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Palomar College Learning For Success

Nursing Education Department

Registered Nursing Program

COVID-19 Impact on Nursing Students FAQs

We recognize the details surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic are rapidly changing. Our goal is to create a centralized location to find answers to all of your questions on how this impacts you as nursing students. Please keep in mind that some questions will have to go unanswered for a short time, but we will share information as soon as it is available.

Click here for the latest information on positive cases of COVID-19 in San Diego County.

Please click here to read the latest announcement from Acting Superintendent/President Dr. Jack Kahn regarding Fall 2020 courses.

 

Emergency Funding

Click here to find out more information on CARES Act funding. You may apply for funding in your MyPalomar account.

Click here to apply for a Student Emergency Grant through the Palomar College Foundation.

 

Where can I find information about additional Student Resources?

Please click here to find more information on:

  • Academic Counseling Services
  • Food & Nutrition Center
  • Disability Resource Center
  • Emergency Grants
  • Veterans Services
  • Additional Resources are listed here.

Phone appointments are available at:

 

How can I purchase a new Palomar ID Card?

Currently enrolled Palomar students can purchase a Palomar ID card through their MyPalomar account. More information is available here.

 

What will show on my transcript for Spring 2020?

You will be assigned a grade of “EW” for Spring 2020. You do not need to withdraw from any courses in your My Palomar account.

We have been told you will be refunded for Spring 2020, and will pay for tuition in Fall 2020.

 

What if we are not able to resume in August to start Fall semester? What if we begin in August but cannot complete the semester?

We recognize the anxiety and uncertainty you may be feeling. It is hard to predict what will happen over the next few months, and where society will be come August. Will students be back on campus? Will we be practicing social distancing? Will we be permitted into the clinical facilities? There are many unknowns at this points in time. Your faculty are working diligently to come up with plans of action for as many scenarios as possible. Our goal is to have you complete the semester. The format of instruction may change. We may ask you to be flexible and willing to engage in creative solutions. Please trust that your instructors always have your best interest as future nurses in mind.

In the case that we cannot complete a full semester of clinical hours in Fall, we have been given permission by our BRN Nursing Education Consultant to, if needed, combine the hours you complete in Fall with the hours you’ve already completed in Spring.

We recognize that there are many uncertainties concerning when courses will resume. Dr. Anthony Fauci, Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, reminds us, “You don’t make the timeline, the virus makes the timeline.” We remain optimistic, however many aspects of the situation are beyond our control.

 

If we are able to return to school in Fall and conduct business as usual, what does this mean for our coursework?

Everyone will remain in the same cohort and repeat the semester. You will start the semester as a new course. There is a possibility that course content, course work, and exams will be repeated. This is the method that is most equitable to all students. Your instructors are considering ways to prevent Fall from being an exact duplicate as Spring. This may mean covering content in a new way, or altering exams, quizzes, and projects. Please keep in mind that it will only be helpful to hear information again. We encourage you to let this process strengthen your resolve, rather than discourage you.

 

Will we have to retake all skills tests, quizzes, and exams? Will we need to redo all of the assignments?

Your instructor’s are responsible for the details of your course. All topics will need to be repeated, especially given the amount of time between now and Fall semester. It is possible that quizzes, exams, and projects will be repeated.

Your instructors are considering ways to prevent Fall from being an exact duplicate of Spring. This may mean covering content in a new way, or altering exams, quizzes, and projects.

Please keep in mind that it will only be helpful to hear information again. We encourage you to let this process strengthen your resolve, rather than discourage you.

You are welcome and encouraged to contact your instructors with any questions or suggestions you may have.

 

What does this mean for my scholarships and financial aid?

We are working on getting answers to your financial aid questions. We will update you with more information as it becomes available.

All scholarships for Spring 2020 have already been distributed. Scholarships for the 2020-2021 academic year will be processed as normal. Your scholarships should not be affected by the current situation.

The Financial Aid office is also posting updates to their own FAQ page.

 

What does this mean for my veteran’s benefits?

Veterans’ Services at Palomar College has an FAQ page and is posting information regularly. As of 3/19/20, the Senate and House passed S.3503 and the bill is headed to the President to sign, which will give VA the authority to continue GI Bill payments uninterrupted in the event of national emergencies. Please feel free to email veterans@palomar.edu if you have any additional questions.

 

Will I need to pay again for my tuition and ATI?

We have been told you will be refunded for Spring 2020 and will need to pay tuition for Fall 2020.

We have been working with ATI and have confirmed that you will not be charged for your repeated semester (Fall 2020). Students will be invoiced for 4 semesters only.

 

Will I need to pay again for Complio?

In an effort to help ease some burden, Complio has agreed to extended all students’ subscription packages by 3 months. Complio will continue to evaluate the situation as news and needs change.

We are working with the facilities regarding the expiration dates of background checks and drug screens. We will be sure to update you with information as soon as it is available.

 

What is the status of my SNAP membership or Ambassadorship?

You will not need to pay your SNAP membership dues again. Students will only be responsible for a maximum of 4 semesters of membership dues.

If you receive an ambassador certificate for Spring 2020, you will not be eligible to receive an additional certificate for Fall 2020. If you do not receive a certificate for Spring 2020, you will still be eligible to receive a certificate for Fall 2020. In other words, students will only receive certificates for a maximum of 4 semesters.

 

Will I need to pay for a parking pass in Fall?

Students who wish to park during the fall term will have an option to use the daily rate via the parking app or buy a pass for the semester.

 

What can I do for the rest of Spring semester since I won’t be in class?

You may want to consider starting to earn your Bachelor’s degree during this time. Many programs offer concurrent enrollment with many courses in an online format. You can work towards your ADN and BSN simultaneously.

