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Fall Semester Updates and Safety Protocols

September 17, 2020

Dear Columbia Nursing Students, 

As we start a new semester, we write to welcome you back and to provide some reminders and updates on the University’s ongoing work to create a safe campus for our School of Nursing community. 

You all received President Bollinger’s September 4 message to the entire Columbia community, describing University-wide safety protocols. So, now that students have begun returning to the Nursing Building for simulation sessions, we write to review the safety requirements specific to nursing students. As members of the health care and public health community, it is critical that we follow these provisions. We know we can count on you!  

Requirements for Students Coming on Campus (for classes, simulation labs, library use, SHS, etc.) 

All students must follow these requirements - there will be no exceptions. Students must complete the daily symptom self-check on ReopenCU app daily to gain access to campus buildings, complete your gateway testing, your Student Safety Training, and sign the Columbia Community Health Compact. This week, the ReopenCU app will be fully linked to campus buildings. Please complete all requirements so you do not find your access to campus restricted.

Compact Accountability 

All members of our community have a responsibility to follow the Columbia Community Health Compact. The University will handle Compact violations, and the School of Nursing will take all violations seriously (including but not limited to failure to wear a mask, failure to follow physical distancing requirements, and failure to complete COVID-19 PCR test before coming on campus). The Student Accountability Plan contains full details, including possible sanctions for violations.  

Nursing Building Access: Enter Through the Russ Berrie Building (1150 St. Nicholas Avenue) 

Like other CUIMC schools, the Nursing Building will be operating with limited access this Fall. Students who have a scheduled simulation session will be able to enter the Nursing Building only through Russ Berrie. The main entrance to the Nursing School remains closed. Student Study Rooms will remain closed this fall. 

Simulation Sessions 

Students are asked to not arrive any earlier than 15 minutes before their scheduled session, as the Simulation Center must be sanitized between sessions. Students will check in upon their arrival at the Nursing Building and then will wait on the first floor until their scheduled class time. When the Simulation Center is prepared for students, a faculty, TA, or staff member will bring students upstairs. Students will be escorted out of the building at the conclusion of their simulation session. 

Nursing Lockers for Use During Simulation Sessions 

Student lockers on the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd floors in the Nursing Building will be available for daily student use during simulation sessions. Only every fifth locker will be available for use, to ensure proper physical distancing. Students who wish to use a locker must bring their own lock, and remove all items and their lock at the end of each simulation session.  

2020-2021 Open Enrollment Period for Student Health Insurance Plans 

During open enrollment, all full-time status CUIMC students are required to take one of two steps: 

  • Confirm enrollment in the Plan via SSOL
  • Waive the plan after having met the necessary criteria for 2020-2021 

Part-time status students and students with dependents are eligible to enroll and can do so by completing the Student Health Service & Insurance Enrollment form by the open enrollment deadline. 

  • Fall Open Enrollment Period: August 1, 2020 – September 30, 2020 
  • Plan Year Coverage Period: August 15, 2020 – August 14, 2021 

For questions about insurance plan offerings, contact the Office of Student Health Services at

Individual Study Seats in the Knowledge Center (HSC Building) 

Students can reserve seats in the Knowledge Center. Learn more and reserve your seat via the Augustus C. Long Health Sciences Library website.

Student Computing Areas 

Computing resources (including open campus locations to print) can be found on CUIMC’s Information Technology’s webpage: Computing Areas 

We all share a responsibility to help keep our campus safe: get tested, sign the Compact, do the daily symptom self-check, follow the social distancing and mask policies, and adhere to building protocols and policies. With these guidelines in place, together we can provide a safe hybrid learning environment for all nursing students.  

We are delighted to have you back on campus and have every confidence in your ability to realize that following these requirements is an integral part of your nursing education. We wish you a safe, healthy, and successful semester! If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us at



Tania Quispe, MSEd
Sr. Director of Student Services
Columbia University School of Nursing