Support for Nursing Education during COVID-19

Recommended Resources

by June Kaminski, RN MSN PhD(c)

The COVID-19 pandemic of 2020 has impacted nursing in many ways, including nursing education. Innovative ways to deliver practice, lab and theory within nursing programs has been championed by faculty and encouraged by licensing and accreditation organizations. All voice the same message: Let us support our students to continue to succeed and graduate, despite the obstacles and restrictions imposed by the pandemic.

Support for Nursing Education during COVID-19

As universities and colleges embrace online learning to weather this storm, faculty are delving into online teaching – sometimes, for the first time. Faculty are looking for inventive ways to not only deliver theory content via distance, but also how to offer simulations, labs, and alternate experiences for at least some of the clinical practice hours.

Nursing program administrators and faculty are not only responsible for modifying delivery, but they must also track changes made and monitor the outcomes. “Educational institutions will need to monitor the feasibility and effectiveness of alternate practice learning arrangements because multiple contextual factors in different geographic locations will impact the arrangements educational institution will be able to use over time. Educational institutions are responsible for documenting and tracking the modifications made to programs during this period, including changes in access to clinical placements and alternate methods of course delivery” (BCCNP, 2020, p. 1).

The Canadian Association of Schools of Nursing (CASN) is considered “the voice of nursing education in Canada and the national accrediting body for nursing education. Its members are the 95 schools of nursing in Canada offering a baccalaureate and/or graduate nursing degree.

In responding to COVID-19, CASN has adopted the following position:

  • High-quality nursing education must be maintained to safeguard the health of Canadians:
  • Graduation of nursing students should not be delayed given the urgent health service needs;
  • Nursing faculty/instructors must maintain their educator role during this crisis as nursing education is essential; and
  • Creative and appropriately supervised ways of optimizing entry-to-practice competencies in senior students while supporting the delivery of health care services during this crisis is a priority.

As the accrediting body for nursing education, CASN will accept documented, innovative curricular changes that allow students to avoid delays in graduation and support health service delivery needs during the COVID-19 pandemic “(CASN, 2020, p. 1).

In order to meet these expectations, schools of nursing must embrace inventive, virtual, resources. Open resources are most welcome, since budgets are often tight. The following resources are our recommendations for open-source, readily available resources, designed by experts in the field.

Recommended Resources



Creative Clinical Teaching in the Health Professions (2019).

This Canadian peer reviewed open-source e-book is a must-read for nurses and other health professionals who strive to teach with creativity and excellence in clinical settings. Each chapter presents current evidence informed educational practice knowledge.

Vital Sign Measurement Across the Lifespan (2018)

Another Canadian open-source textbook intended to support best practices in vital sign monitoring. “Using a multi-media approach, it will provide opportunities to read about, observe, practice, and test vital sign measurement.”

Clinical Procedures for Safer Patient Care (2015)

This Canadian “open educational resource (OER) was developed to ensure best practice and quality care based on the latest evidence, and to address inconsistencies in how clinical health care skills are taught and practised in the clinical setting.”



University of BC School of Nursing. A Triple Win for Nursing Education.

and Video: UBC Nursing Responds: A Triple Win.

This article and video present an excellent learning activity that can be done during isolation.

Canadian Nursing Association. COVID-19 Video Diaries: Behind the Mask

The CNA offers this video series, featuring interviews with nurse experts about their practice and experiences with COVID-19, in a variety of practice settings. They also offer several other resources including fact sheets, learning resources, and FAQs about COVID-19.

The Online Lecture Toolkit

This site offers wonderful user-friendly resources for faculty interested in creating effective videos for online learning.

Lippincott Nursing Center Video Library

“Learn more about the issues modern-day nurses are facing and how to deal with them. We cover medical topics like managing pain appropriately during the opioid crisis and how to prevent sepsis, along with a variety of workplace topics, such as bullying, stress and leadership.”



