When Mount Carmel East Registered Nurses Emilie Vassar and Kyle Stagg graduated from Mount Carmel College of Nursing (MCCN) in 2018 and 2019, they never could have predicted what the day-to-day of their jobs would look like in 2020.
“The surgical trauma step down unit we work in was totally transformed into a COVID-19 patient unit,” Stagg said. “It’s been a huge undertaking. I’m glad I had at least one year of working under my belt.”
Vassar agrees, adding that the added precautions and protocols of the pandemic have sped up her learning about safety and risks.
“All my nursing experience up to this point took a complete right turn when this pandemic happened and we had to start caring for COVID-19 patients,” Vassar said. “It was totally unchartered waters for everyone, but I work with some amazing nurses who provided great leadership. I could not have made it this far without them.”
Vassar and Stagg were both students at the Mount Carmel College of Nursing, and both started working in the surgical step-down unit at Mount Carmel East within a month of their respective graduations in 2018 and 2019.
“Our professors at MCCN taught us to always be prepared for the unexpected,” Vassar said. “With my patients, you never know what the next couple of hours will hold for them. They could do great and hold stable, or something could completely flip and suddenly you’re calling for rapid response—there’s no way to predict what any shift will hold, so you have to be ready and willing to learn and adjust every day.”
“You always know in the back of your mind that something big like this could happen, but you never actually expect it,” Stagg added, “So when it happens, your true reasons and passions for being a nurse come out. I feel like I’ve grown so much as a person because I know this is exactly what I want to do and that I’ve chosen the right profession.”
But as passionate as these nurses are about their job, they both agreed that it’s important to lean on other people to get through this time, whether it’s asking questions on the job, or having someone outside of work to talk to at the end of the day.
“I have definitely leaned on the knowledge and confidence of the more experienced nurses,” said Vassar. “I can’t be afraid to ask questions, because it’s the only way to learn and help my patients. That was lesson number one for me on the job.”
Stagg agreed, saying that he’s grateful to benefit from the leadership team, his unit, and his fellow nurses. Additionally, because his fiancé also is a nurse, he has a strong support system at home.
“The sense of teamwork, and also being motivated by our patients getting better is what’s getting us through,” he said. “And I’m so thankful for the preparation I had at MCCN. This is never something we could have practiced for, but I felt so prepared because the program is so well-rounded. The college does a really great job.”
Vassar agreed, adding that every day she remembers her professors telling her to be ready for the unexpected.
“I was always ready for the worst, but I’m always hoping for the best.”
Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act Emergency Financial Aid Grant
The recently signed Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act established the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF). Mount Carmel College of Nursing was awarded $603,652 of funding from HEERF and intends to use no less than 50%, or $301,826, to directly support students whose lives and educations have been disrupted by COVID-19 pandemic. Direct support to students will be provided as an emergency financial aid grant and can be used for expenses such as food, housing, course materials, technology, health care, and child care.
Mount Carmel College of Nursing CARES Act Funding for student emergency grants
- HEERF Allocation for students - $301,826
- HEERF Title IV Eligible Students – 605
- HEERF Disbursed Funds - $303,105
Who is eligible for CARES Act funding?
The CARES Act defines basic eligibility criteria students must meet to receive these funds. The Mount Carmel College of Nursing has developed a methodology for identifying students that eligible for this grant. A student must meet the following criteria to be eligible for CARES Act funds:
- MCCN is your home institution;
- MCCN has received a valid 2019-2020 FAFSA application;
- Domestic student seeking an undergraduate or graduate degree from the Mount Carmel College of Nursing;
- Student was taking at least on in-person class at the time of disruption, during the Spring 2020 term.
How will I receive this grant?
CARES Act funds will be disbursed to your student account and then refunded to your bank account or in the form of a paper check. These funds are meant for direct student support, which means Mount Carmel College of Nursing will provide the full amount of emergency financial aid grant as a refund whether or not a student has an outstanding balance. Students who had not filed the 2019-2020 FAFSA as of April 15, 2020 were notified that this would be a requirement to receive funding through this program.
How did Mount Carmel College of Nursing award these funds to eligible students?
Mount Carmel College of Nursing awarded funds equally across the population of students who met the eligibility criteria listed above on May 7, 2020. There were no additional application requirements beyond the basic eligibility requirements determined by the Department of Education.
How can I spend CARES Act funding?
