Message from the CEO, August 2020

August 1, 2020

Dear OADN Members:

Approximately five months ago the COVID-19 pandemic was beginning to confront our nation. At the time, I never thought we would be dealing with this crisis in such epic proportions. Over the months, OADN has kept our programs informed by providing needed resources in simulation, on-line teaching, updates in regulations, changes in clinical placements, and other important nursing education trends. In late May, it was apparent this crisis was here to stay, and changes being made in nursing education could be more long term than anticipated. There was a sense of urgency and OADN wanted to ensure that we continued to listen to our membership. As a result, the OADN COVID-19 National Task Force was formed.

The COVID-19 Task Force is a diverse, national group of OADN members and stakeholders from across the country in both urban and rural. Director of Strategic Initiatives, Mary Dickow coordinated the activities and led the task force members in their work. The purpose was to provide a national perspective and guided consideration and generate ideas to address future teaching/learning structures and opportunities in nursing education. The goal of the task force was to create a repository of information for dissemination of the identified tasks.

This group of dedicated individuals came together every Friday beginning June 12th to share their expertise in discussing major issues in nursing education because of the pandemic. At the initial meeting, the task force chose to identify workgroups to complete the initiative as quickly as possible. The workgroups formed were: 1) collaboration with industry partners, 2) on-line education, 3) simulation/virtual simulation, and 4) regulation/ accreditation.

The work groups identified innovative methods of restructuring the teaching/learning process, recognized the need for modifications based on the pandemic; developed strategies for providing meaningful clinical learning opportunities, discussed academic/practice partnership considerations, and created a plan for collaborating with industry partners for high quality and safe return of students to clinicals.

As a result of their collaborative work I am pleased to announce the following resources are now available on the newly revised OADN COVID-19 Resource Page under the following headers:

  • Returning Students to Clinicals, Skills Labs and Sim Labs
  • Online Teaching
  • Virtual Simulation
  • Evidence to Inform Regulatory Changes

I would like to commend the members of the OADN COVID-19 Task Force for their focused work that was completed efficiently to provide these resources. The task force will continue to meet and provide updates as the impact of the pandemic evolves.

In closing, I must express how we must continue to take care of ourselves and each other. This is a very challenging time, and there are times after a full day of Zoom I anticipate when I can see a live face in front of me and hopefully give a big hug. I know we are all in this together, and I appreciate the innovative ideas generated to keep associate degree nursing education moving forward.

Stay safe and well and let us continue to take care of each other!