What the Texas A&M College of Nursing learned from preparing for COVID-19

Published: May. 6, 2020 at 5:26 PM CDT
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Nurses across the world have answered the call and joined the front lines of the fight against COVID-19.

With the arrival of May comes a whole new wave of recently graduated nurses. At the Texas A&M College of Nursing, the faculty is working to fast-track those grads to jobs during the pandemic.

“Fortunate for us, quite by accident, we had compressed our spring course plan,” said Sharon Dormire, an assistant dean for the college. “When COVID happened and we couldn’t come back to campus, it was awesome to be able to say our students have completed most of what they need to complete.”

Now, those nurses are able to join the health care workforce during a time when it’s needed most. The timing is meaningful for the nurses themselves, too.

“They’re stepping in at a time when so much is happening, so much uncertainty, and everything we know about COVID-19 changes almost daily,” said Dormire. “What I feel good about the Aggie nurses is that they are prepared for disasters; that’s a focus of our program.”

As for the Texas A&M College of Nursing, Dormire says many changes the school made for COVID-19 considerations will likely stick around beyond the pandemic.

“As a faculty, we’re beginning to look at how many clinical hours do we need?” said Dormire. “We currently have 870 clinical hours. Do we need that? Can we make that shorter? Because clearly our students were very well prepared and meeting the benchmarks.”

For the full conversation, see the video player above.