Dear University of South Carolina Nursing Community:
Here in the U.S. and around the world, we are facing a challenge unlike any in our time. The coronavirus pandemic has intersected our community and all of our daily lives in many ways, but especially with nurses, who are on the front lines as never before.
We are the Gamecock Nursing Nation. And who best to weather this storm together, than our village here at the College. Our faculty, our staff, our students, and alumni always stand tall during challenging situations, and we will continue to support and encourage each other and our fellow nurses during this time.
As we further embark on this journey, all of us are faced with personal challenges, concern about our family, ourselves, closures, cancellations, and disruptions. There is uncertainty, and we realize that many are stressed and anxious during this difficult time. This is highly understandable and important to pause occasionally and identify ways to promote our mental and physical health.
Please be assured that we are doing everything possible to stay on top of this rapidly evolving situation. Online instruction begins Monday, March 23 and continues through the completion of final exams in May. After careful consideration, we have suspended all student clinical rotations, minimally over the next several weeks, and are executing innovative pathways for students to continue their clinical education during this time. We are working closely with the Board of Nursing and our national accrediting bodies to facilitate progression of all students in creative and unprecedented ways. We have cancelled small group gatherings and larger events over the next several weeks. And of course we are all following the CDC’s guidance as to personal hygiene. University updates are released daily, and please be sure to review these often.
We request your patience and flexibility in the days and weeks ahead. Our faculty and staff are working remotely and we are establishing new norms and processes to communicate and remain as efficient as possible. I am working diligently with the college’s senior leadership and academic team to ensure we provide effective communication and the best resources available for our entire Gamecock Nursing Community. Faculty are communicating with students in each course multiple times weekly, and our faculty and staff are conducting frequent “virtual huddles” to address operations in the College. Starting next week, I will join faculty-led “huddles” with students so that I can directly hear from our students and address any questions and concerns.
I am incredibly appreciative of the efforts of our entire team during this time. We are in this together and will come out stronger than ever before!
Jeannette O. Andrews PhD, RN, FAAN
Dean & Helen Gurley Wolford Professor of Nursing