WHO named 2020 The Year of the Nurse and Midwife, in celebration of Florence NIghtingale's 200th birthday, nursing's impact on healthcare worldwide and to elevate nursing globally. The year quickly focused on nursing in an even more critical role as nurses stepped to the frontlines across the world to battle the COVID-19 pandemic.
For the first time in its history, the University and its Colleges converted to virtual learning after campus temporarily closed March 13, 2020. Clinical rotations were cancelled as hospitals were focused on containing the virus and conserving PPE (personal protective equipment). Dean Havens gathered area deans to collaborate on solutions to challenges, and FCN donated PPE from the Simulation Center to the campus Student Health Center as PPE was a scarce resource across care settings. The College also pushed out calls for help from local health care systems and epicenter New York City.
The GiG started Villanova ReachOut to combat loneliness in older adults who were isolated in their homes.
In May, the College launched the Caring About Health for All Study (CHAMPS), a study of the experience and self-reported health and well-being of essential workers and first responders, service staff and healthcare professionals, who provided support for patients, treatment sites and the community during the COVID-19 pandemic. The goal is ultimately to inform future planning for their well-being and for public health emergencies in our country.
The College donated equipment and shared contacts with colleagues in the College of Engineering as nurse anesthesia students who were also experienced critical care nurses volunteered to collaborate on the design and building of a prototype ventilator, technology that was increasingly in short supply.
Adjunct faculty Sandy Gomberg '85 BSN, '90 MSN, was asked by Philaldephia officials to open a COIVD-19 Surge Center in the basketball arena at Temple University. She was aided by College faculty and student experts.
The College's Center for Global and Public Health launched a "Let's talk COVID-19" webianr series to get the most accurate public health information at the time out to the public. Further, Dean Havens and faculty shared their expertise with the media to educate the public.
Over 70 frontline stories were collected from Villanova Nurses across the country, posted on villanova.edu/nursing and sent to the University archives, as was the Summer 2020 issue of Villanova Nursing magazine where more detail can be found.