Provide an alternative to virtual clinical courses for MacEwan Nursing students.

Provide an alternative to virtual clinical courses for MacEwan Nursing students.

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Levi Klassen started this petition to Dr. Fred McGinn (Interim Dean, Faculty of Nursing) and

To Whom It May Concern,

We have received information outlining the changes to the upcoming clinical semester for students in the 2nd and 3rd year of the Bachelor of Science in Nursing. We understand that this is an unprecedented and chaotic time, and we appreciate and commend the hard work and effort of the University to meet current educational requirements while mitigating the risks and challenges that come with COVID-19.

As you can imagine, there have been strong reactions among students. Some are experiencing relief, but many are feeling great disappointment as we consider how our learning will be impacted in the future. As a collective, we are particularly concerned about the negative impact and consequences on our learning with the hybrid/online delivery of clinical courses in our upcoming 2021 winter semester. It is our utmost responsibility and an ethical requirement as outlined by the CNA (2017) that we “advocate for quality practice environments that support the delivery of safe, compassionate, competent and ethical care.” We ask that the University give serious consideration to the ethical standards stated in the Code of Ethics that we future RNs must meet and uphold with integrity. Recent research completed by Devi, Khandelwal, and Das (2019) concluded that video-based learning is no substitute for clinical setting learning, but can rather be used to supplement clinical setting learning. We believe that the current decision to provide virtual delivery of our clinical courses is not nearly sufficient in preparing us with the knowledge, skills and confidence to provide safe and competent care as future practicing RNs. Nor will the online/hybrid delivery of our clinical courses ever be equivalent to the hands-on clinical experience. We believe that to maintain and uphold the integrity of the nursing profession, we need the training and clinical experience to meet such standards with excellence, as opposed to only meeting a minimal standard.

Each of us has chosen to entrust our finances and our futures to MacEwan University due to the high-quality, comprehensive nursing education and the program provided in previous years. The competencies required for entry to practice as RNs not only draw from the cognitive domain but also the social, behavioural, psychomotor, affective, and ethical domains. Not all of these domains can be adequately developed when an entire semester of clinical practice is replaced by primarily virtual experiences.

In light of the shift to virtual clinical experiences, we are requesting that the faculty allow the option for 2nd- and 3rd-year students to proceed to 3rd- and 4th-year theory courses for the upcoming Winter 2021 semester. While we understand that the pandemic will still be a variable in Fall 2021, it seems that by that time, there will be more viable opportunities for us to learn in a clinical setting. Clinical placements can then be better accommodated and can take place sequentially.

We understand that the option to withdraw and extend our program is available to us; however, this places the burden of such a choice on each individual when a viable alternative should and can exist with the grant of your permission.

Our request is rooted in a desire for our cohort to graduate as competent, capable nurses. We ask that you, the Faculty, give our request the fair and reasonable consideration it deserves.

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