COVID-19 SSON Updates


March 17, 2020

Dear Students, 

First of all I want to reiterate our thanks for your adaptability to quickly moving to online instruction and the ever changing clinical environment. We recognize this is a stressful time, but please know our faculty are working diligently to seamlessly transition into the online teaching environment with as minimal disruption to your coursework as possible. 

As we are all aware the University of Missouri System announced that the University will be engaged in remote/distance learning for the remainder of the spring semester.

In addition MUHC has decided to suspend clinical training until March 31, 2020.

Provided is information regarding clinical expectations for our nursing students.


For undergraduate clinical nursing students graduating May 2020:

  • Starting tomorrow (3-18-20) No students will engage in clinical until March 31, 2020.
  • After March 31, 2020 ONLY students who will be graduating in May of 2020 will be permitted to continue their clinical hours at University of Missouri Health Care to support their timely graduation and employment into the nursing workforce. We will be communicating closely with UMHC as this too may change.
  • Your course faculty will be sending out information specific to plans for your remaining clinical hours.
  • Students enrolled in N4970 Nursing in Communities will NO LONGER be attending community health clinical. Course instructors, will be communicating with students in regard to clinical hours remaining and the use of virtual simulations and case studies to complete their community health hours.

 For all other undergraduate clinical nursing students (not graduating May 2020):

  • Students WILL NOT be attending clinical in our partner facilities for the remainder of the spring 2020 term.
  • Course faculty will be developing virtual simulations, case studies, videos, etc. to assist students to develop and learn clinical reasoning.
  • Please be mindful there will be additional clinical hours when clinical begins again; many of you are at different points in the semester with regards to clinical hours, thus each student will be evaluated based on what has been completed and what needs to be completed.
  • Each course faculty will communicate with their students in regard to these activities and expectations. Please keep in mind faculty will need time to develop these plans, so your patience and understanding is appreciated as we make these changes and preparations for the remainder of the semester. 
  • For our graduate distance students graduating May 2020:
  • For graduate students in clinical at MUHC Hospital and Clinics starting tomorrow (3-18-20) no students will engage in clinical at UMHC until March 31, 2020. Again we will continue to communicate with UMHC and notify students if this were to change.
  • Every effort will be made to support graduating students who are unable to attend clinical due to facility and clinics limiting students. Other agencies are also suspending clinical experiences for graduate students. As we have students in multiple states and counties across Missouri, it is important to please communicate any changes with your course faculty and we will work individually with students to support their timely graduation.
  •  We are looking at virtual simulation and other strategies to support students in their final clinical hours so that they can complete the graduation requirements if needed.

For graduate distance students (not graduating May 2020):

  • For graduate students in MUHC Hospital and Clinics starting tomorrow (3-18-20) no students will engage in clinical at UMHC until March 31, 2020.  As other agencies are also limiting students, you may not be able to complete your clinical hours due to restrictions within your communities. Please notify your course faculty of any clinical issues. We will work with students to identify the best way to support your academic progression and how these hours may be obtained at a later time.



The SSON will be facilitating some simulation activities within our simulation center. There are limits as to how many students can be accommodated in simulation at one time and we are rapidly developing additional protocols regarding number of students who will be allowed in the simulation center and implementation of CDC Clean and Disinfect Guidelines regarding prevention of COVID-19 in providing a safe simulated learning environment. These small group experiences within the simulation center will only be utilized for our graduating May 2020 undergraduate students.

Virtual simulation will be utilized in clinical courses to support attainment of needed clinical hours to satisfy course requirements. These activities are vital to engaging students in clinical reasoning. Although you may not be “touching” patients, the thinking, decision making, and ability to prioritize is an immense part of the work of nurse.

Here are some additional Q&A regarding the students and the clinical learning environment during this time.


Yes. Students do not have to remain on campus or in the Columbia area. Students may choose to return to their own communities.


Students who feel unsafe do not have to attend clinical. Students will need to talk with the course faculty and may also communicate with me directly in relaying these concerns and identifying potential solutions in satisfying graduation requirements. 


In addition to virtual simulation, case studies, etc. the SSON will also be planning ahead for some additional simulation or clinical intensives for our non-graduating students once we are back in the clinical environment. We are in the beginning phases of planning and we will be watchful of this unfolding pandemic.

