UW School of Nursing coronavirus response

Novel Coronavirus response blog: Information & lessons learned for other schools of nursing

Due to the emergence of recent cases and community transmission of the novel coronavirus/COVID-19 in the Seattle area, UW School of Nursing has received many inquiries about how COVID-19 has impacted our school from other schools of nursing (SoNs) throughout our state and across the country. While we cannot make recommendations for any other SoN, we do want to share information and lessons learned from our experience that may be able to inform other SoN’s responses.

As with all aspects of the COVID-19 outbreak, this is an evolving situation that requires constant reassessment. This blog will be updated as the situation changes. Please see Public Health-Seattle King County and the Washington State Department of Health websites for the latest COVID-19-related public health guidance affecting the UW SoN.


Wednesday, Mar 25, 2020

All UW faculty, staff, and student employees are required to work remotely unless work is critical AND cannot be performed remotely.

Monday, Mar 23, 2020

Governor Jay Inslee issues a Stay at Home, Stay Healthy order.

Wednesday, Mar 18, 2020

Announcement from President Cauce: spring quarter will begin March 30 with all instruction offered online throughout the quarter.

Friday, Mar 6, 2020

University of Washington President Ana Mari Cauce announces at 7:30 a.m. that all UW classes and finals will be completed online through the start of Spring Quarter (through Monday, March 30, 2020); 58 total cases, 11 deaths in King County

Thursday, Mar 5, 2020

UW SoN holds completely virtual all-school meeting; SoN Executive Team asks faculty to strongly consider offering remaining classes/finals online, to extend accommodations for all students/staff/and faculty who wish to work from home for any reason; resources and support for faculty to offer classes remotely are introduced; 51 total cases, 10 deaths in King County

Wednesday, Mar 4, 2020

Public Health-Seattle King County issues new recommendations (in addition to hand hygiene, staying home when sick, not being around sick people, do not go to the emergency room unless essential) to reduce the risk of COVID-19 spread that include:

  • People at higher risk should stay home & avoid groups
  • Workplaces should enact measures that will allow employees to work from home
  • If feasible, avoid large crowds & consider rescheduling large events
  • People should not leave home when sick
  • People (even healthy) should avoid visiting hospitals & long-term care facilities/nursing homes

Tuesday, Mar 3, 2020

SoN students begin sharing possible COVID-19 work-related exposures; Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkin issues Proclamation of Civil Emergency due to COVID-19; 21 total cases, 8 deaths in King County

Monday, Mar 2, 2020

King County Executive Dow Constantine declares a State of Emergency due to COVID-19; the City of Seattle opens Emergency Operations Center; 14 total cases, 5 deaths in King County

Sunday, Mar 1, 2020

Public Health Seattle-King County announces 10 total cases, 2 deaths in King County

Saturday, Feb 29, 2020

First COVID-19 death reported in the US in a man in his 50s with no known travel or contacts in Kirkland, WA (just outside of a Seattle) in addition to 2 new confirmed cases for a total of 6; WA Governor Jay Inslee declares a State of Emergency due to COVID-19

Friday, Feb 28, 2020

Two new COVID-19 cases confirmed in Seattle area, one community-acquired case is in teen in Snohomish county

Wednesday, Feb 26, 2020

First case of community-acquired case of COVID-19 in the US identified in CA

Tuesday, Jan 21, 2020

First case of COVID-19 in U.S. confirm in Everett, WA (just north of Seattle); in a man in his 30s who had recently returned from China and has since recovered

Faculty, staff, and student support

Tuesday, Mar 3, 2020

Messaging to students (applies to faculty/staff as well):

  • If you have a known exposure you may choose to self-isolate however it is not required, at this time, for you to self-isolate if you are not symptomatic. Please contact your health care provider or Hall Health if you develop symptoms and absolutely seek care immediately if you have a fever, cough and difficulty breathing. It is not necessary that you have a provider’s note to miss or return to class or clinical but do let your instructor know.
  • In terms of your own personal preparation and safety, the very best resources for information are included below in the Provost’s message with links that are constantly updated.

Didactic courses

Thursday, Mar 19, 2020

Classroom instruction, simulation center activities, and lab sessions will NOT be held on campus nor in-person.

