Image courtesy of Time, Inc.

By: Mary Marrero

The coronavirus pandemic has impacted everyone across the world, especially students pursuing their education. Students from all grade levels and various walks of life have changed their normal routines in order to adapt to the new lifestyle of COVID-19. At Mount Saint Mary College, students must follow social distancing rules, wear a mask and some have even shifted to online learning. However, with new procedures to follow, an individual might wonder if certain schools have tweaked programs in order to make them safer for students. Programs in the fields of science, the nursing program in particular, have all adapted while simultaneously meeting the rigorous course load that is required to graduate.

MSMC has created various hybrid classes that incorporate both online and in-person learning, as long as they are in compliance with the new safety standards. Large programs such as nursing will continue with the same material, but will be executed differently in terms of teaching style. Nursing students will continue to have classroom lectures, skills labs and clinical experiences as part of their curriculum. Nevertheless, classroom lectures will be taking place online this semester due to the large number of students. Skills labs will still provide students with hands-on learning experience at designated times, while clinical work has to be made virtual due to hospital regulations.

“Some clinical experiences that usually would take place in a hospital setting had to be constructed virtually as, due to specific constraints, some health care sites are not yet allowing students back to their setting,” said School of Nursing Chairperson Christine Berte, “we feel this will resolve with time, and for now, we are trying to afford every student the necessary clinical experience for success in the nursing courses.”

Nursing students are still under the same grading requirements as past years, and grading scales will be outlined on the student’s syllabus. The nursing department has managed to keep the same grading scale in order to prepare students for the NCLEX exam, since it has proved to be successful in previous years, according to Berte. Even with the changes and obstacles to come with this new format, the School of Nursing offers Zoom meetings and other resources to ensure the success of students in this profession.

“We offer meetings with students via Zoom or phone, we try to be as available as we always were, and our primary goal is to make the students aware they still have the resources of the School of Nursing and are not isolated in their education,” said Berte.