COVID-19 SSON Updates

April 2, 2020

Dear Students,

In alignment with our colleagues in the School of Medicine, nursing students will not be involved in any patient care activities through April 18,2020.

We will, as planned, continue to use virtual simulation, case studies, and additional web based clinical learning strategies to enhance learning and in some cases, replace a number of clinical hours. 

As we approach the April 18  timeline we will reevaluate the situation with our UMHC partners and determine if our graduating undergraduate students and students enrolled in graduate coursework with a clinical component may continue clinical at this time.

Please note – we are working carefully with UMHC to assist you to graduate on time. That is our goal.

Please follow the direction and guidance of your course faculty. Thank you for your patience in this rapidly changing environment.


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

Sarah Thompson, PhD, RN, FAAN
Dean and Professor
Sinclair School of Nursing 
University of Missouri
S215 School of Nursing
Columbia MO 65211
573 882 0278


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