The COVID-19 pandemic continues to impact nursing education, and Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan has requested that nursing programs encourage student engagement in caring for hospitalized COVID-19 patients and in assisting with COVID-19 screenings and vaccines. In response, the University of Maryland School of Nursing (UMSON) has been strongly encouraging its entry-into-practice students scheduled to graduate in spring 2021 to begin participating in clinical experiences and community/public health rotations as soon as possible, before the Jan. 28 start of the spring 2021 semester.
This voluntary option is being offered to Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) and Clinical Nurse Leader (CNL) master’s option students, as the second large surge of ill COVID-19 patients affects nurse staffing at UMSON’s partner agencies and institutions. With the surge expected to increase over the coming months and continue into spring, causing uncertainty regarding availability of clinical sites, UMSON has provided this option to students to ensure they can participate in and complete their spring 2021 requirements.
“The University of Maryland Medical System hospitals warmly welcome the University of Maryland School of Nursing entry-into-practice students to begin their final semester practicums this month. The experience and insight they’ll gain working alongside our expert and knowledgeable registered nurses during the COVID-19 surge will serve them well over the course of their nursing careers,” said Lisa Rowen, DNSc, RN, CENP, FAAN, chief nurse executive, University of Maryland Medical System, and senior vice president and chief nursing officer, University of Maryland Medical Center.
Priority for the December/January clinical experience option is dependent on clinical site availability, and students will be placed on a first-come, first-served basis in a medical/surgical or acute care unit or with community/public health nursing partners as clinical sites are identified.
“I thank the University of Maryland School of Nursing leadership and its students for stepping up and demonstrating their continued active commitment to service in the midst of this pandemic,” said James D. Fielder Jr., PhD, secretary of higher education, Maryland Higher Education Commission. “The opportunities for students to accelerate their academic schedule in order to actively contribute during the current COVID-19 surge is deeply appreciated. The state of Maryland thanks you.”
UMSON has 65 BSN and 13 CNL students scheduled to patriciate in the early clinical experiences.