For Students: Fall 2020 Plan


Student Requirements, Policies & Guidance


In the fall, 2020, semester, GW Nursing will utilize its full spectrum of clinical sites in Maryland, DC and Virginia for all ABSN students. GW Nursing online graduate programs with students in other states will continue to place students as permitted by the clinical site.

For ABSN students, clinical experiences will be augmented by both virtual and face to face simulation training. Any face to face training will take place at Innovation Hall at the VSTC.  Both physical distancing and percentage of building occupancy (based on numbers of students, faculty and staff) will be factored into scheduling of simulation/lab. Learners and instructional personnel will wear cloth masks when in the buildings. When in close contact with classmates, students and will wear a surgical/ procedural facemask and face shield as well as gloves. Cleaning of equipment between users and at the end of the day will be done according to CDC guidelines, as well as recommendations from the manufacturers of medical equipment and manikins. 

For the fall 2020 semester, distance learning graduate students will not be traveling to VSTC for simulation events. Clinical experiences will be augmented with online indirect clinical learning opportunities and telehealth experiences.


GW's Campus Commitment

As a way to demonstrate and acknowledge your shared responsibility as a member of our on-campus community, you must complete a mandatory training before August 28. This 20-minute Blackboard training will provide you with a basic understanding of the coronavirus pandemic, health and wellbeing expectations, your responsibility to protect yourself and the GW campus community, and where you can access additional information and resources related to GW’s response to COVID-19.

About the Commitment 

 

 

handshake agreement


Required ABSN PPE Module

It is important that all students are familiar with the correct order and procedure for donning and doffing PPE as we return to lab and clinical where this equipment will be required. Because of this, all ABSN students are required to complete the PPE module (link below). 

This brief module should be completed to a 90% score and the certificate uploaded to the Blackboard folder by Monday, August 31 at Noon ET. If you have completed this course for one of the senior-level courses (Preceptorship or Community) please just upload your certificate to the link below.

Access PPE Module via Blackboard 

 

 

PPE/mask icon


Dress Code / Uniform Policy

In addition to the GW SON Dress Code and Uniform Policy listed below, students are expected to adhere to any additional requirements from the University or SON for specific areas of campus. Please see the site-specific requirements for clinical in the clinical section of this webpage. The lab requirements can be found in the lab section.

Nursing students represent the George Washington University and the School of Nursing. BSN students are expected to be neatly dressed and groomed at all times. Appearance must conform to the highest standards of cleanliness, professionalism and safety. Uniforms are to be worn only when commuting to and from your clinical site and the BSN skills lab.

Students are required to have their GWorld card on them at all times while on campus. 

BSN clinical uniforms embroidered with the GW logo must be purchased directly from Flynn O'Hara Uniforms. The BSN clinical coordinator can provide you with uniform ordering forms and other uniform information. No substitutions or variations will be allowed.

Failure to dress professionally may result in removal from a clinical experience. If a student’s uniform does not meet professional standards, the student may be asked to purchase a new uniform. In such cases, expenses incurred are the responsibility of the student.

Failure to adhere to the following standards constitutes an infraction and will be treated as a breach under the policies described under Professional Comportment in this handbook.


Didactic Guidelines

GW Nursing will continue to operate as planned according to the academic calendar that we announced earlier this summer, which can be found here.

As previously stated, GW Nursing is planning to deliver online didactic instruction as well as in-person lab and clinical education for Accelerated B.S.N. students starting as scheduled on Aug. 31, 2020. We are preparing for all classes and labs to incorporate the flexibility necessary for students to be in person or online for various amounts of time this fall while still making uninterrupted progress toward degree completion. A remote proctoring system will be used for all examinations.

Graduate students can expect the semester to progress as scheduled. With the exception of AGACNP track events, there will be no on-campus simulation events for graduate students scheduled for the Fall 2020 semester.

View Fall 2020 Academic Calendar>

Didactic instruction for the Accelerated B.S.N. program will be delivered via distance technology in the fall 2020 semester. Please refer to the class schedule for course meeting times. Students are expected to complete learning activities prior to coming to class for the week and to participate in synchronous sessions with the course instructors to reinforce learning. Synchronous sessions will be recorded, but students are expected to attend these sessions.

