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With the closures of universities and colleges due to the spread of COVID-19, life is unlike it’s ever been for students and nurse educators. While some classes are held online anyway, there are many that take place in person.

Julie K. Stegman, Vice President, Nursing Segment at Wolters Kluwer, Health Learning, Research & Practice, took time to answer our questions about what you can do to continue learning or teaching during this time.

Lots of colleges and universities have closed or are closing. Nursing students may be looking for ways to study while at home. Until their professors/instructors begin offering online classes, what should they do?

This is an incredibly challenging time. Nursing students face mitigating circumstances for completing their clinical hours, and nurse educators are pivoting to a fully online teaching format that many are not accustomed to. From discussions with nurse educators, we know they are facing challenges with the typical steadfastness and resilience we see from nurses daily. 

Nurse educators are keeping their students engaged virtually by suggesting independent learning activities, such as reading their textbooks and taking advantage of online videos and interactive exercises. They’re also making students aware of educational webinars offered by organizations like ours on key topics such as clinical judgement. 

We are also reminding nurse instructors of the tools and resources they have at their disposal and can make available to their students virtually. Our Lippincott CoursePoint+ solution for example is an online program that offers students a lot of opportunity for self-learning, including applied learning and assessment as well as virtual simulation activities that mirror real-world practice.

How can they determine which websites are providing accurate information or not?

Nursing education has a variety of legitimate sources for accurate information. In fact, one of the hallmarks of nursing education is using the latest evidence in making decisions about a patient’s care.  Because of that nursing students typically don’t run into trouble identifying reputable and authoritative sources of data and information. 

Nurse educators are also represented by premiere associations like the National League for Nursing, the American Association of Colleges of Nursing, and the National Council of State Boards of Nursing that are proactively helping instructors guide students toward the latest information. The nursing profession is also represented by premiere associations (including Wolters Kluwer) and publications like AJN: The American Journal of Nursing.

Are there ways that they can study together online? Should they set up private Facebook groups with other students they may already be in study groups with? Are there better ways of doing this? Please explain.  

Many nursing schools use learning management systems which provide an opportunity for them to create a forum for discussion topics as well as opportunities to connect students with one another. Because this is all done virtually, it’s one of the best ways students can stay connected and engaged at home.

For instructors/professors: what kind of tools can they access online or through other technology that will allow them to keep teaching? Until they can, what should they do?

Digital learning has been embraced in nursing education for some time and has had a positive impact on preparing students for real-world practice. In fact, Lippincott CoursePoint was the first-to-market integrated, digital nursing education solution back in 2013 and continues to deliver the industry’s most trusted content and resources, including case studies and real-time data. Fortunately, many nursing instructors and professors are familiar with these digital education tools and it’s been a shorter learning curve.

These powerful digital tools and insights allow nursing instructors to adapt their approach on the fly to meet students’ needs, even if those students are at home.

This is so unlike anything any of us have experienced before. Is there anything regarding what nursing students and nurse educators can do while schools are closed that is important for our readers to know?

At Wolters Kluwer, we are committed to our nurse educators and supporting them in these challenging times.  We have and are continuing to provide resources for our educators for transitioning to online learning including free webinar training, as well as recorded webinars, blog posts and white papers on our Lippincott Nursing Education website. We are also maintaining an information resource about the latest guidance for nurses in practice at Lippincott NursingCenter.com.

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