Graduation date pushed back for junior nursing majors

COVID-19 forces summer clinical placements to be canceled

By Austin De Dios | March 28, 2020 5:13pm

The effects of COVID-19 is forcing the School of Nursing to cancel some of their summer clinical courses. Junior nursing majors will now graduate in August 2021 instead of May 2021.

Media Credit: David Jacobs / The Beacon

Junior nursing majors will not be able to graduate in May of 2021 due to complications caused by the coronavirus outbreak. Their expected graduation date has been pushed to August of the same year. The news was sent in an email on March 27 from the Dean of the School of Nursing Casey Shillam.

“We will not have the ability for students to have the necessary clinical placements to run the Acute Illness Management trifecta courses this summer,” Shillam’s email said. 

According to the email, the height of COVID-19 related hospitalizations is projected to take place at the end of May, and it is likely that all Oregon nursing programs will not be able to enter back into acute care settings for clinicals before the end of summer. 

“In order to maintain the academic integrity of your program and adhere to all regulatory requirements for nursing education from the Oregon State Board of Nursing, the School of Nursing will not be able to offer NRS 317, NRS 308 and NRS 309 during the Summer 2020 semester,” Shillam said. “We will postpone your coursework for the remainder of the program of study by one semester.” 

The resulting complications of the coronavirus outbreak have put junior nursing majors in an unideal situation. 

“I think on behalf of my whole class, we are incredibly unsettled by this news,” junior nursing student Eileen Ryan said. “And for me, personally, I would have liked to see a little more bit of wait and a little more deliberation for this decision. But this will affect a lot of things and a lot of our lives, and I understand that it was necessary to come to, but I don't think that we can make that decision right now … and it is disappointing.”

Because junior nursing students have also completed more than the required simulation experience this semester, their capstone will be altered to reflect the current requirement of 180 hours of clinical time.

Further details concerning the situation will be released as they are available. 

“I ask that you please continue to trust that we are doing all we can as quickly as we can, and that we are dedicated to getting you information as we have it to share,” Shillam said.

Austin De Dios is a reporter for The Beacon. He can be reached