School of Nursing

March 9, 2021

A Year of Learning Differently

Today marks one year since the COVID-19 pandemic required us to rapidly shift from in-person to mostly virtual education and administration.

In the 365 days since, we’ve learned a lot.

We learned that this school community and our clinical partners are remarkably resilient and creative.  When asked to “learn differently”, “research differently” or “work differently,” you made it happen. Even virtually, this was a community dedicated to success.

We learned that this is a community of innovators. The change from in-person to virtual teaching compressed a process that might normally take months or years into just a few days. Despite the many challenges, we found ways around obstacles and barriers. We discovered new methods of teaching and learning and new ways to serve the health care needs of our surrounding communities.

We learned virtual education is different in so many ways. It requires flexibility and adaptation in how curriculum is presented. Virtual education has its drawbacks, especially as we seek ever-better ways to teach, but it also has advantages that continue to emerge as faculty have time to tailor their courses to the medium.

We learned, too, that there are some things for which there is no virtual substitute. Fortunately, the university is aware of this and has made every effort—consistent with everyone’s safety—to accommodate for certain kinds of hands-on instruction to take place in person.

We learned to explore the possibilities of telehealth and how it can help nurses reach our most vulnerable and isolated patients. The pandemic may have accelerated, perhaps by years, the widespread adoption of nurse-led telehealth as a healthcare resource.

We learned how, in partnership with the other health sciences disciplines, we can tackle the pandemic together and deliver life-saving resources to our communities.

I know it has been a challenging year for everyone, and I want you to recognize your efforts, patience, flexibility, and sacrifices. Stay healthy, Huskies, and if we all continue to follow best practices, we’ll soon see each other in person.