  • Students will not be asked to assume any additional costs for online resources or course enhancements.
  • Spring quarter will begin on time (March 30th) and will end on time with final examinations conducted online.
  • The School of Nursing is working closely with regulatory agencies at the state and national level to ensure that the online education we provide meets the requirements for certification (APRN) and licensure.

Monday, Mar 9, 2020

  • Virtual options for meetings/classes:
    • Lecture recordings/online class meetings (synchronous or asynchronous): Zoom or similar
    • Discussions: Synchronous—Zoom, Asynchronous—LMS discussion boards
    • Assessment: Synchronous—Poll Everywhere/similar, Asynchronous—LMS using Proctorio/similar if applicable
    • Small group collaboration: Synchronous—Zoom or LMS using group functions, Asynchronous—LMS groups, discussion boards
  • One example of how to virtually conduct a large undergraduate research poster session that involves group ‘poster presentations’ and simultaneous group peer reviews without using video presentations during regular class time
    • Have student groups prepare their poster in PPT or KEY prior to class time
    • Begin class with a Zoom session so faculty can explain class activities/instructions; have all students mute & only ask questions via chat for ease of understanding a large number of students
    • During each poster session:
      • student groups who are presenting upload their PPT/KEY presentations to a discussion board so all can view & answer designated questions about their poster/project and submit with the LMS
      • faculty/TA reviews posters, grades content/appearance, later grades questions within the LMS
      • student groups who are NOT presenting review assigned posters on discussion board, use their group chat function to communicate and answer designated questions about assigned posters within the LMS
    • One example of how to virtually conduct multiple DNP Capstone Project Defenses using video
      • Have students upload PPT/KEY presentations in advance
      • Create multiple virtual ‘rooms’ by creating multiple Zoom meetings
        • Faculty will help facilitate student’s use of Zoom
      • Throughout the day based on the student schedule, the student presenting has Zoom access and controls the presentation for the allotted time
        • Depending on the schedule, DNP committee members ‘attend’ their students’ presentations and ask questions after
        • Other faculty/students can ‘come and go’ from Zoom presentations based on their schedules and interest
    • For remote exams/finals, consider the use of Proctorio or similar software

Thursday, Mar 5, 2020

SoN Learning & Information Technologies staff provided staff and faculty with resources to work and teach remotely during SoN all-school meeting

Tuesday, Mar 3, 2020

Messaging to students/faculty regarding didactic courses:

  • Classes are quickly becoming more distance friendly so let your faculty know if you must stay home and wish to stay connected with classroom activities. If you have a known exposure you may choose to self-isolate however it is not required, at this time, for you to self-isolate if you are not symptomatic. Please contact your health care provider or Hall Health if you develop symptoms and absolutely seek care immediately if you have a fever, cough and difficulty breathing. It is not necessary that you have a provider’s note to miss or return to class or clinical but do let your instructor know.

Clinical courses

Monday, Mar 16, 2020

Beginning immediately, we are no longer sending students, undergraduate or graduate, to clinical sites.

Monday, Mar 9, 2020

Future considerations in the event that there is a prolonged interruption of clinical instruction:

  • Use in-person simulations that maintain social distancing if allowable
    • Smaller groups that can maintain 6-foot distance between students
    • Check state regulations regarding use of simulation in lieu of clinical hours
  • Use of online simulation programs (i-Human, etc.)
  • Track clinical hours carefully in case exemptions have to be filed

Friday, Mar 6, 2020

Messaging to students/staff/faculty:

  • As communicated in the message from President Cauce, Provost Richards, and Dean Emami, effective Monday, March 9, 2020, students at the University of Washington School of Nursing will shift all academic activity to virtual environments. This means:
    • Students will NOT be participating in any in-person clinical learning activities in any venue.
    • Undergraduate and graduate students will be solely engaged in virtual learning activities, as directed by the course faculty.
    • Classroom instruction, simulation center activities, and lab sessions will NOT be held on campus nor in-person.
    • We expect to return to regular operations March 30th for spring quarter.
  • To be clear, the School of Nursing administration is directing all faculty and students to cease their off-site clinical experiences starting Monday, March 9. The normal operations of the School of Nursing are ongoing, however, all learning and work will be conducted in a virtual space including final examinations.

