COVID’s Impact on Nursing Education

Among the frontline workers of the COVID pandemic none have been more lauded than nurses. They’ve been applauded by thousands of grateful apartment dwellers, letters of thanks hang by the hundreds in break rooms and they’ve been treated to more pizzas than a victorious high school football team.

Less noticed by most of us, however, is how COVID-19 is changing the profession. Most notably for RNs and LPNs has been the relaxation of state licensing rules, enabling nurses in one state to more easily practice in another.

States that are part of the Enhanced Nursing Licensure Compact (which replaced the original compact in mid-2017) already allowed inter-state practice. But two of the largest states – California and New York – are not part of the compact. Neither are 13 other states and territories, according to Nurse.org.

Yet as the seriousness of the outbreak became apparent every state, territory and the District of Columbia declared an emergency so nurses licensed elsewhere could practice anywhere. Now, as the crisis is easing, non-compact states are rethinking their position about joining.

The pandemic’s most profound impact may be on nursing education. Most states permitted students to take on certain nursing duties without being licensed. Many alsowaived their hands-on clinical requirements allowing schools to substitute telework and simulations so their students would remain safe and still graduate.

In an interview with Health Leaders, Betty Nelson, dean of the School of Nursing & Health Sciences at Capella University, said COVID’s “most prominent challenge is our ability to provide learning experiences in clinical settings.”

She noted that while nursing programs nationwide have “maximized the use of high-fidelity simulations and virtual experiences,” Nelson says, they are not a complete replacement for human patient interaction. “The threshold can be raised higher, but hands-on patient care experience is necessary.”

With the risk of contagion still high and clinical opportunities in short supply even before the pandemic, nursing programs have yet to resolve the balance. Boards of nursing across the country have taken steps to help, allowing simulated clinical experience to account for more than the usual 50% of their training. Maryland, for example, said it would accept simulations “in place of students going to clinical sites.”

Most of these waivers and substitutions were announced early in the pandemic. As of the most recent update from the National Council of State Boards of Nursing most are still in effect and likely to remain so for the time being.

These changes, though temporary now, may lead to permanent changes in nursing standards, suggests Nelson.

“The strain on clinical site access set against the rising need by nursing schools for clinical site access, requires accreditors and regulators to evaluate standards and requirements relative to a safe balance between in-person patient care experiences and remote and simulated patient care experiences.”

Photo by Macau Photo Agency on Unsplash

#WeAreGreenKey: Spotlight on Justin Stratton
Creative General Interest Green Key News Human Resources Professional Support Worklife

#WeAreGreenKey: Spotlight on Justin Stratton

Director of Green Key Pharma Receives RAPS’ Community Leadership Award
General Interest Green Key News Healthcare Leadership + Management Pharma Worklife

Director of Green Key Pharma Receives RAPS’ Community Leadership Award

5 Tips to Ace Your Virtual Interview
Accounting + Finance Architecture + Engineering Creative Financial Services General Interest Healthcare Human Resources Information Technology Leadership + Management Legal Support Marketing Technology Pharma Professional Support

5 Tips to Ace Your Virtual Interview

#WeAreGreenKey: Spotlight on Clare Wright
General Interest Green Key News Professional Support Worklife

#WeAreGreenKey: Spotlight on Clare Wright

Green Key Unlocked: The Future of Administrative Support
General Interest Green Key News Human Resources Professional Support Worklife

Green Key Unlocked: The Future of Administrative Support

#WeAreGreenKey: Spotlight on Tara Potter
General Interest Green Key News Pharma

#WeAreGreenKey: Spotlight on Tara Potter

Green Key Unlocked: Hiring Trends in Architecture, Engineering, and Construction
Architecture + Engineering General Interest Green Key News

Green Key Unlocked: Hiring Trends in Architecture, Engineering, and Construction

#WeAreGreenKey: Spotlight on Shandi Frederick
General Interest Green Key News Healthcare

#WeAreGreenKey: Spotlight on Shandi Frederick

#GreenKeyUnlocked: What’s New in the Tech Job Market?
General Interest Green Key News Information Technology

#GreenKeyUnlocked: What’s New in the Tech Job Market?

#WeAreGreenKey: Spotlight on Jordan Boyd
General Interest Green Key News Information Technology

#WeAreGreenKey: Spotlight on Jordan Boyd

How to Negotiate a Job Offer
General Interest Worklife

How to Negotiate a Job Offer

#GreenKeyUnlocked: Digital Tools and Technologies in Pharma
General Interest Green Key News Healthcare Marketing Technology Pharma

#GreenKeyUnlocked: Digital Tools and Technologies in Pharma

#WeAreGreenKey: Spotlight on Jordan Haas
General Interest Green Key News Pharma

#WeAreGreenKey: Spotlight on Jordan Haas

#GreenKeyUnlocked: Become a Medical Assistant
General Interest Green Key News Healthcare

#GreenKeyUnlocked: Become a Medical Assistant

#WeAreGreenKey: Intern Spotlight on Olivia Stein
General Interest Green Key News Healthcare Worklife

#WeAreGreenKey: Intern Spotlight on Olivia Stein

#WeAreGreenKey: Spotlight on Brett Braterman
General Interest Green Key News Healthcare

#WeAreGreenKey: Spotlight on Brett Braterman

#GreenKeyUnlocked: Accounting Advisory Consulting
Accounting + Finance Financial Services

#GreenKeyUnlocked: Accounting Advisory Consulting

#GreenKeyUnlocked: Let’s Get Creative!
Creative General Interest Green Key News

#GreenKeyUnlocked: Let’s Get Creative!

How to Quit Your Job (The Right Way)
General Interest Worklife

How to Quit Your Job (The Right Way)

Green Key Unlocked: Let’s Talk Marketing Operations
General Interest Green Key News Information Technology Marketing Technology

Green Key Unlocked: Let’s Talk Marketing Operations

Latest Blog Posts
View All Posts
#WeAreGreenKey: Spotlight on Justin Stratton

#WeAreGreenKey: Spotlight on Justin Stratton

Justin Stratton joined Green Key Resources as an Executive Recruiter in 2015. Six years later, he is a Staffing Manager...
Read More
Director of Green Key Pharma Receives RAPS’ Community Leadership Award

Director of Green Key Pharma Receives RAPS’ Community Leadership Award

Director of Green Key Pharma, Lindsey Summers, is a co-recipient of the Regulatory Affairs Professional Society (RAPS) 2021 Community Leadership...
Read More
5 Tips to Ace Your Virtual Interview

5 Tips to Ace Your Virtual Interview

Whether you’re preparing for a phone screen or a final stage interview, virtual interviews are now an inevitable component of...
Read More