Nurse Educator Series – Nurse Educator Tips for Teaching

This collection offers over 70 podcasts focused on innovative tips to improve your teaching via Apple Podcasts (listen on the web or through Apple)

Some examples of these podcasts include:



CASN. (2020). Webinar: Use of Virtual Reality Simulation for Community Health Clinical

CASN presents this innovative approach to community health practice in education.

CASN (2020). Virtual Simulation Vendor Showcase Webinar

Useful webinar that introduces various available simulation programs for faculty to consider.

Canadian Nurses Association Progress in Practice Webinar Series

CNA presents a series of webinars that can be used in nursing education and practice.

College and Association of Registered Nurses of Alberta Webinar Collection

CARNA offers some interesting webinars that can be woven into class work, including one on called The nursing informatics journey and the future by Dr. Kathryn Hannah.

Registered Nurses’ Association of Ontario Archived Webinars

RNAO also offers a rich collection of archived webinars. One that really stood out is Traditional Indigenous Approaches to Mental Health and Well-Being of Health-Care Providers Supporting First Nations During the COVID-19 Pandemic led by Kahontakwas Diane Longboat.

Games and Simulations

Games and Simulations

CAN-SIM. (2020). COVID-19 Assessment And PPE

CAN-SIM also offers about a dozen more free virtual simulations for faculty to use with students at

National League of Nursing. Virtual Simulation Options for Undergraduate Nursing Students

The NLN offers a robust list of links and descriptions of a variety of virtual simulation opportunities to use in nursing education.

Centennial College, Ryerson University, and George Brown College – Virtual Healthcare Experience

“This portal provides healthcare students and professionals with an experiential learning opportunity for practising client care in a safe virtual environment. Here you can access a number of simulation experiences that will engage you in clinical decision making.”

Montgomery College Nursing Simulation Scenario Library

“Each library listing contains video (used either independently or with accompanying document(s) to enhance education using simulation in any setting) and accompanying documents (used as guides for educators to recreate content in areas relevant to practice).”

Simulation Canada offers a robust collection of COVID-19 Simulations



National Center for Interprofessional Practice and Education – Resource Center

This organization offers a rich resource center, a “digital library of interprofessional practice and education-related content”.

Nurse Educator Network

This site provides a platform where nursing faculty can share open source nursing education resources with one another.

Johns Hopkins University School of Public Health Open Courseware

“OCW offers open materials and images from more than a hundred courses developed by the faculty of JHSPH, the world’s foremost institution of public health education and research.”

This is just a taste of usable, high quality resources available to support nursing faculty and students in the virtual and classroom setting. We hope you find them useful as you and your students (and programs!) sail through this pandemic. Happy Learning!


British Columbia College of Nursing Professionals (BCCNP). (2020). Effect of COVID-19 pandemic on nursing education programs, faculty and students.

Canadian Association of Schools of Nursing (CASN). (2020). Nursing Education during the COVID-19 Pandemic.

Chircop, A. & Schofield, R. (2020). Webinar: Use of Virtual Reality Simulation for Community Health Clinical.

Doyle, G. & McCutcheon, J. (2015). Clinical Procedures for Safer Patient Care. British Columbia Institute of Technology.

Lapum, J., Verkuyl, M., Garcia, W., St-Amant, O., & Tan, A. (2018). Vital Sign Measurement Across the Lifespan. Ryerson University.

Melrose, S., Park, C., & Perry, B. (2019). Creative Clinical Teaching in the Health Professions. Athabasca University.

University of BC School of Nursing. (2020). A Triple Win for Nursing Education. and Video: UBC Nursing Responds: A Triple Win.

Adobe Spark for User-Friendly Web Creations

by June Kaminski, RN MSN PhD(c)

Adobe software has been an industry leader in the creative and publishing fields for years. Due to the quality and high standing, access to their software is considered quite expensive and beyond the range of many users, especially when used for education or personal purposes. Creative and professional designers do invest in the Creative Suite and other products, often with full justification, since the quality of the finished products are second to none. However, Adobe has recently launched an amazing web-based software called Adobe Spark. This software is free to use, user-friendly, and produces three types of finished products that look amazing and are easily shared with others. These characteristics make Adobe Spark an excellent tool for nursing education and for nursing professionals who wish to share documents online with the general public.