A breakdown of the virtual and in-person learning requirements for each course can be found here.

During the fall 2020 semester, all testing will take place using Examplify. Information about downloading and using this application can be found here. While testing, students are expected to follow the guidelines in the GW Testing and Examination Policy. Exams may fall outside of normal class times, so please check your course syllabi for specific exam dates/times.

In addition to the information listed here, there may be some course-specific policies that would affect course structure and scheduling. Please see the syllabus for course specific issues.


Lab Guidelines

Lab for the fall 2020 semester will include both synchronous, in-person and virtual components. Attendance for synchronous, in-person lab is required unless otherwise stated. For more information about the virtual components of each lab and other lab requirements, please see the course syllabus.

Students must wear publicly acceptable attire in the classroom setting. Clothing should be clean and in good repair. Skirts, shorts and dresses, when worn, must be knee-length or longer.

Clothing that exposes areas of the chest, abdomen, midriff, back or underwear are unacceptable. Non-religious headwear and dark glasses (unless accompanied by a provider's note) are to be removed in classrooms and in the laboratory.

Students are required to wear navy blue scrubs (top and bottom) without the GW Nursing logo in the nursing laboratory. Each student is responsible for maintaining their lab uniform and lab coat in a clean and professional manner. Students who already hold an RN license are not required to purchase uniforms.

All students must answer a daily questionnaire in Point N Click in addition to completing weekly testing. These screening questions along with test results will give students a badge color based on their status. In order to enter the lab environment, students must present a green "Clear" badge to their lab faculty. Students with any other badge status will not be allowed entry into the lab

Note - PPE will not be provided for graduate students

PPE Requirements for Lab and Simulation

In order to safely conduct our activities  in the fall 2020 semester, all students will be expected to abide by enhanced PPE requirements while in the Simulation and Innovation Learning Center environment. Any needed PPE for lab will be provided by the SON. Please see specifics for each lab below.

NURS 3111 Health Assessment

  • Only students in compliance with weekly COVID-19 testing requirements will be permitted in the lab. 
  • Only students who are partners will be allowed in the same room.
  • During the HA lab session, students will be participating in pairs participating in both the "nurse" and "patient" roles to practice assessment skills.
  • When students are participating as the "nurse": Students will be required to wear the provided face shield, N95 masks, and gloves.
  • When students are participating as the "patient": Students will be required to wear their face shield, N95 mask, and the supplied patient gown. The patient gowns are the responsibility of the student to be laundered weekly.
  • Students will be required to wear the face shield and N95 mask at all times. When practicing assessment skills requiring access to the head, eyes, nose, mouth, and throat, students acting as the patient can temporarily remove the mask and face shield so the "nurse" can access these areas, however, students should immediately put the PPE back on.
  • Upon completion of the Health Assessment class, students will be expected to store their masks for re-use.  (information about storage will be forthcoming)
  • Upon completion of the Health Assessment class, student will be expected to clean the exam rooms with the disinfectants provided and clean their face shield for re-use.

NURS 3213 Med-Surg I Lab and NURS 3115 Med-Surg 2 Lab

  • Only students in compliance with weekly COVID-19 testing requirements will be permitted in the lab.
  • While in the lab environment, students will be required to wear the provided face shields as well as a face covering at all times.
  • Lab beds and equipment will be set up to give all students at least 6 feet of personal space. Students are expected to maintain this social distancing at all times while in the lab.
  • Upon completion of the Health Assessment class, student will be expected to clean the exam rooms with the disinfectants provided and clean their face shield for re-use.

On-Campus Clinical (OCC) Experiences

  • Only students in compliance with weekly COVID-19 testing requirements will be permitted in the lab. 
  • While in the simulation all students will be required to wear cloth face coverings at all times.
  • Students participating in any scenarios will have additional PPE that will be provided.
  • OCC has been designed to give all students 6 feet of social distancing to participate in the simulation activity.

