Dean Norman’s October 7 Spring Semester Email Announcement

Dear VUSN students,

The fall semester is half way through, and you and the entire Vanderbilt community have been diligent in fighting COVID-19 by Anchoring Down and Stepping Up. Thank you for your commitment to safety measures, social distancing and putting the health of others first. It is making a difference.

As Chancellor Diermeier and Provost Wente said in the email sent to you earlier today, the university is off to a promising start. But the pandemic is not over and we all must continue our efforts into the spring semester.

In our commitment to caution, all clinical specialties except nurse-midwifery will only have one block session. We believe it is critical that students in our clinical specialties have in-person learning and evaluation before they move into the extensive clinical portion of their programs. Specialties and programs that do not require clinical sessions on campus will not hold in-person block courses this spring.

VUSN will also have a staggered semester start, with MSN specialties beginning classes on Monday, January 4, and MSN PreSpecialty, DNP and PhD classes beginning Monday, January 11. MSN, Post-Master’s Certificate and DNP classes will end as scheduled on Friday, April 23. The PhD classes end on Monday, April 26. There will not be a spring break this semester.

The specific dates each specialty will hold its in-person block sessions will be posted on the VUSN Current Students page and on our VUSN Back to Campus website. The sessions are spaced to reduce building density, but all will occur in the early part of the semester.

Programs & specialties holding in-person block or onsite classes
Note: For purposes of the university registrar, students in this group will be classified as onsite students. Some specialties have synchronous virtual block sessions in addition to the onsite block. Review your specialty-specific schedule for details.

  • MSN PreSpecialty
  • MSN and PMC Specialties:
    • Adult-Gerontology Acute Care NP
    • Adult-Gerontology Primary Care NP
    • Adult-Gerontology Primary Care NP/Women’s Health NP
    • Emergency NP & Emergency NP/Family NP
    • Family NP
    • Neonatal NP
    • Nurse-Midwifery
    • Nurse-Midwifery/FNP
    • Psychiatric-Mental Health NP
    • Pediatric NP-Acute Care
    • Pediatric NP-Primary Care
    • Women’s Health NP

Programs & specialties continuing virtually/remote only
*Note: For purposes of the university registrar, students in this group will be classified as remote students. 

  • ASN to MSN
  • Nursing Health Care Leadership
  • Nursing Informatics
  • DNP
  • PhD in Nursing Science

As always, Vanderbilt’s top priority is the health and safety of its students and the Vanderbilt community. The university will continue to closely track the course of the pandemic and will adjust plans in response to the latest information.

Arrangements for the spring semester take into account the most recent data and guidance from our colleagues at Vanderbilt University Medical Center, public health officials and experts from your School of Nursing. In the spring, as in the fall, a successful semester depends on the dedication and accountability of our entire community in the weeks and months to come.

Specific information about your spring courses will be posted online by Friday, Oct. 9, as well as provided by your academic directors. VUSN information will be on our VUSN Return to Campus webpage. Overall university information can be found on the VU Return to Campus website.

This semester—indeed, all of 2020—has not been easy or predictable, but I and the rest of Vanderbilt leadership are proud of how you have adapted and moved forward in your education, interactions with classmates and student activities. The ways you have faced the challenges brought on by life in a pandemic are clear indicators that you will be outstanding advanced practice nurses, nurse informaticists, nurse leaders and nurse scientists. And the world needs you more now than ever.

Best regards,

Linda D. Norman, DSN, FAAN
Valere Potter Menefee Professor of Nursing


*Students who are designated by the university registrar as remote students, because they have no onsite classes, do not have full physical access to the campus. However, all students do have physical or virtual access to the Student Health Clinic, Student Care Coordination, University Counseling Center, Center for Well-Being and the Project Safe center.