the world. These are unprecedented times. You have chosen to become a professional nurse and will be on the front line of how we individually and collectively must respond to reduce risk to ourselves and to others. As a professional nurse, you will also be expected to identify and report any behavior that a nurse colleague or other health care provider has engaged in that puts others at risk. This isn’t “optional” – it is a requirement in effect 365 days a year to maintain your nursing license and your employment.
I am writing to reinforce what the University of Maryland, Baltimore; the Universities at Shady Grove; and the University of Maryland School of Nursing expect of students during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Failure to comply with these requirements may subject you to disciplinary action. The stakes are too high – people are losing their lives.
- All students are required to complete the daily SAFE form seven days a week. This is not optional – it is required.
- If you are a student experiencing symptoms associated with COVID-19 or have experienced an exposure to person with COVID-19, you are required to call the SAFE on Campus COVID-19 Hotline at 1-800-701-9863 immediately. You should expect a call back from a nurse who will ask you to provide specific details about with whom you have been in contact and the circumstances surrounding the contact. It is critical that you be forthcoming with all the requested information immediately.
- The hotline nurse will advise on testing and whether you need to quarantine. If you are required to quarantine, you should contact your course faculty to make any needed arrangements.
- You may also be contacted by the UMB Infection Prevention Specialist, or a member of UMB Student or Occupational Health, if more information is needed for contact tracing purposes, to clarify risk, or to refine recommendations made by the hotline team, who work in collaboration with these UMB clinicians. These clinicians will also communicate with the infection prevention teams of other organizations (e.g., the University of Maryland Medical Center, Baltimore City Health Department) as needed to mitigate risk of transmission and promote public health.
- If you are employed, it is your responsibility to notify your employer and to follow their directions on whether or not you should report to work (whether in a health care setting or elsewhere).
- Please be aware that travel outside of Maryland; Washington, D.C.; and Virginia may bar a student from continuing onsite clinical learning experiences. Such travel bans are at the discretion of the clinical or community organization.
I expect that you will come into full compliance immediately.
The campus hotline can answer questions about reporting, including concerns about identifying contacts. The hotline is independent of the School of Nursing and shares information only on a need-to-know basis. However, loss of confidentiality can result if a student fails to promptly and fully disclose all symptoms and exposures.
Thank you in advance for all of your efforts to minimize the risk to others and to yourself. You must follow the University’s requirements regarding COVID-19. Individually and collectively, we have to make every effort during this public health emergency.
Please stay safe,
Jane Kirschling, PhD, RN, FAAN
Dean and Professor