If you test positive for COVID-19:

  • You will receive instructions to isolate at home for 14 days.
  • You will be contacted by both a member of the COVID Support Team as well as the department of health contact tracers.
  • Students that test positive for COVID-19 are expected to immediately remove themselves from the clinical setting and/or lab and notify the GW Nursing Director of Student Services. Students are encouraged to maintain confidentiality regarding test results. Student absence related to illness, exposure, or quarantine will be conveyed to the appropriate faculty by the Director of Student Services.
  • Positive test results and contact tracing will be managed in accordance with COVID-19 reporting regulations. Students testing positive will be contacted by a public health interview specialist from the GWU School of Public Health, the Department of Health in the location of their residence, and the Loudoun County, Virginia Department of Health.
  • Contact tracing will be initiated in accordance with CDC recommendations for contact tracing. Isolation and/or quarantine requirements will be shared with you by the contact tracing team.
  • If needed, counseling and mental health services will be available at the Colonial Health Center and may be accessed in-person or remotely.
  • Once a student tests positive for COVID, they will not receive another COVID test through a GW Test Center for 90-days.
  • Be sure to cancel your future COVID test appointments at the VSTC COVID Test Center through the Point and Click portal.

In addition to the information listed here, there may be some course-specific policies that would affect course structure and scheduling. Please see the syllabus for course specific issues.

NURS 3111: Health Assessment
Whitney Shanley ([email protected])

NURS 3213: Medical-Surgical 1 Lab
Julia Clarke ([email protected])

NURS 3115: Medical-Surgical 2 Lab:
Chris Seaton ([email protected])

For proper lab safety, please view the GW Nursing lab safety video.


Clinical Guidelines

Beyond on-campus learning, accelerated B.S.N. students will be placed individually at clinical sites as well as in clinical groups of up to 8 students. Clinical sites set limits on numbers of students in clinical groups. In direct patient / client care activities, students and their instructors will not be able to maintain physical distance. Students and instructors will, however, wear the PPE appropriate to the clinical experience. In other hospital units, where known COVID19 patients are not treated, the standard would be surgical/ procedural facemasks with eye protection (goggles or face shield) when near the patient’s respiratory droplets. Students in a medical office will wear the PPE worn by the other health care providers, which may consist of a surgical/ procedural facemask when examining or treating patients and a cloth face mask at all other times.

GW Nursing has purchased, or has on order, face shields and cloth masks for undergraduate students. Accelerated B.S.N. students and clinical instructors have been, or will be, fit tested for an N95 and elastomeric respirator and they will have completed training in donning and doffing PPE.

GW Nursing online graduate programs with students in other states will continue to place students as permitted by clinical site.

All GW Nursing students are required to sign Clinical Program Acknowledgement of Risk and Personal Responsibilities waiver form prior to entering the clinical setting. By signing the waiver, students acknowledge that they wish to voluntarily participate in direct patient care clinical/practicum hours, agree to abide by policies and procedures put forth by the clinical/practicum site, and understand the public health issue that currently exists due to the SARS-2CoV virus (also known as the COVID-19 coronavirus). 

Questions regarding the waiver form should be directed to Christopher DeJean, Clinical Placement Manager at [email protected] .

We hope that you are well and we thank you for your patience as we work to get you safely into your clinical sites as soon as possible.

Students are required to wear their name badges, identifying them as BSN students from the George Washington University, during all clinical experiences. GW Nursing will provide each student with one name badge. Students are responsible for the cost of replacement if the badge is lost or broken. Students must have a stethoscope and a watch with a sweeping second-hand or digital second indicator in all clinical settings.

All uniforms should be clean and pressed at all times. The BSN uniform should never be worn in settings other than clinical agencies or the nursing simulation laboratory. Sweaters or cover-ups that obscure the uniform are prohibited. Undergarments must never be visible, and female students must wear a bra. Students are responsible for maintaining the BSN uniform in a clean and professional manner.

Students in clinical settings must adhere to the following guidelines regarding personal appearance:

Hygiene:
Good personal hygiene is a responsibility of each student and is respectful of patients and colleagues in the clinical environment. Students are expected to bathe regularly, to conduct proper oral hygiene, and to use deodorant to prevent offensive body odors. Scented soaps, lotions, perfumes and colognes may offend or elicit allergic responses among patients and clinical staff and should be avoided while students are engaged in clinical settings.

