July 6, 2020

Dear Pre-Licensure BSN Students:

On behalf of the faculty and nursing program leaders, I would like to extend a warm welcome to you for the fall 2020 semester. This communication from the Nursing Program leaders provides you with additional details related to your courses for the fall 2020 semester, and requirements that need to be completed prior to the semester starting. Please read the following information carefully.

Details regarding your courses:

Didactic Courses

  • Courses that were previously planned to be provided online will continue in an online, asynchronous format.
  • Courses that would normally be taught in the classroom and have NCLEX type testing will be provided online in a new model. The new model for the Delivery of Education is called Beyond the Lecture which incorporates virtual instruction, interactive learning, out of class requirements and collaborative support to facilitate student learning and academic success. More information on the Beyond the Lecture model can be found here. Please watch the Beyond the Lecture video for further information on the different components of this model.
  • All exams will be offered online with virtual proctoring. Due to the lack of secure technology to conduct exam reviews at a distance, students will be provided the opportunity to review their test on campus.  These test reviews will be conducted on Mondays the week or two weeks after the test.  The specific schedule will be provided to students on the first day of class.

Lab Courses

  • Health assessment lab will be offered fully online.
  • Competencies for Nursing Practice I and II lab and simulation portions of these courses will be held at the College in the Clinical Simulation and Learning Center, utilizing social distancing and use of personal protective equipment.  Students will go to acute care facilities for the practicum portion of these courses.

Practicum Courses

  • Practicum hours will be held in the health system. If a surge occurs and the health system determines that there needs to be a limitation of students being in the clinical setting, simulations (in person and/or virtual) will be offered until clinical site access is once again permitted.
  • The Population and Global Health Practicum (NUR 4116P) will be provided utilizing virtual simulation and assignments.  

Global Outreach

  • Due to the uncertainty of the COVID-19 pandemic, Global Outreach experiences for academic year 2020-21 will not be offered. The study abroad experience to Paris is tentatively rescheduled for spring break 2021.

Students have the right to decide to not participate in live educational activities or clinical practicum without academic penalty. Students who choose this option would take a Standard Period of Non-Enrollment (SPN), a leave of absence from applicable courses, and will be placed on a list to take these courses in a future semester in accordance with a revised curriculum plan. Students who choose to take a SPN for fall 2020 courses must notify Dr. Sorbello as soon as possible.

5 Items that Need to Be Completed Before Fall 2020 Semester

1. Screening Requirements in CastleBranch due by July 31, 2020.

We will be utilizing CastleBranch this fall to collect clinical compliance information regarding COVID-19. You will need to open a new account to access the platform; there is no charge for this additional account. Click here for instructions on how to open the account and work through the requirements. If you have questions, please contact Ms. Becky Roberts at becky_roberts@bshsi.org

  • Students must complete information related to exposure to COVID-19 and travel and sign an attestation in the CastleBranch system by July 31, 2020.
  • Students must complete the hand hygiene module in CastleBranch and sign the attestation by July 31, 2020.
  • Students will not be allowed to start classes if these two items are not completed by July 31, 2020.

2. Acknowledgement of Risk Form

  • Students must complete the Acknowledgement of Risk Form by July 31, 2020.
  • To complete this form electronically - Click this link to login to your Student Portal Campus Nexus account, click on your “My Documents” tab and select the “click here” link to complete the ADM-COVID19 Acknowledge of Rick Form.
  • Students will not be allowed to start classes if this Acknowledgement of Risk Form is not completed and signed.

3. Clinical Compliance Requirements

  • New Students: You need to have your clinical compliance requirements; immunizations, CPR certification, drug screen, and background check completed by the first day of class August 17, 2020. Please contact Ms. Becky Roberts, Academic Operations Coordinator (Becky_Roberts@bshsi.org)  for any questions.
  • Continuing Students: If your CPR has expired or will expire by July 31, 2020 you were sent an email with instructions on how to get recertified. You must complete your recertification by July 31, 2020 and provide Ms. Becky Roberts, Academic Operations Coordinator with a copy of your new card by August 1, 2020. After August 1st, students who are out of compliance may be removed from registered practicum courses.
  • Students must complete information related to exposure to COVID-19 and travel and sign an attestation in the CastleBranch system 48 hours before their CPR appointment at Shrader Road.
  • Students must complete the hand hygiene module in CastleBranch and sign the attestation by 48 hours before their CPR appointment at Shrader Road.
  • If these requirements are not completed, the CPR appointment will be cancelled.
  • COVID-19 screening measures will be in place. Details regarding these measures can be found below under Campus COVID-19 screening and safety protocol.