The purpose of the emergency financial aid grant is to offset costs related to disruptions in instruction during the Spring 2020 term. Emergency grant funds can be used for expenses such as:
- Course Materials,
- Health care, or
- Child care
Emergency financial aid grants have been deemed qualified disaster relief payments and are not subject to taxation per the Internal Revenue Code.
As a HEERF recipient, Mount Carmel College of Nursing, is required to disclose information regarding HEERF funding. This disclosure must be initially posted by 30 days of signing the Certification of Agreement and updated every 45 days later or after all funds have been disbursed. The disclosure must include: the methodology used to determine grant amounts provided to students; the total allocation provided to MCCN for emergency financial aid grants; the total amount distributed to students as of the reporting dates described above. Mount Carmel College of Nursing signed the Certification of Agreement on April 14, 2020. Disbursement disclosures was provided on May 11, 2020 and updated at least every 45 days thereafter, if any additional funds were disbursed. Due to widespread impact of COVID in the State of Ohio, students identified as eligible to receive the funds will receive an equivalent amount of funding. The total allocation and amounts disbursed to students are shown in the table above.
What are “at-risk” groups?
At-risk groups are defined by the CDC, the full list can be found on their website: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/need-extra-precautions/index.html
Will the academic calendar change?
At this time, we do not anticipate any changes to the academic calendars for the fall semester.
Will we be provided with masks while on campus?
Yes. All faculty, staff, and students are being provided with an MCCN cloth, reusable facemask. These masks are not suitable for use in hospitals and clinical settings. Follow guidance from clinical settings on appropriate PPE.
Will the library be open?
The library will provide virtual services for the fall semester. This will follow the same procedures and processes for services that were in place for the spring.
Will there be clinicals for the fall semester?
Yes – we are anticipating the return to in-person clinical experiences. We will rely on the guidance from our partner sites on return guidelines. Some clinical experiences may not be available for the fall, in those cases virtual experiences will be provided.
What classes will be held on campus?
At this time, skills labs and simulations will be held on site. We have restructured the schedule and room layouts to allow for physical distancing and small group size. Currently, all lecture, didactic, and theory classes will be help in a virtual classroom setting.
Has the College considered refunding or adjusting tuition and fees?
Our business affairs office is looking at ways to reduce fees for all students. As of today, we can announce that students will not be charged their student activity fee for the academic year. Additionally, eligible students were sent money that MCCN received from the Federal CARES Act. Irrespective of the delivery format, the College’s tuition and course fee structure shall remain the same for academic courses, consistent with published tuition and fee schedules. There will be no refund or reduction of tuition or course fees, since the College will be providing a full semester of instruction and awarding full academic credit to those who satisfactorily fulfill course requirements.
Can I meet with ___ in their office?
Please schedule a time with the office or individual you hope to meet with. We are asking that any small group or one-on-one meetings that you have be held in a dedicated meeting office on the first floor of Marian Hall or virtually. We are hoping to limit the amount of people on the other floors and areas of our buildings.
Faculty and Staff FAQ
Will there be a Professional Development Day?
We are currently exploring virtual options for the annual PDD. Those details will be announced in the coming weeks.
When can I return to the office?
On August 3, faculty and staff are able to return to the office. If a staff member wishes, they are able to work from home for the entirety of the semester. Work with your department leads and supervisors for specific information.
Can I meet with ___ in my office?
We are asking that any small group or one-on-one meetings that you have be held in a dedicated meeting office on the first floor of Marian Hall or virtually. We are hoping to limit the amount of people on the other floors and areas of our buildings. Team meetings can occur in groups of 10 or less in meeting/board rooms that allow for physical distancing.
From: Kathleen Williamson, PhD, MSN, RN, Interim President and Academic Dean
To ensure the health and safety of the Mount Carmel College of Nursing community, we will continue with remote learning through the 2020 Fall semester. Pre-Licensure, undergraduate clinical experiences will resume during the fall semester pending guidance from our partner sites.
More information about a limited amount of on-site, in-person lab, simulation, and skills-based classes will be announced soon, along with information about on-site services and fall activities. We thank you for your patience as we navigate this evolving situation.
Kathleen Williamson, PhD, MSN, RN
Interim President and Academic Dean
From: Ann Marie Brooks, PhD, RN, FAAN, FACHE, FNAP
Earlier today, Mount Carmel College of Nursing was notified by an Ohio county health department that one member of the MCCN community has tested positive for the novel coronavirus, COVID-19. All faculty, staff and students who came in contact with this individual have received a RAVE alert from MCCN to let them know to expect a call from the health department, which is in the process of notifications.
