USF Health College of Nursing to launch new program to help nurses during pandemic

Posted at 5:55 PM, Nov 16, 2020
and last updated 2020-11-18 12:46:03-05

TAMPA, Fla. — A new resource is on the way for healthcare workers battling the global pandemic. USF Health’s College of Nursing will roll out a new training program aimed at helping nurses navigate the COVID-19 crisis.

“At first, it was a little bit scary because we didn’t know what to expect,” said nurse Nicole Boraski.

Since the beginning of the pandemic, Boraski has worked with COVID-19 patients. For nurses who don’t deal with it daily, she explains they sometimes might not know what to expect.

“There really isn’t a lot of stuff out there that kind of gives us that information that is not like WebMD or I’m googling it,” said Boraski.

USF Health’s College of Nursing will develop a new continuing education program to help nurses stay safe while treating patients during the pandemic. The program will be offered virtually to nurses in the Tampa Bay area, across Florida, and throughout the country.

“Our program will consist of four webinars that are going to focus on frontline nurses, how they can keep themselves safe and the resources they need to be empowered as they keep themselves safe caring for patient populations,” said USF College of Nursing assistant professor Rayna Letourneau.

Nurses will get a credit for completing each webinar. Thanks to a nearly $60,000 donation from Sarasota businessman David Kotok and his partner Christine Schlesinger, nurses won’t be charged for the program.

“We realize that nurses are asked to do more than what they’ve ever been trained to do,” said Letourneau. “We’ve never seen a pandemic like this for over 100 years, so even experienced nurses have a hard time understanding the appropriate ways to keep themselves safe.”

Boraski says she’ll sign up when the webinars are available. The program is expected to launch in early February.

“It’s exactly what nurses are looking for and what we need,” said Boraski. “A nurse maybe that works in a hospital and is not used to dealing with a COVID patient or taking care of a COVID patient, they don’t know what to expect or how to protect themselves.”