Dear my soon-to-be UW-Madison BSN Graduates/Badger Nurses,
This is not how I envisioned your final few months as a UW-Madison nursing student would be! Instead of finishing the semester and planning to celebrate, we are in an alternative mode of delivery and living with the stress of a pandemic. I first want to emphasize that despite the altered course delivery, you will still meet the requirements to graduate in May, and to clarify that you will not be entering the workforce before that time of graduation.
I know that the media has reported three recommendations discussed at the Wisconsin Board of Nursing (WBON) that included the possibility of having student nurses who have completed 75% of their clinical to be able to join the workforce early. Most of the deans of nursing programs do not support this recommendation, including me. I will not sign off on your graduation prior to the end of the semester. We are completing the rest of your courses in an alternative method including clinical education using simulated experiences. There will not be any other changes in your courses or clinical hours.
The one recommendation that the WBON discussed was to extend the amount of time that you could practice as a graduate nurse before licensure. Because of the need for social distancing at NCLEX testing centers, capacity has been reduced, thus limiting the number of individuals who can test at one time. As a result, there may be delays in sitting for licensure. Having more time on your permit to practice while waiting to test would be a good alternative.
I know a number of you want to help during this crisis. Two of the best things that you can do is to stay healthy and remain focused on completing your degree. I am looking forward to welcoming you into our profession in May.
Remember…Badger Nurses Save Lives! Do your part by staying healthy and at home.
Take care and be well, Dean Scott
This post was authored by Katie Bleier on 03/26/2020.