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July 2020

FAU's College of Nursing Offers COVID-19 Contact Tracing and Risk-Reduction Public Health Certificate

As cities and states reopen their economies, there is an urgent need to ramp-up contact-tracing capacity. In fact, it is estimated that hundreds of thousands of contact tracers are needed in the United States. In response to the high demand for one of the fastest-growing jobs in the U.S., Florida Atlantic University’s Christine E. Lynn College of Nursing launched a new, online public health certificate course on COVID-19, contact tracing and risk-reduction. The five-week, 15-hour course began June 29 for the general public.

As part of the certificate course, participants are introduced to the science of public health and its relevance in responding to the COVID-19 pandemic with an emphasis on contact tracing. The course provides background on the steps and resources necessary to set up a contact-tracing program, including the primary components of a contact-tracing protocol, including investigating cases, tracing contacts, isolation, quarantine, social distancing, and monitoring cases.

“The United States needs approximately 300,000 contact tracers in order to effectively contain the spread of the SARS-Cov-2 virus and COVID-19 pandemic. This country is lagging far behind in contact tracing compared to several other countries,” said Safiya George, Dean of FAU’s College of Nursing. “We have experts in public health and infectious diseases who can help make a difference. This new certificate is our way of helping to address these issues by preparing individuals who have a better understanding of the current pandemic, virus transmission, infection control and how to conduct contact tracing.” 

For more on this story, click here. For more information, email

Robotic Cats are 'Purr-fect' Companions for Isolated Seniors

In the wake of widespread social distancing and isolation due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it has been especially difficult for older adults living with Alzheimer's disease and/or related dementias and their caregivers who remain alone for extended periods of time.

Researchers from FAU's College of Nursing provided the "purr-fect" solution to comfort and engage older adults through the use of interactive robot cats. Designed to respond to motion, touch and sound, these robotic pets successfully decreased social isolation for older adults, as demonstrated in a project by Bryanna Streit, DNP graduate of FAU's College of Nursing.

“What we saw from the robotic, interactive pets project is that it appeared to provide our day care participants with a companion that prompted them to speak to the pet often as well as share their feelings,” said María de los Ángeles Ordóñez, Director of FAU’s Louis and Anne Green Memory and Wellness Center.

“COVID-19 has forced many family members to end visits to parents and grandparents or stop visiting older loved ones in nursing homes and assisted living facilities,” said Safiya George, Dean of FAU’s College of Nursing. “While this is an essential step in reducing transmission of the virus, this physical distancing is causing isolation and loneliness. Outreach efforts from our Louis and Anne Green Memory and Wellness Center using robotic interactive pets is helping to improve the quality of life for those who are especially vulnerable under the current conditions of the pandemic.”

FAU’s College of Nursing received 12 robotic pets for the project with assistance from an FAU Iota Xi Sigma grant, and with funding supplementation from Tom Cantarino, President of Ageless Innovation. In addition, FAU’s Louis and Anne Green Memory and Wellness Center has received 20 robotic pets from the Florida Department of Elder Affairs (FDEA) to distribute to the Center’s patrons. Learn more about this project here.

Caring through COVID: Nursing Students Face Challenges in the Wake of COVID-19

COVID-19 has been challenging for everyone, including our students. Many of our students are working on the frontlines of this crisis while continuing their studies. Others have traveled back to their homes to care for loved ones, and others are volunteering with the most vulnerable populations by providing meals and other essential items. Nearly two-thirds of FAU students work in service- or retail-sector positions as they earn their degrees. Many of their families also depend on them to provide financial support.
The Christine E. Lynn College of Nursing has in place an emergency fund to assist our students when they face unparalleled challenges. Due to this pandemic, we have had more than 350 nursing students already apply for emergency aid, with requests for financial assistance rising.
If you are in a position to do so, we encourage you to support our nursing students through the Skelly Cares Fund. Most of the applicants are seeking help with tuition, food, rent, or Wi-Fi to keep connected with remote classes. 
The need for nurses has never been greater! Our students passion for nursing has only increased. By rallying together, we can take care of our struggling students now so they are equipped to take care of us in the future.

Student News

FAU's College of Nursing is offering three fully-online pharmacology courses to working nurse practitioners for use in their own practice setting - Advanced Pharmacotherapeutics, Advanced Pharmacotherapeutics 2, and Psychopharmacology Across the Lifespan for Advanced Nursing Practice. Classes are offered on a limited basis. College credit hours may be used for CEUs for professional licensure. Tuition waivers are available to those who provide a clinical experience to nursing students as a preceptor. For more information, click here.

Faculty & Staff Spotlight

Beginning July 1, Dr. Alice Espinosa Miehl will serve as the College's Director of Research, Scholarship and Sponsored Programs. Dr. Miehl will be responsible for all activities related to advancing proposal writing and grant development, as well as researching and securing grant funding for the College. 
Angelica Bennett joined the College as the new Assistant Director of Research Programs/Services. In her new role, she supports both the Office of Nursing Research and Scholarship, and the Archives of Caring. Welcome, Angelica!
Dr. Debra Hain recently participated in a webinar hosted by the PKDnetwork, titled "The Impact of COVID-19: Experience in Nephrology." The PKDnetwork is a community of people who are dedicated to increasing the awareness of Polycystic Kidney Disease (PKD).

News & Events

FAU's Christine E. Lynn College of Nursing's MSN in Nursing Administration program has been ranked #5 in the nation for 2020, according to Click here to learn more.
Thank you to those who joined us for the webinar, "COVID & Compassion Fatigue." We appreciate our partners at Cross Country Healthcare for working with us to provide this useful information to nurses and other healthcare professionals. If you were unable to attend, here is the recording.
Caring-based Academic Partnerships in Excellence: Veteran RNs in Primary Care (CAPE-V) recently presented two webinars on pressing topics. Thank you to RN - BSN Alumnus Sean Gibson, who presented on "Keeping It Safe: PPE in Primary Care," as well as Colonel Maria A. Potter, who most recently presented on "Healthcare Readiness and Primary Care Nursing: Turning Never into Now."
In the News: COVID-19 Contact Tracing and Risk-Reduction Public Health Certificate (WPTV, WFLX, WTXL, South Florida Hospital News and more)
In the News: Robotic Cats Are 'Purr-fect' Companions for Isolated Seniors (CNN, CBS 4, Sun-Sentinel and more)
FAU Community Health Center
Louis and Anne Green Memory & Wellness Center
Copyright © 2020 Christine E. Lynn College of Nursing, All rights reserved.

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777 Glades Road
Boca Raton, FL 33431

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FAU College of Nursing · 777 Glades Rd · Boca Raton, FL 33431-6424 · USA

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