Create beautiful social graphics, web stories, and animated videos – in minutes and for free with Adobe Spark web tool or apps!

Create beautiful social graphics, web stories, and animated videos – in minutes and for free with Adobe Spark web tool or apps!

As outlined in the graphic above, Adobe Spark offers three unique ways to present content in eye-catching, professional-looking formats. Nurses, students, and faculty can use these three features on their computers through the web-based applications or through the Apple-based apps on their iPhones or iPads or Android apps. These three programs include:

Spark Post

This version of the Spark software enables you to create stunning social posts and posters in a matter of minutes using the Adobe Spark templates, fonts, and free-to-use template images. Users can choose diverse templates from the software’s collection, or add their own. “Transform your creation by applying design filters with a single tap. Each tap gives you completely new layouts, color palettes, typography styles, and photo filters – no design experience required” (Adobe Spark Edu Guide, 2017, p. 3). Once done, users can share their graphic by email, social media, or within their educational projects (papers, presentations, blogs, in their Spark Pages or Videos, and so on).

Spark Page

The web stories branch of the Adobe Spark application is really incredible. Users can create luscious, very professional-looking web-base documents almost effortlessly. All users need to do is gather the graphics and written content they wish to use then insert – the software helps them to place these on the web almost effortlessly yet the end result is rich, lush — quite amazing actually!

“Spark Page turns stories into modern, professional, attention-grabbing web pages. With Page, teachers and students can bring words and images together in fun ways, turning essays, assignments, reports, and more into engaging visual stories. Play with a variety of layouts, and add text. Use your own photos, or pick from thousands of free online images (with appropriate filtering applied). Simply tap on one of the professional themes and beautiful fonts, and magazine-style design and motion transforms the story. The end result is a modern, responsive web page, one that looks great on any device and any size screen” (Adobe Spark Edu Guide, 2017, p. 3).

Spark Video

The video capabilities of Adobe Spark are also exciting – the software can support students, faculty, and nurses to create wonderful teaching videos without much effort. The user just needs to plan their script, select images and text, and record their voice for narration. It also allows users to integrate their own video clips into the animation. The end-result is professional, attractive, and can be a great way to orient students to create usable tools for patient education, health promotion, and other relevant topics.

“Spark Video lets you turn your story into a captivating animated narrated video in just minutes. Presenting a report, explaining a concept in class, or telling a personal story has never been easier. Starting with a blank slate, or using gentle prompts as a guide, teachers and students use Spark to talk through their story one line at a time. Pick from thousands of beautiful, iconic images (or use your own) to illustrate your ideas, and add your own video clips. Select a design theme and supporting music. Spark automatically incorporates cinema-quality animation; just tap play and view it on any device or browser. Then, share with friends, family, and the world” (Adobe Spark Edu Guide, 2017, p. 3).

Accessible and Accommodating

The professional, integrated, and aesthetic nature of Adobe Spark coupled with its accessibility and ease of use make this software a must-have for all faculty, students, and nurses. Not only that, but they guarantee it will stay free, and your creations will always be available.

“Adobe Spark is free to use, and will remain so. At some point in the future we may add premium features or paid options. If that were to happen, the core functionality as it exists today will remain free. No bait-and-switch, we promise.

Unlimited hosting of created content is also free, and we don’t plan to stop hosting your content. Rest assured that if hosting were ever to be curtailed we’ll give you a way to download and save all of your precious creations. So, keep creating and publishing, and let us worry about the hosting for you.” (Adobe Spark Edu Guide, 2017, p. 4).

I HIGHLY recommend Adobe Spark for everyone! You can create an account at the link below. I have also included a link to the Adobe Spark Education pages and Guide for teachers and faculty. I guarantee you will love this new program – Happy Creating!!


Adobe Spark website:

Adobe Spark in the Classroom:

Adobe Spark Education Guide: