Washington, DC — The National League for Nursing (NLN) and the National Council of State Boards of Nursing (NCSBN) call on nursing schools and programs to offer the greatest possible flexibility to students nearing graduation during this time of the COVID-19 crisis. NLN CEO Beverly Malone, PhD, RN, FAAN, and NCSBN CEO David C. Benton, RGN, PhD, FFNF, FRCN, FAAN, have issued the following joint statement:
COVID-19 Outbreak: Meeting Clinical Hour Requirements
During These Extraordinary Times
Our nation faces an increasingly urgent need for more nurses. While the COVID-19 outbreak has forced many educational institutions to send their students home or provide them with online learning, it remains imperative that nursing educators also find ways to help their students graduate on time this spring.
Now that clinical sites are cancelling or limiting clinical experiences, many nursing students are not able to get the clinical experiences needed to meet the requirements of their programs. This is particularly affecting graduating seniors. It is crucial for health care facilities to reopen their doors to clinical education. We strongly encourage partnerships between nursing education and practice agencies.
Please remember that students should not be categorized as “visitors” to the practice facilities, but rather as health care personnel. Therefore, when COVID-19 requirements limit visitors to the facility, students will be able to continue in their clinical experiences.
We strongly encourage nursing programs to take advantage of this teachable moment not only in terms of fulfilling course requirements but also for content on global health and population health and for taking nursing measures to prevent the spread of contagious diseases.
Flexibility and creativity are key on the part of nursing programs, accreditors, boards of nursing and practice partners. The boards of nursing stand ready to respond to questions about innovative solutions.