Vaccination Efforts in Full Swing

UW–Madison School of Nursing is making an impact with vaccination efforts statewide through BN-CoVED initiative

BSN student administers COVID-19 vaccination

Volunteer working at the COVID-19 vaccination clinic

The Badger Nurses Collaborating on COVID-19 Vaccine Education and Delivery (BN-CoVED) initiative supports the UW–Madison School of Nursing as it collaborates with community partners and nursing schools at UW–Eau Claire, UW–Green Bay, UW Oshkosh, and UW–Stevens Point to vaccinate the public against COVID-19.

Co-led by Susan Zahner, DrPH, RN, FAAN, professor and associate dean for faculty affairs, and Barbara Pinekenstein ’73, DNP, RN-BC, FAAN, clinical professor and interim associate dean for academic affairs, the initiative supports the coordination, education, and deployment of nursing students, faculty, staff, and alumni volunteers to provide clinic support and vaccine administration. In addition, educational programs on preventing spread and making safe choices during the ongoing pandemic are being implemented to help stop the spread of COVID-19.

“The UW–Madison School of Nursing has a long history of partnering with campus and local public health departments to staff influenza vaccination clinics and during public health emergencies. Our prior experience with these efforts demonstrates that we are an ideal partner in contributing on multiple levels of implementation and outreach,” says Zahner. “We greatly appreciate our community partners who assist us in preparing our student nurses for the workforce. This award gives us a chance to support them in their response to this public health challenge.”

Student and faculty volunteers participate in clinics Monday through Saturday, including at University Health Services, UnityPoint Health – Meriter, Sauk County, Walworth County, and the Ho-Chunk Nation vaccination efforts in Baraboo.

Volunteer working at the COVID-19 vaccination clinic

The students gain valuable experience as well as earn clinical hours while they volunteer. But for students such as Kayla Van Boxtel ’21, it means more than just that. “Being able to contribute to warding off this disease is so empowering and rewarding, and it just makes me feel like all this suffering all of us have been experiencing is moving toward a resolution,” Van Boxtel explains.

As of the end of April, the BN-CoVED initiative has served nine clinical sites, and has accrued over 2,595 student clinical hours and 462 faculty clinical hours.

Photos are from an afternoon at the Jefferson County Health Department clinic, where School of Nursing students were on site to administer vaccines to community members, many of whom were local educators.