The individual who tested positive has not been on campus since March 10, and has been placed in self-quarantine by the health department. We continue to follow the recommendations of Governor Mike DeWine and CDC guidelines. As we face the challenges of COVID-19, I share with you the following updates and reminders:
- In alignment with Mount Carmel Health System, MCCN will continue to follow CDC guidelines and work cooperatively with public health to determine each individual’s level of risk and whether testing is required.
- If you have not been contacted by the health department, you do not need to take any special precautions beyond the routine actions of monitoring your own health for symptoms of COVID-19 as well as practicing social distancing and good hand hygiene. Everyone associated with the College should already be practicing social (physical) distancing by studying online or working remotely.
- If you are experiencing signs or symptoms of respiratory illness consistent with COVID-19, believe you might have been exposed to an individual with COVID-19 or have been diagnosed with the virus, please contact your primary care physician. Refer to mccn.edu for resources and/or the Ohio Department of Health at https://odh.ohio.gov/wps/portal/gov/odh/know-our-programs/Novel-Coronavirus/welcome/
- We promise to do the right thing for our students, faculty, staff and other key stakeholders which includes making sure you are aware of situations such as this. However, we are committed to protecting individuals’ privacy and will not identify individuals by name or communicate further details throughout the College or to the media.
We will keep you informed as appropriate, and ask that you please remember: These are unprecedented circumstances – we thank you for your continuing adaptability, perseverance and vigilance.
FROM: Nicholas Kreatsoulas, DO, Chief Clinical Officer, MCHS
Mount Carmel Colleagues & Medical Staff:
We want to provide the safest environment for our patients and staff. For this reason, no visitors will be allowed in our facilities, beginning Friday. Some exceptions will be made for extenuating circumstances.
Visitor RestrictionsEffective Friday, NO visitors will be allowed in our facilities.
Exceptions may be made on a case-by-case basis for:
- Maternity units
- Patients receiving end-of-life care
- Children admitted to the hospital
For those exceptions, only one visitor per patient will be allowed, and they must be:
- 18 or older
- Either immediate family members, powers of attorney, guardians or patient representatives
- Healthy with no symptoms of illness, including respiratory or fever
More information will be shared later today.
FROM: Nicholas Kreatsoulas, DO, Regional Chief Clinical Officer, MCHS
Mount Carmel is fortunate to be part of Trinity Health, a national healthcare system that is working directly with the CDC daily. Based on early modeling and our global view, which indicates a surge in the number of serious COVID-19 cases that will need medical care, we are proactively planning for what’s to come.
Due to the spread of COVID-19, Mount Carmel is postponing elective non-urgent surgeries and procedures as of the end of business on March 18, until further notice.
Elective* simply means a procedure is scheduled in advance rather than a response to an emergent or urgent need and, if delayed, will not cause harm to the patient.
Anyone affected by this change will be contacted directly. Elective status of surgical cases and procedures will be determined by the clinical judgment of our physicians.
Please know that Mount Carmel will continue to treat patients with urgent and emergent needs such as heart attacks, strokes, or trauma care, as well as necessary emergent and urgent procedures, prioritizing care that, if delayed, could negatively affect the patient’s health outcome.
We recognize that this a fluid and ever-changing situation. These standards will continue to evolve to best meet the needs of our patients, visitors, and staff. Details about visitor policies and other recommendations regarding COVID-19 are available on @MC and MountCarmelHealth.com.
* Elective simply means a procedure is scheduled in advance rather than a response to an emergent or urgent need and, if delayed, will not cause harm to the patient. Procedures where patients return home the day of their surgical intervention are often considered elective and may include some orthopedic procedures, cataract surgeries, certain cardiac procedures, and some diagnostic and interventional radiology services.
We are committed to partnering with you as we navigate the COVID-19 situation impacting our community and the College. Thank you for your patience, perseverance and flexibility as we transition to remote learning beginning Monday, March 16. Faculty and staff have been vigorously working to ensure this transition is a seamless one, providing a foundation for the delivery of quality education. Please see the following information:
- Check Email – During this critical time it is imperative you read your email messages, regardless if it’s through your MCCN email account or through MyMCCN/CANVAS. You are responsible for checking multiple times throughout each day.
- Remote Learning – Class schedules are unchanged. Your previous face-to-face classes will be held at the same time, but now, as you know, classes will be held through Canvas. Please check your inbox for emails from your instructors about specific class details.
