Published January 19, 2021
WASHINGTON, DC, January 19, 2021 – Today, the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) announces the launch of a new national campaign to accelerate the engagement of nursing schools in efforts to vaccinate the public against COVID-19. Through this initiative, nursing schools will pledge their support to safely engage faculty, students, and other stakeholders in the work underway to administer the vaccine and educate citizens on protecting themselves against this public health threat.
“Since the earliest days of the pandemic, schools of nursing have focused on combating the virus by providing care to patients, leading prevention efforts, and safeguarding the public,” said Dr. Deborah Trautman, AACN President and Chief Executive Officer. “As the number of COVID-19 cases continue to rise, the academic nursing community is answering this call to action and stands ready to play a significant role in strengthening the Biden Administration’s goal for a more robust vaccination strategy.”
With more than 560,000 nursing students currently enrolled in baccalaureate, master’s, and doctoral programs at four-year colleges and universities and with more than 52,000 full- and part-time faculty, AACN member schools are well positioned to contribute to the immediate expansion of vaccine delivery. This opportunity further compliments ongoing work, as nursing students and faculty are an essential part of the healthcare system. AACN encourages nursing students and faculty to receive the COVID-19 vaccine as soon as it is available to them and to fully engage in helping their communities with distribution and administration efforts.
“Nursing school students and faculty have an opportunity to serve as role models for the public as it relates to vaccine acceptance and to contribute to what will be a historic effort to stop the transmission of the virus,” added Dr. Trautman. “AACN looks forward to joining with our colleagues at the National League for Nursing and other stakeholder organizations to ensure that schools of nursing – both four-year programs and community colleges – actively engage in this essential public health initiative.”
Starting today, AACN will ask its member schools to commit to deploying their students and faculty to support vaccination efforts and to share exemplars about what they are doing locally to help citizens stay healthy. In addition to administering the vaccine, this work extends to community-based education campaigns, providing telehealth services, leading research studies, conducting contact tracing, and providing other key services.
Schools wishing to pledge their support for academic nursing’s COVID-19 vaccination campaign and share exemplars of what they are doing in their home communities to fight the spread of the virus are encouraged to complete this online survey. To view the map of participating schools and links to their vaccination and community education efforts related to combating COVID-19. For more information on the association’s work to provide guidelines, learning opportunities, and discussion forums for nursing faculty and students related to the pandemic, visit AACN’s COVID-19 Resource Center.