A message to the UVA Nursing community from Pam Cipriano, Sadie Heath Cabaniss Professor and Dean of UVA School of Nursing.


PAMELA F. CIPRIANO: Hi, everyone. This is Pam Cipriano. I want you to know how much I'm thinking about every one of you-- our students, our faculty, and our staff. I know these are really unusual times. And we are all learning how to work from home, be around our family members, away from our friends, but also be in close quarters sometimes with the people that we're living with. Hopefully, you're getting some comfort from them, perhaps from some pets, and just trying to figure out what is your new routine.

So to our students in particular, I really hope that adjusting to your online classes is going well. I know, again, that that's something new for many of you. For our faculty, a big thank you in terms of making that transition too as you're continuing to develop some alternative experiences as well as create classes that are fun and interesting and not too difficult in terms of the delivery, and clearly, all of our staff, who are also working from home and who are figuring out how to make sure that their technology works and that they can support all of the needs of the school.

This is not easy. It's not anything that any of us have done before, and we also don't know how long it's going to last. As many of us are following the science as closely as we can, we recognize that, once again, we're really in uncharted territory. So even as we try to look at what has happened around the world, whether it's in China, or Korea, or Singapore, or Italy, or Spain, or other European countries now, and also look at the rise of cases of COVID-19 in the United States, look at how the disease has affected different communities here-- we're all learning as we go.

But one thing is true. We know this is going to be months in the making of, again, sort of a new normal. So we need to be prepared to continue to adjust and to recognize that each of us will have ways that we want to adapt.

Don't forget in addition to checking in for your classes to check the school's website. I know you're getting some announcements from Collab, but as of tomorrow, Tuesday-- today is the 23rd-- and so tomorrow, the 24th, whenever you're seeing this message, we know that Kenny will be having some virtual hours. And there will be some special guests along with Kenny. So I encourage you to check in and make sure that, again, you're taking advantage of some of the more fun resources.

Similarly, if you would like some more ways to think about some mindfulness, reflection, meditation, and other ways to help if you've got a little anxiety or just want to relax a little bit more to go to the CCI website, the link from our page, which has a number of great helps. And I know that our CCI student ambassadors have also sent out some information. But all in all, I want, again, to really say thank you. This is an unusual time. We're all helping one another. And that means not just our classmates, not just the people that we work with, but our neighbors, our family, our friends.

So this is also a time to not be afraid to reach out for help, to raise your hand, to say, you know, I need to talk to someone or I need some recommendations for how I might get a little additional help. This is a time that we all must come together, and I know we're already doing that. I know we have a number of you who have already reached out to help our community to find supplies, to find other supports, to, once again, try to care for one another.

We are fortunate to be at the University of Virginia, and we're fortunate to have a distributed network of friends and colleagues not just in Charlottesville, not just across the Commonwealth, but really all around the world as well as across the United States. So this is a time to stay connected in any way you can. And as you have creative ideas, or things that are working, or virtual suggestions, please let us know, and we will pass them along.

We're trying not to bombard you with lots of communication but also know you need access to information, so we'll do our best to group those messages to figure out ways that we can make sure things are available to you in real time. And I wish every single one of you, again, some time for reflection, and wellness, and rest, and relaxation. But don't forget to ask for help if any of us can be of service in any way.

As your dean, I want you to know that I am in meetings a lot every day, at least five phone calls a day, either with the executive vice president for health affairs, or the provost, or the medical center leadership. We are tracking very carefully all of our preparedness, all of the workforce issues, making sure that nurses and other health care providers are being protected. We are in good shape. And so I think, again, we want to give you that reassurance that we are in a great place.

And while it is stressful-- no question about it-- we've got some really wonderful people who are making things work, who are helping the community, who are keeping our patients safe, who are keeping our workforce safe. And we all look forward to when we can get back to what we thought was normal before and be able to ease up on some of the ways that we've had to alter not just the daily life but our academic experience. It will be a while. It will be down the road, but we will all look forward to working together to see those changes happen as well.

So hang in there. Please let me know how you're doing. Let your teachers know. And, again, if you're part of our student group and certainly with our staff and our faculty department chairs, associate deans, me-- please, just give a holler and let us know how you're holding up.

These are indeed unusual times, and I thank you again for all of your efforts, for your perseverance. Keep your sense of humor. That's really important. Help one another, and just be well. Thanks.