Thursday, Mar 5, 2020

Messaging to clinical faculty:

  • If you have students currently in a clinical setting, please refrain from assigning them to care for patients who are in respiratory isolation or needing respiratory precautions.
  • Please track your student hours for future compilation. We will need to prepare a summary report for the Commission regarding the effect of the current COVID-19 situation on our opportunities for student clinical experiences.

Tuesday, Mar 3, 2020

Messaging to students/faculty regarding clinical courses:

  • In answer to the question, “Should I go to clinical?”, the answer is, “it depends”. The School of Nursing is relying on our clinical partners to make that judgment call. Some clinical agencies have requested that students not come to clinical during this time for a variety of reasons. They may be understaffed and they may be short of protective equipment with little time to train students. Some agencies have requested that students come to clinical as scheduled but ask that faculty not assign students to patients in isolation. And some health care facilities have not only welcomed students but have requested additional volunteer help from students and faculty. Additionally, requests and directives from clinical sites are changing from day-to-day. The best way to approach this is to be flexible, monitor your email frequently, and stay in touch with your clinical faculty. The school is making contingency plans to ensure that your clinical education is not diminished and that you have options to successfully complete the clinical courses you are enrolled in. Stay tuned and again, stay in touch with your clinical and course faculty as well as course coordinators, program directors, and chairs/vice-chairs.

School of Nursing operations

Friday, Mar 6, 2020

Messaging to staff/faculty about guidance re: working remotely

  • Our hope is to transition all possible employees to work remotely
    • Staff to Work Remotely If Possible: In accordance with Public Health-Seattle King County guidance, UW encourages supervisors to provide telework options to employees or students whose job duties can be performed remotely without hampering operations. Supervisors have maximum flexibility to implement this.
    • SoN HR and SoN IT will work with supervisors to remove barriers preventing someone who wishes to perform their job functions remotely.
    • Supervisors and employees should complete Remote Work Agreements to provide clarity around expectations for the telework arrangement.
    • Employees are expected to maintain their normal hours and job responsibilities while working remotely.
    • If employees have questions, please contact your supervisor.
    • SoN HR is also available to assist supervisors and employees.
    • If you are Feeling Sick
      • If any UW employees (faculty, staff or students) are sick, they must stay home.
      • If you are already working remotely and get sick, you may take time off to get better.
    • Time off policies.
      • UWHR’s time off policies for staff and student employees are generally equipped to handle contagious illnesses. Unless you are faced with an exceptional circumstance, you should instruct staff and student workers to continue to follow your department’s standard practices for requesting time off.
      • In addition to existing policies and in order to keep our community healthy, the President has authorized expanded use of sick time. If you have questions, our UWHR Consultant is available to offer guidance.

Thursday, Mar 5, 2020

Messaging to staff/faculty:

  • As a part of our Emergency Preparedness and Business Continuity plan during these times of uncertainty, I would like to share information from the University of Washington, Office of Human Resources. The guidance below will hopefully help address some of your questions and concerns related to the recent coronavirus (SAR-CoV-2) and associated COVID19 potential impacts upon our School and how we will continue operations…
    • Supervisors and employees are encouraged to keep in constant communication as our situation may change day to day. As part of your communications, please discuss telework opportunities to work remotely.  The UW telework policy and process is a very helpful guide to determine the best options and arrangements with your team.  Also, please visit the SoN Technology Resources intranet site to learn more about the different options available to our School for remote access and other tools for video and teleconferencing (Zoom).  You can also contact our L&IT Helpdesk and set up an appointment to meet with one of our technology experts.
    • The SoN currently does not have any designated Essential Personnel. Therefore, no person is required to report to work during any suspension of University operations.
    • Provided links to additional UW resources r/t coronavirus response, suspended operations, UW alert system

Wednesday, Mar 4, 2020

Messaging to staff/faculty:

  • Our all-school meeting scheduled for tomorrow will be conducted ALL online and in a virtual format. Please do not plan to physically attend the meeting. The School’s Leadership at this time wants to acknowledge and address the concerns from our SoN community regarding COVID-19 and present on the School’s response to the situation, information that will supplement what UW Central Administration has been sending out in their daily updates….We can’t stress how it is important for everyone to join and participate tomorrow.  There will be very crucial information shared about our School’s plans as we get ready to end Winter Quarter. (This meeting was conducted via Zoom and had approximately 125 attendees).