Nurse giving COVID-19 vaccine to young nursing student

Unvaccinated Nursing Students Could Be Unable to Graduate, ANA Launches Flu Shot Campaign, and More Nursing News

Nurse giving COVID-19 vaccine to young nursing student

The NCSBN and other nurse organizations have released a policy brief suggesting that unvaccinated nursing students could be disenrolled or unable to graduate. The ANA and Sanofi Pasteur have formed a celebrity partnership for a national flu shot campaign. An insightful nursing podcast combines no-nonsense advice with thought-provoking interviews. Read on for more nursing news and insights.

NCSBN says unvaccinated nursing students could be unable to graduate

The National Council of State Boards of Nursing (NCSBN) and eight other nurse organizations have suggested, in a recently released policy brief, that nursing students who refuse to be vaccinated and don’t qualify for an exception could be disenrolled from their nursing program or be unable to graduate because they cannot fulfill clinical requirements.

“We can’t have students in the workplace that can expose patients to a serious illness,” said Maryann Alexander, PhD, RN, chief officer for nursing regulation at the NCSBN. “Students can refuse the vaccine, but those who are not exempt maybe should be told that this is not the time to be in a nursing program. You’re going to go into practice and you’re going to be very limited in your jobs if you’re not going to get that vaccine.”

With vaccines for nursing students still optional in many healthcare settings, nursing educators are scrambling to place unvaccinated students in healthcare facilities that will accept them, according to a report by the Kaiser Family Foundation.

The federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission announced in May that employers can mandate COVID-19 vaccinations under federal law if they allow employees to claim religious and medical exemptions. Under the Biden administration, roughly 50,000 healthcare facilities that receive Medicare or Medicaid payments must require workers to be vaccinated. Until the administration releases its upcoming draft rule, it is unclear how nursing students assigned to healthcare sites for clinical training will be treated.

The federal rule published in August that lays out regulations for government hospital payments in 2022 defines healthcare personnel that should be vaccinated as employees, licensed independent contractors, and adult students/trainees and volunteers.

A recent survey by the National Student Nurses’ Association reported that 86% of nursing students and 85% of new nursing graduates who responded to an online survey said they had been or planned to be vaccinated against COVID-19.

Students who don’t want to be vaccinated are asking schools to offer them alternatives to onsite clinical training.

The NCSBN policy brief states that nursing education programs “are not obligated to provide substitute or alternate clinical experiences based on a student’s request or vaccine preference.”

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ANA and Sanofi Pasteur form celebrity partnership for flu shot campaign

The American Nurses Association (ANA) is collaborating with global vaccine manufacturer Sanofi Pasteur and actress Jennifer Grey on a national flu vaccination campaign. The Flu Shot Fridays campaign encourages everyone 6 months and older (with rare exceptions) to get vaccinated, focusing specifically on adults 50 years of age and older and people living with chronic health conditions.

“As COVID-19 infections and hospitalizations may continue to surge and overwhelm the health care community, it’s as important as ever to get vaccinated to prevent the flu and reduce the burden on our healthcare systems,” said Ernest J. Grant, PhD, RN, FAAN, president of the ANA. “All healthcare professionals and everyone eligible should get vaccinated against the flu.”

The campaign provides information about who is at elevated risk for complications from the flu, answers to frequently asked questions, tips on how to safely get vaccinated, and where to locate the closest flu vaccination site. Flu Shot Fridays seeks to inspire all healthcare providers to take some time to focus on themselves and their well-being.

The campaign is supported by the ANA nationwide, elevating the trusted voices of nurses to encourage flu vaccination.

Podcast spotlight: Ask Nurse Alice

In this insightful podcast, nurse Alice Benjamin, MSN, APRN, ACNS-BC, FNP-C, combines no-nonsense advice with thought-provoking interviews. As she worked her way up the nursing ladder from CNA to LPN, to RN, to BSN, to MSN to Clinical Nurse Specialist, Nurse Practitioner, and Media Health Expert, Alice has learned valuable lessons along her journey.

Each episode, Alice facilitates discussions on all aspects of nursing: from nursing student struggles to life beyond the bedside, from the taboo conversations in the break room to unforgettable patients.

Available on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and Podchaser.

Explore essentials of nursing leadership in our in-depth series, Leadership and Nursing Practice Specialty.

Views expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of Elite Learning or Colibri Group. Media referenced in this news round-up does not constitute an endorsement.