There will undoubtedly be more questions and changes as we continue in these uncharted times. We appreciate your patience, flexibility, and commitment to your education. Your health and well-being as well as a quality education are our top priorities.

Dr. Harris 

Robin Harris, DNP, RN
Associate Dean for Academic Affairs
Associate Teaching Professor
Sinclair School of Nursing S410
University of Missouri
573 882 7969


March 17, 2020 

Dear Students,

With the continued changes regarding the COVID-19 pandemic we wanted to send a brief update as of what we know right now.

Currently, there are no known cases involving coronavirus disease COVID-19 on the University of Missouri campus or in Columbia.


  • Students are still allowed at MUHC. We are in daily communication with MUHC in regard to access to students in the clinical environments. In the event that we no longer are allowed at MUHC,  course faculty are identifying replacements for clinical including virtual simulations, case studies, and other methods of online clinical learning. Your course faculty will let you know of any changes that will be made in regard to the clinical learning environment.
  • Please note that if you do not feel safe to attend clinical and choose not to attend, you will not be penalized. If a student chooses not to attend, please notify your course faculty.
  • Online coursework is now in full swing. We appreciate your patience, attention, and participation as we make this transition. We also understand that with this transition to online learning many of you will want to return home. You do not have to stay in the Columbia area. If you need to return home, please notify your course faculty.


  • Some clinics are limiting advanced practice students in the clinical environment. If this occurs, please notify your course faculty so we can work with you to identify alternative experiences.

  • If you do not feel safe attending clinical, or have competing priorities in regard to work, childcare, etc. due to the pandemic, please let your course faculty person know. We will work with students and be as flexible as we can during this time.

Your safety is a priority. We know that these are uncertain times, and understand you may be feeling additional stress from the changing of clinical, course delivery, and thoughts and concerns of your own personal health and the health of loved ones. Our goal is to remain flexible and respond to changes rapidly with our students best interest at the center of our decision making. We remain committed to providing a high quality nursing education.

We will continue to send updates, make adjustments, and continually reevaluate the clinical environment as changes and updates occur.

Sincerely, Dr. Harris

Robin Harris, DNP, RN
Associate Dean for Academic Affairs
Associate Teaching Professor
Sinclair School of Nursing S410
University of Missouri
573 882 7969



March 13, 2020

Dear University community,

This afternoon, U.S. President Donald Trump issued a national emergency and Missouri Governor Mike Parson issued a state emergency to combat COVID-19. As our country works to contain the spread of this virus, we have made the decision to suspend all in-person classes at MU, UMKC, Missouri S&T and UMSL, effective Monday, March 16, through the remainder of the spring 2020 semester. All classes will be taught remotely.

We are taking this action with an abundance of caution for the health of students, faculty, staff and visitors. There are many aspects of this plan that will continue to require ongoing extraordinary efforts from our university community, as well as our students and their families. Our universities will be communicating regularly as we work to ensure teaching, research and health care operations continue throughout the UM System.

Universities will remain open and operational, including libraries, residence halls and dining halls to ensure students can continue their education from wherever best suits their individual needs. Recreation centers and complexes on all four campuses will be closed. Plans for final exams and commencements will be communicated as decisions are made. As previously shared, supervisors should continue to plan for remote work options should they become necessary.

As Missouri’s public research university system, we play an important role in addressing this virus. Our researchers have worked with similar viruses for years and are collaborating globally to help fight the growing COVID-19 pandemic. MU College of Veterinary Medicine Dean Carolyn Henry joined Governor Parson today to share our extensive testing capabilities and our commitment to research and health care as we continue our service to the state.  

The emergency declarations made by our national and state leaders are a necessary step, similar to when a national disaster occurs, to allow federal and state assets to be deployed to help communities respond, especially those that experience the harshest impacts. We will continue to prepare and respond with our partners throughout the state.

We are fortunate to have valued and strong partnerships with civic leaders across Missouri, including public health departments to help us monitor this evolving situation. Our top priority remains the safety of our students, staff and faculty.

Thank you for your attention to this important matter and your service to our university community in this challenging global climate.


Mun Y. Choi, President, UM System
Alexander N. Cartwright, Chancellor, MU
C. Mauli Agrawal, Chancellor, UMKC

Mohammad Dehghani, Chancellor, Missouri S&T

Kristin Sobolik, Interim Chancellor, UMSL