Cosmetics:
Makeup may be worn in moderation, applied lightly and in a non-threatening manner. Scented products and products containing glitters should be avoided.

Nails:
Artificial nails/nail tips are strictly prohibited in all clinical environments. Nails must be natural, maintained at a length no longer than the finger-tip, and kept free of debris and polish.

Hair:
Mustaches and beards are permitted but must be clean, trimmed and well-groomed. Hair must be neatly styled and groomed. Hair longer than collar-length must be pulled back from the face and secured neatly in a manner to prevent hair from falling in the face (tight pony tail, braid or bun). Hair color must be consistent with colors natural to humans. Decorative clips, bows, bun pins and other ornate hair accessories are not permitted in clinical settings.

Headgear:
Religious headwear is permitted and should be unobtrusive and securely fashioned. Caps, hats, bandanas and other headwear are not permitted in clinical settings.

Jewelry:
Jewelry is a potential source of contamination in the clinical setting. Students must wear a watch with a sweeping second-hand or a digital second indicator. Engagement rings and wedding bands may be worn when in accordance with the clinical site’s policies. Other rings are prohibited. One pierced post-style (stud) earrings in each earlobe are permitted. All other visible body piercings are not permitted and must be removed prior to entering the clinical site. Students are not permitted to wear bracelets (with the exception of a Medic Alert bracelet), chains, necklaces, drop earrings or rings with stones in clinical environments.

Accessories:
Buttons, pins, ribbons, bracelets, pendants or other items supporting political, social, philanthropic or athletic causes are prohibited at all times.

Tattoos:
Your clinical instructor will provide information regarding agency policy about tattoos.

Personal Items:
Refrain from carrying purses, backpacks/shoulder bags, waist packs or valuables to clinical settings, as agencies may not be able to provide storage space for students’ belongings.

Each agency has its own dress code and students are required to adhere to the dress code of the assigned agency. However, even if the agency allows staff to wear jeans, shorts, mini-skirts, t-shirts or sweatshirts, it is never acceptable for BSN students to wear these items during a clinical experience.

Safety Guidelines for the Clinical Environment

During the Fall 2020 semester, students and faculty in the GW School of Nursing will be entering healthcare facilities with both suspected and positive cases of COVID-19. In addition to the normal standards for clinical dress, please implement the following guidelines to reduce the possibility of contracting COVID-19.

Before for Clinical

  • If you typically wear jewelry, a watch, or other nonessential accessories, leave them at home.
  • If you have medium or long hair, wear it pulled back.
  • If you wear contacts, consider wearing glasses to decrease the need to touch your face and to offer a barrier.
  • Prepare clean clothes and shoes to change into after work.
  • Remove nonessential items in your car, and stock the car with disinfecting wipes to make it easy to wipe down key surfaces after traveling home.
  • If taking mass transit, have hand sanitizer available and use it after touching any surfaces.

During Clinical

  • Follow the screening and PPE protocols of the institution.
  • Limit the items that you bring with you to clinical to the absolute minimum.
  • Disinfect your personal items regularly.
  • Perform hand hygiene after touching frequently used objects and surfaces.
  • Avoid handshakes and high-fives.
  • Practice social distancing to the best of your ability.

After Clinical

  • Change in an isolated location (e.g., garage, mudroom, laundry room).
  • Do not wear shoes from work into your home. Clean them, top and bottom, with disinfecting wipes.
  • Wash clothes worn at work using your usual laundry detergent.
  • Wash or safely discard dirty clothes bag.
  • Wash hands after handling dirty clothes and shoes.
  • Shower before interacting with your family.

If your CPR certification is set to lapse, we will not be offering CPR on campus before the fall semester. The BSN program will accept ONLY the American Heart Association’s (AHA) Basic Life Support for Healthcare Providers (2-year certification). Students must be trained in adult, child, and infant CPR and have automatic electronic defibrillator (AED) training. CPR cards must be uploaded to CastleBranch Immunization Tracker. Please make sure that you are up to date before starting the semester.

