As the country has been faced with the Coronavirus Disease pandemic (COVID-19), the Organization for Associate Degree Nursing (OADN) has stood steadfast in support of all nurse educators, nurses, and the entire healthcare workforce as they care for the ill and vulnerable. Nurses are resilient, reliable, and proven responders during infectious disease emergencies, providing safe, quality, compassionate, and nondiscriminatory care to their patients and the communities in which they serve.
Over the past months, OADN has been striving to support nursing education programs as we move forward in addressing the COVID-19 crisis. OADN has been providing needed resources in simulation, online teaching, updates in regulations, changes in clinical placements, and other important nursing education trends. In late May, it was apparent this crisis was here to stay, and changes being made in nursing education would be more long–term than anticipated. There was a sense of urgency, and OADN wanted to ensure that we continued to listen and hear the concerns of nurse educators. As a result, the OADN COVID-19 National Task Force was formed.
The COVID-19 National Task Force is a diverse group of OADN members and stakeholders from urban and rural areas across the country. Director Dr. Keri Nunn-Ellison from the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN) was a member of the task force, providing invaluable guidance in relation to accreditation. The task force’s overall purpose was to provide a national perspective and guided consideration and generate ideas to address future teaching/learning structures and opportunities in nursing education. The goal of the task force was to create a repository of information for dissemination of the identified tasks.
As a result of the intense and collaborative work of the task force, resources were developed in the following areas: 1) returning students to clinicals, 2) online teaching, 3) virtual simulation, and 4) evidence to inform regulatory changes.
The last months have been unprecedented for the nursing profession, academia, and our personal lives. I applaud every nurse administrator and faculty for the intense amount of innovation and amazing effort you have accomplished in these past couple months to transition to the virtual teaching/learning platform. Your students are so very fortunate to have nurse educators with such expertise and dedication. We are all in this together and so we must continue to support each other.
Stay safe and well and let us continue to take care of each other!