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Leading Nursing Organizations Provide Guidelines to Nursing Programs About Unvaccinated Students

Posted 8 months ago

Sept.28, 2021

Leading Nursing Organizations Provide Guidelines to Nursing Programs 
About Unvaccinated Students



Media Contact: Dawn M. Kappel
Director, Marketing & Communications
312.525.3667 direct
312.279.1034 fax

CHICAGO – NCSBN and eight other leading nursing organizations* have issued a policy brief to provide guidance to boards of nursing and nursing education programs that are receiving requests from students for alternate clinical experiences when a program’s clinical sites require the COVID-19 vaccine.

NCSBN Chief Officer, Nursing Regulation, Maryann Alexander, PhD, RN, FAAN, comments, “As nurse leaders we wanted to provide direction to nursing programs that are dealing with a small number of unvaccinated students. Clinical experiences are crucial to nursing education and simulation, while extremely valuable, cannot completely replace direct care experience.” 

The policy brief highlights recommendations for nursing programs that include reaching out to vaccine-hesitant students and counseling them about the benefits of the vaccine and dispelling myths and misinformation students may have. If mandated by the academic institution, students can refuse the vaccine. If they are not entitled to a reasonable accommodation under the disability laws or for a sincerely held religious belief, then the student may be disenrolled from the institution/nursing program or may not be able to fulfill the clinical requirements of the program, resulting in them not graduating.

“We know that vaccination protects both the person vaccinated and those for whom they care. Our hope is that unvaccinated nursing students follow the science and get the COVID-19 vaccine,” Alexander remarks. 

The entirety of the policy brief can be accessed on the site

*Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN)
American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN)
American Nurses Association (ANA)
American Organization for Nursing Leadership (AONL)
National League for Nursing (NLN)
NLN Commission for Nursing Education Accreditation (CNEA)
National Student Nurses' Association (NSNA)
Organization for Associate Degree Nursing (OADN)
Empowering and supporting nursing regulators across the world in their mandate to protect the public, NCSBN is an independent, not-for-profit organization. As a global leader in regulatory excellence, NCSBN champions regulatory solutions to borderless health care delivery, agile regulatory systems and nurses practicing to the full scope of their education, experience and expertise. A world leader in test development and administration, NCSBN’s NCLEX® Exams are internationally recognized as the preeminent nursing examinations. 

NCSBN’s membership is comprised of the nursing regulatory bodies (NRBs) in the 50 states, the District of Columbia and four U.S. territories. There are three exam user members and 27 associate members that are either NRBs or empowered regulatory authorities from other countries or territories. 

The statements and opinions expressed are those of NCSBN and not individual members.