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Covid 19 impact: guidance for educators

Dec 14, 2020

As the COVID-19 pandemic has evolved to become a longer-term issue, BCCNM continues to monitor the impact on nursing and midwifery education programs, faculty, and students. BCCNM will continue to work collaboratively with education institutions, the Ministries of Health and Advanced Education, Skills, and Training,  the health authorities, and others to help ensure student practice education continues with safety of all in the forefront.

In response to directives from education institutions or health authorities, nursing and midwifery programs may be required to move to virtual instruction or to cancel classes, labs and/or student practice placements, as part of safeguarding patients, students, and faculty.  Practice learning experiences with clients across the lifespan and in diverse practice settings are essential for students to achieve the BCCNM entry-level competencies and Standards of Practice.

Below are a few key points to consider as students and schools adjust and plan for learning during the pandemic:

  • While student practice learning experiences in clinical settings are essential and the preferred means for practice learning,  the educational institution offering a BCCNM-recognized program has the responsibility and authority to plan alternate learning methods should normal student learning experiences become unavailable.

  • The ways and means of enabling students to meet the BCCNM entry-level competencies and Standards of Practice as learning outcomes may vary. If feasible, additional laboratory and simulation experiences can support student learning, for example, utilizing high-fidelity simulation or human actors as simulated patients. BCCNM would expect that programs are using best practices and recent research in these areas.

  • Educational institutions will need to monitor the feasibility and effectiveness of alternate practice learning arrangements as the multiple contextual factors in different geographic locations will impact the arrangements educational institutions will be able to use over time.

  • Educational institutions are responsible for documenting and tracking the modifications made to programs during this period, including changes in access to practice placements and alternate methods of course delivery. BCCNM may request reporting on these adjustments as part of the education program review process or as verification that new graduates have met requirements for registration to practice.

  • Modification to address these extenuating circumstances are short term for the duration of the pandemic only and not precedent setting; nor are they  to become permanent changes to the program.  Should an educational institution wish to implement permanent changes to the program, they will need to follow BCCNM Education Program Review Policies by submitting a Notice of Intent (NOI) to the Education Program Review team.

  • Depending upon the length and severity of the pandemic, students may be unable to achieve the BCCNM entry-level competencies and Standards of Practice required for registration with BCCNM. In such cases, educational institutions may need to delay student progression in, or graduation from, the program. Faculty make this decision based on their evaluation of individual student competence.

  • The Administrative Head of a program signs verification that each named student who is graduating has successfully completed all the requirements of their recognized education program. This requirement does not change.

Consultation with BCCNM Education Consultants is available if further guidance is required:

BCCNM's COVID-19 resource centres