The deadline for submission of your CastleBranch requirements for each Cohort is as follows:

  • Cohort 21: 8/15/2020
  • Cohort 22: 8/21/2020
  • Cohort 23: 08/21/2020
  • Cohort 24: 8/21/2020

You must ensure that all of your clinical requirements in CastleBranch are complete and will not expire during the course of the fall semester.

Please contact the CastleBranch Help Desk directly at (888-850-4314) for assistance with uploading any documentation or to purchase your appropriate tracker.  

All items in CastleBranch must be complete and up to date for the duration of each semester

Please note: Failure to complete this on time will result in not being able to start your clinical rotation on time.   

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact the Clinical Placement Team at [email protected] for further assistance and clarification

For ALL clinical sites:

Complete the Clinical Program Acknowledgement of Risk and Personal Responsibilities form.  If you have more than one clinical site, please add each site name to the form, sign and send to [email protected].


Please click the link to the clinical site below to view the site-specific requirements:

Note - PPE will not be provided for graduate students

Please click the link to the clinical site below to view the site-specific COVID-19 Screening and PPE Policies:

If you test positive for COVID-19:

  • You will receive instructions to isolate at home for 14 days.
  • You will be contacted by both a member of the COVID Support Team as well as the department of health contact tracers.
  • Students that test positive for COVID-19 are expected to immediately remove themselves from the clinical setting and/or lab and notify the GW Nursing Director of Student Services. Students are encouraged to maintain confidentiality regarding test results. Student absence related to illness, exposure, or quarantine will be conveyed to the appropriate faculty by the Director of Student Services.
  • Positive test results and contact tracing will be managed in accordance with COVID-19 reporting regulations. Students testing positive will be contacted by a public health interview specialist from the GWU School of Public Health, the Department of Health in the location of their residence, and the Loudoun County, Virginia Department of Health.
  • Contact tracing will be initiated in accordance with CDC recommendations for contact tracing. Isolation and/or quarantine requirements will be shared with you by the contact tracing team.
  • If needed, counseling and mental health services will be available at the Colonial Health Center and may be accessed in-person or remotely.
  • Once a student tests positive for COVID, they will not receive another COVID test through a GW Test Center for 90-days.
  • Be sure to cancel your future COVID test appointments at the VSTC COVID Test Center through the Point and Click portal.

As we plan for the fall 2020 semester we know that planning for illness of both students and faculty is an important part of the process. Each course has built contingency plans in the case of serious illness so that we can help our students continue to progress through the program. Please note that while these plans are in place, long-term illness that results in an inability to complete clinical could cause a disruption to progression. 

In addition to the information listed here, there may be some course-specific policies that would affect course structure and scheduling. Please see the syllabus for course specific issues.

  • Only students in compliance with weekly COVID-19 testing requirements will be permitted in the lab. 
  • While in the simulation all students will be required to wear cloth face coverings at all times.
  • Students participating in any scenarios will have additional PPE that will be provided.
  • OCC has been designed to give all students 6 feet of social distancing to participate in the simulation activity.

NURS 3213: Medical-Surgical 1 Clinical
Michelle Rumble ([email protected])
Billy Mullins ([email protected]

NURS 3115: Medical-Surgical 2 Clinical
Gretchen Wiersma ([email protected]

NURS 3116: Psychiatric and Mental Health Nursing
Billy Mullins ([email protected]

NURS 3117: OB
Linda Cassar ([email protected]

NURS 4116: Peds
Kristen Stevens ([email protected]

NURS 4217: Community Health
Karen Dawn ([email protected]

NURS 4123: Senior Practicum
Whitney Shanley ([email protected])


 

Student Services

The GW Nursing Office of Student Services combines academic advising, student programming and university resources as a one-stop-shop to help students plan their studies for their future career, and navigate resources.

 

Student Wellness

Preparing you to face the challenges of providing high-quality patient care in different clinical settings is our most important charge as a nursing school. But the demands of a career in nursing can take a toll on even the hardiest of us, which is why we must also cultivate resilience and self-awareness in the face of adversity and stress.