CBU Nursing adapts to COVID-19

Illustration by Robert Jordan

The nursing program at California Baptist University is just one of many programs that is being greatly affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Josh Keaton, sophomore nursing major, said, “Our classes have been held over WebEx. This allows us to still see and connect with our teachers and fellow students.”

This pandemic continues to change each day, so the plan for the nursing program during the middle of March was to continue to adapt.

“At first it was all up in the air with what the nursing program was going to do, which was expected,” said Naomi Barrientos, senior nursing major. “Once we heard back from the College of Nursing, we were informed about moving to remote learning and clinicals would remain the same. This is not the case anymore since things escalated with COVID-19. Lectures and clinicals are now online via WebEx or Zoom.”

The nursing program is trying its best to ensure that the students get the best education they can during this time.

Dr. Juliann Perdue, department chair of the Prelicensure program, said, “The nursing facilities have been amazing – and many ahead of the game – to provide great learning experiences for our students. The nursing facility has been enthusiastic and received training in various online teaching methods.”

One of the biggest concerns with classes going online is in regard to how it will affect clinicals for the students.

“Due to healthcare facilities suspending students from attending routine clinical hours, our nursing students were unable to complete the required hours. The Board of Registered Nursing in California requires students to complete 75 percent of their clinical hours in direct patient care. However, during this state of emergency, the BRN waived the 75 percent and now requires 50 percent of clinical hours to be in direct care,” Perdue said.

“Since CBU’s spring semester begins in early January, most students had completed at least 50 percent of direct-care hours before the state/county mandate. For the students still needing to complete it, the faculty have developed learning experience to meet course objectives.”

Barrientos said the experience of online clinicals is not quite the same.

“The frustration with online clinicals is that there is no appropriate way to cover the in-person experience of clinicals,” Barrientos said.

The nursing program is doing everything it can to make sure these nursing students are learning and to prepare them for the work field.

“Nursing students are part of the healthcare system and are considered essential. Many already hold jobs and are on the front lines providing care. We are praying for them, all other healthcare workers, and first responders in this fight,” Perdue said.

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