4. Uniforms

  • New Students: You will pick up your uniforms during the August 11th or 12th event. Remember you will be visiting the College on the assigned day/time determined by your clinical section.
  • Continuing Students: New blue scrub tops will be available for pick-up in August. You will receive more information regarding when and how to pick up your tops later in July. Please remember that you must pay for your tops prior to pick up. The charges will be added to your student account.
  • See note below about infection prevention procedures and cloth mask requirements.

5. Booklist

  • The booklist for each class is now updated for the fall 2020 semester. Please log in to the Campus Nexus Student Portal to find the required books for each class.

Education on COVID-19

The most up to date information related to COVID-19 infection prevention and transmission mitigation can be found on the subsequent websites. Students are asked to review this information prior to the start of the academic year.

It is important that students understand the stigma that may be cast on those who have received a diagnosis of COVID-19.

International Travel 

International travel is defined to include travel outside of the US (including Canada, Mexico, and US Territories) and recreational cruises to any destination. Students who have traveled internationally are required to:

  • Self-quarantine for 14 days after return to the US and before being permitted to return to campus.
  • Be asymptomatic of COVID-19 symptoms as stated in this document.

If you will not be able to start the semester on August 17, due to recent international travel and the need to self-quarantine, you must notify Dr. Sorbello, Dean of Academic Affairs.

Campus COVID-19 screening and safety protocol for the fall 2020 semester


Students will self-monitor for temperature equal to or greater than 100˚F and COVID-19 symptoms prior to arrival on campus. Anyone who exhibits any of these symptoms should stay home. Students will inform a faculty member of their symptoms and that they will not be coming to campus.

On-site Monitoring:

1. Prominently placed at the entrance to each site, a poster of COVID-19 symptoms is posted that illustrates the screening attestation all students/employees/visitors must make prior to being allowed to enter the building. In order to proceed to the temperature screening station, students/employees/visitors attest they have not knowingly had unprotected exposure to anyone positive for COVID-19 within the past 14 days, and do not have the following signs or symptoms:

  • One of the following: temperature equal to or greater than 100˚F, cough, new onset of shortness of breath, new onset of difficulty breathing; and/or
  • Two or more of the following: muscle aches, headache, sore throat, new onset loss of smell or taste, new onset of diarrhea, chills.  

2. Any person answering “yes” to these screening questions will be directed to return home. If a person attests to no exposure or symptoms, s/he will proceed to the temperature screening station.

3. Temperatures are taken with an infrared thermometer. Anyone with a temperature of 100˚F or higher will be sent home and not allowed entrance to the campus. If the temperature is less than 100˚F, the person proceeds to the hand hygiene station to sanitize their hands.

4. A mask is required. Cloth masks are permitted. If a person does not have a mask, a disposable mask will be provided.

5. The screener at the front desk will maintain a log of all entrants to the building. Notation will be made if a person was directed to return home.

What to do if you have symptoms or are ill: 

  • Students who stay home due to symptoms or fever must notify their faculty member each day they are out. If on the third day the student still has symptoms or a fever, the student will need to provide a health care practitioner clearance to return to campus, must be afebrile, and have no symptoms.
  • The health care practitioner will determine whether COVID-19 testing is appropriate. If COVID-19 testing is indicated, a negative COVID-19 test is required before return to campus.

Infection Prevention Procedures:

  • Social distancing, limits in the size of groups, use of masks, and environmental cleaning and disinfection will be employed to protect the health and safety of those who come to campus. Further details on these measures can be found on the College COVID-19 page.
  • Students must provide their own cloth masks to wear on campus. Note, that in accordance with Bon Secours Mercy dress code professional standards, masks with printed messages or insignia on them are not permitted.

Arriving early:

  • Students are asked to arrive to campus 15-20 minutes prior to their class/simulation/test review start time since there may be several people arriving at that time for screening at the front desk.
  • As mentioned above, all entrants to the College will need to wear a mask. After students have been screened and performed hand hygiene, they are to proceed to their specific location.

Stay safe and well; we look forward to seeing you this fall.

Thank you,

Dr. Barbara Sorbello
Professor and Dean of Academic Affairs

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