A Message from Dean Barbara Habermann

April 21, 2020

Dear Lute Nursing Community,

First and foremost, thank you for your work as a nurse. Especially now, thank you for serving on the front lines, delivering the competent and compassionate care that is the mark of a PLU nurse. I am truly proud of you and other nursing alumni.

Over the last few months, we have seen our lives turned upside-down as we quickly adjust to a new normal — one that seems to keep changing every day. The world is facing an unprecedented challenge with the COVID-19 pandemic. While many of our regular routines have been halted, I know that as a nurse, there is typically not a “work from home” option.

Just as you’ve had to adapt during these challenging times, so has the PLU School of Nursing. Here are a few updates about changes and transitions that have been taking place over the last several months.

Updates About Current Nursing Students

As you likely already know, a little over a month ago, PLU leadership made the decision to transition to distance learning for the rest of the semester. In the early days of this decision, there was a lot to sort through to ensure academic continuity and progression for our students. We had to consider their health and wellbeing and account for factors beyond our control, including changes in our students’ lives—from higher work demands to increased home stressors.

An added challenge for our School of Nursing, and other nursing schools nationwide, has been the ability to provide clinical education.

In mid-March, we began hearing from multiple clinical sites that they could no longer host our students due to a shortage of personal protective equipment. By Thursday, March 19, we were forced to cancel all in person clinical hours. However, I am happy to share that PLU has been approved by the State of Washington to provide online virtual simulation for our students.

Our seniors will graduate on time with over 700 hours of clinical practice, which is well above the 600 hrs required by the state. Our NP students continue to see patients remotely through telehealth. Please know, no matter what, PLU remains committed to providing the exceptional clinical care that is a hallmark of our program.

The New Clinical Learning and Simulation Center

I am happy to report that construction is still moving
forward, albeit at a slightly slower pace due to social distancing guidelines. At this time, Korsmo Construction predicts finishing only two weeks behind schedule, which is pretty remarkable all things considered. If this remains the extent of the delay, the Center will still open for Fall of 2020. We are of course preparing ourselves for other delays due to the COVID-19 crisis or other unknown contingencies, but we are grateful for this bit of good news.

These are not easy times for anyone, especially nurses. But, inspired by your strength and driven by our mission, we will continue to forge forward and deliver an exceptional PLU education to our nursing students. I can say, without a doubt, that I am prouder than ever to be a Lute. I appreciate you, the work you do and the care you provide to all.

 

Thank you.

Barbara Habermann, PhD, RN, FAAN
Dean and Professor