- Clinicals/Labs – To ensure your health and safety, and that of others, we will be suspending all undergraduate pre-licensure face-to-face clinicals and labs until at least March 31. Alternative practice experiences will be provided. Your instructors will communicate these experiences with you. Because the regulation and latitude of required clinical experiences for graduate students (including DNP) varies from our pre-licensure programs, graduate clinical and laboratory experiences will resume as planned on Monday. Students need to remain in constant communication with course leaders, informing them should clinical site access change due to the influences of COVID – 19. Again, we are committed to ensuring that all students have a foundation for uninterrupted progression in meeting course and program outcomes. Therefore, graduate program faculty and leaders have formulated strategies that will permit students to fulfill experiential learning requirements should students encounter clinical site access challenges. Information about alternative experiential learning will be provided to you by your course leaders as it becomes necessary. Students, please note this will not affect progression in your program or jeopardize your graduation. We are taking action to ensure that student progression will not be impacted.
- Behavioral Health – Students may access virtual appointments with behavioral health specialist, Vickie Neal, LISW-S by contacting her directly at firstname.lastname@example.org. Also, please access “Taking Care of Your Emotional Health” at https://bit.ly/38Np8Bk for information about how to handle stress you may be feeling in the midst of changes resulting from the response to COVID-19.
- Payments and Refunds – The Business Office encourages students to utilize CASHNet to make payments, or receive refunds. A link can be found in the Business Office and Account Information section of CARMELink, and it only takes a few minutes to enroll. When you sign up, please make sure to enable electronic refunds, and to verify your account information before finalizing your enrollment. If you have any questions, please contact Michelle Richards, MBA, at email@example.com or you may call her at 614.234.3039.
- Library Access – The library will be closed until further notice. However, you have access to a live chat on the Mount Carmel Health Sciences Library website. The live chat can be accessed Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. It is found at https://library.mchs.com/ in the top right corner of the page.
- COVID-19 Update – COVID-19 information and resources are available on our website at mccn.edu.
I’m very proud of how our College community has come together – out of this we are creating best practice for the future. Remember we are doing this because social distancing is what will allow our health care system to respond to the crisis and help keep our community safe.
We will continuously update you as new information is made available.
Ann Marie Brooks, PhD, RN, FAAN, FACHE, FNAP
We are being proactive in an effort to prevent illness and continue the important work of the College. Although there are no campus-associated cases of COVID-19, during this international outbreak we are taking precautionary action. We are monitoring the evolving situation via national authorities (CDC, AACN) and locally through the Governor’s Office, the Ohio Department of Health and other entities.
Effective tomorrow, Wednesday, March 11, at 7 a.m., face-to-face classes, simulation, labs and clinicals will be suspended through Saturday, March 14. MCCN classes will resume remotely on Monday, March 16, and will continue remotely through at least March 31. Online RN-BSN, Master of Science, and Doctor of Nursing (DNP) courses will continue without interruption.
Students, please note this will not affect progression in your program or jeopardize your graduation. We are taking action to ensure that student progression will not be impacted.
Please check your emails at least daily for any updates. You can also check www.mccn.edu and your Canvas course for any program updates.
Everyone is encouraged to use precautions to prevent exposure and/or spread of the virus. For more information please see https://coronavirus.ohio.gov/wps/portal/gov/covid-19/ or call 833.427.5634. We are requesting that anyone who has traveled internationally, or been on a cruise ship in the last 14 days, please contact Laura Lawrence by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 614.234.5408.
We will continue to evaluate experiences such as lab, simulation, and clinicals, and will provide more specific guidance in the coming days.
We will continue to update you with any new information as it becomes available.
The safety of our faculty, staff and students at Mount Carmel College of Nursing is our number one priority. To support the information needs of faculty, staff, students and family members, we have developed a resource page that highlights key information about the international outbreak of the 2019 Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19).
A resource from the American Association of Colleges of Nursing which includes updates from the CDC: https://www.aacnnursing.org/News-Information/COVID-19
A resource from Franklin County Public Health: https://myfcph.org/covid-19/
A resource from Ohio Department of Health: https://coronavirus.ohio.gov/wps/portal/gov/covid-19/
A resource from World Health Organization: https://www.who.int/health-topics/coronavirus
Mount Carmel Health System Employees: Mount Carmel employees can visit @MC for Mount Carmel specific news and updates related to COVID-19.
Coronavirus Disease Situation Reports from World Health Organization: https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019/situation-reports
CDC Resources for Institutes of Higher Education: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/colleges-universities/index.html
The Johns Hopkins School of Engineering Interactive Coronavirus Map: https://coronavirus.jhu.edu/map.html