Students taking courses at Boise State who only need to take the upper division courses requiring an RN license –  Boise is allowing you to enroll in these courses without a license given the circumstances. Email your advisor for information and permission numbers.

Click here for a list of accredited programs offering concurrent enrollment available to Palomar students. More institutions will be added as they are researched.

The Spring Fast Track II courses are scheduled to begin April 6, and will be 7 weeks long. We are adding sections to make space available in our 3 online nursing electives, Pharmacology for Nurses I (NURS 120), Pharmacology for Nurses II (NURS 121), and Adult Health Assessment (NURS 140). These courses will also be available during summer. These elective courses are designed to supplement your required courses and provide an opportunity to continue your education while we wait for regular classes to resume.

The Palomar College Foundation has arranged to pay the course registration fees for all Palomar College nursing students who wish to take advantage of the online elective courses during Spring Fast Track II and Summer sessions.

To view all available Fast Track II courses, click here. Most are not nursing courses, but may be courses of interest.

 

Why were my core courses canceled for the rest of the semester?

To put it simply, N117, N118, N217, and N218 are required to hold lecture, lab, and clinical concurrently (at the same time). Our clinical partners have removed non-essential personnel from their facilities. This includes nursing students. Because students cannot attend clinical, the course cannot be completed. This decision was also made with your safety in mind. Your nursing faculty want to ensure your long term success, which includes consideration for your health and safety.

Please keep in mind that N103, N120, N121, N140, and N203 will continue in an online format for the duration of Spring semester. N120, N121, and N140 will be offered online during Summer. Please monitor your emails for instructor communications.

 

Can we relocate our clinicals to different facilities? Can we complete our clinical hours over the summer? Can we complete our clinical hours with simulation?

To bring students to a facility, there is a preparation process involving setting up contracts and logistics. During this time, it does not seem like a feasible option. The vast majority of clinical facilities in southern California are no longer allowing nursing students. Many facilities are not allowing visitors of any kind at this time. Additionally, the clinical setting is not currently a safe environment for student nurses or clinical instructors.

Finding alternative clinical opportunities has been proposed, however we need to make sure we meet the clinical objectives of the course. Completing clinical hours anywhere possible (example – taking temperatures at the airport) is not beneficial to students, and does not align with our clinical objectives. It also puts students in potentially unsafe situations and at risk of exposure.

Our clinical placements are organized through the San Diego Nursing & Allied Health Service-Education Consortium. Participating schools and facilities coordinate and bargain for your clinical placements. When Palomar students are not on site, there are other students present. Summer 2020 placements were determined in Spring 2019 and have already been assigned to other schools. 

In order for simulation hours to be a suitable substitute for in-person clinical hours, the simulation experience needs to be meaningful and productive. The high fidelity Simulation Lab on campus is designed specifically to provide you with those experiences. We do not have access to any campus labs until further notice. Virtual simulations do not provide the same quality experience.

It is required by law that 75% of your clinical hours be completed face to face. The other 25% may be completed using simulation. On April 9, 2020 the Department of Consumer Affairs announced that simulation can make up to 50% of clinical hours in the areas of obstetric, pediatric, and psychiatric courses. This allowance is temporary for 90 days. Palomar College nursing students have not yet reached 50% of face to face clinical hours in any courses. At this time, there is no foreseeable way for clinical hours to be completed this semester.

 

Why are other programs still operational?

There are so many variables that determine why a program may be able to continue during this time. Each program has a curriculum structure that is individually approved by the BRN. Palomar’s approved program involves lecture, lab, and clinical being held concurrently. Other programs may be structured differently and have the semester split with lecture, lab, and clinical occurring individually. When a school’s program has been approved by the BRN, the program must be conducted in that way. Any changes to the structure of the program are considered major curriculum revisions, which involves a lengthy approval process. Due to the recent statewide order from Governor Newsom, it is possible more nursing programs will be canceled.

 

I applied to the nursing program for Fall 2020. What does this mean for me?

Since we will not have any students graduating from the program this Spring, we will not be able to accept new students in Fall 2020. We are keeping the applications that we have received and instead of applying for Fall, your application will be considered for Spring 2021. We have cancelled our usual summer application period. The next application period will be January 2021.

 

Will I be able to add to my turned in application to increase my points?

No. Our policy is that applications are evaluated as they are turned in, and may not be added to. If you are not accepted and choose to reapply during a future application period, you will then submit your new documentation for increased points.

 

When are you sending out notifications for acceptance?

At this time, we anticipate sending out notifications in August 2020. All students who submitted applications during January and February of this year will receive an email to the address they provided on their application.

 

Will I be able to apply to the program during summer 2020?

No. Due to circumstances caused by COVID-19, we have cancelled our summer application period. Our next application period will be in January 2021.

 

I registered for an in-person science course but it has since been moved online. Will I need to re-take the course to be eligible to apply?

We will be accepting science courses that were originally meant to be taught face-to-face in Spring, Summer, and Fall 2020, but have been temporarily moved online due to COVID-19. These courses must be from an accredited institution and be transferable to Palomar. For example, we are not able to accept courses from StraighterLine. To speak with someone regarding course transferability, please contact academic counseling at CounselingDepartment@palomar.edu.

 

Can I apply with courses that I took as Pass/No Pass?

We will be accepting courses graded as Pass/No Pass that were taken during Spring 2020 and Summer 2020. There is the possibility this will be extended into Fall depending on the ongoing effects of COVID-19. Courses taken prior to Spring 2020 must have a letter grade to be accepted.

 

Where can I find out more information?

 Centers for Diseases Control (CDC)

World Health Organization (WHO)

California Board of Registered Nursing (BRN)

California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office