Nurse practitioners and physician assistants are advanced healthcare practitioners with similar responsibilities, such as diagnosing illnesses and prescribing medications. However, their training and paths toward certification differ in significant ways. This blog post unpacks the key differences between NPs and PAs to help you determine which career path best aligns with your goals. What Is a Nurse Practitioner? A nurse practitioner (NP) is a licensed clinician who provides comprehensive healthcare to patients of all ages. An NP can work in virtually any healthcare setting, diagnosing patient conditions and prescribing medications. As of October 2022, nurse practitioners have full practice authority in 27 states, meaning that they can practice Read more
Reference documents for important information related to the USAHS Reentry Return to Campus Plan.
Building Entry, Daily Access and Exit Protocol
Pre-Arrival (daily before re-entry)
Start self-monitoring and fill out individual pre-screening health questionnaire.
Pre- Arrival planning (several days before)
- Bring a University ID badge to campus each day – for those unable to find University issued ID, send an e-mail to the appropriate Campus Receptionist ahead of time so Receptionist can issue a new one:
- If you are a new student, new hire or require a replacement badge, you must provide a government issued ID to verify your identity for campus access.
- A secure face covering (cloth mask) will be required in order to enter campus
Arrival to campus (Daily)
- Fill out daily Health Screening questions PRIOR to arrival and lining up for temperature check
- Arrive 30 minutes before assigned class or workday start – for those who have walked or biked to campus, rest for approximately 10 minutes to cool down before lining up for campus entrance
- While following social distancing guidelines, proceed to the main campus entrance for check-in:
- CASM Building A – Front Door
- TXAU Building A – Front Door
- FLSA Academic Building – South Side
- FLMI Patio Entrance
- If there is a line to enter campus, use the floor markers to maintain appropriate social distance
- Upon entrance, you will scan the code on your mobile device confirming completion of the daily health screening check
- The Safety Officer is in a light gray polo shirt with a “Safety Officer” designation on the sleeve
- Take temperature at the Touchless Temperature (PopID) device
- When all screenings are successfully completed and individual is ‘cleared’, obtain wristband for the day
- If you leave campus for any reason, including a visit to an affiliated clinic, you will have to repeat the screening process
- Keep on the wristband until after departure from campus each day. Those removing wristbands will be required to repeat the full campus entry process
- Follow the directional arrows to each destination within the buildings
- There will only be one indicated entrance per building. Maps to be forthcoming
- Wear a face covering at all times on campus (except when alone in an individual office
- Bring personal water bottles to use touchless water bottle fillers
- Follow all health guidelines such as social distancing where appropriate and washing hands frequently
- Follow requests from Safety Officers
- After entering the building, proceed directly to a classroom or workspace as appropriate
- Follow floor markers that designate hallway lanes and social distancing markers in high traffic areas
- Use designed hallways or stairwells to access or exit building spaces
- Do not use empty spaces to congregate
- Only 2 people at a time will be allowed to enter the restrooms
Cleaning & Sanitation
- Each classroom has disinfecting solutions and wipes for individual use when appropriate; all classrooms are disinfected at night
- All public and high traffic areas are cleaned through out the day and after each scheduled class break
- PPE should be disposed of in the designated PPE receptacles
- After eating in the classrooms or work spaces, garbage should be placed in the proper waste receptacles
Students (Class is Finished)
- Prepare to leave immediately after classes have concluded for the day
- Classrooms / labs, libraries, student study spaces or common gathering areas will not be available before and after classes
- Exit classroom through the designated exit and keep to a single path to exit the building
- Dispose of PPE by either the classroom or building exits in the designated bins
- Take personal PPE such as cloth face masks and face shields home for safekeeping and cleaning
- Further exit details will be forthcoming
Faculty & Staff (End of Workday)
- Plan to leave immediately after work responsibilities have concluded for the day
- Conference rooms, employee lounges or other common gathering areas will not be available during the workday
- Exit your office space through the designated exit and keep to a single path to exit the building
- Dispose of disposable PPE by either the workspace or building exits in the designated bins (as appropriate for your role)
- Take personal PPE such as cloth face masks and face shields home for safekeeping and cleaning
- Further exit details will be forthcoming
Communicable Diseases Reporting and Response Procedure
The University is committed to providing its employees, students, visitors and contractors with a safe working environment that is free of health hazards, inclusive of communicable diseases during a pandemic. USAHS assigns the highest priority to assessing, minimizing, and managing the risks to the broader community of being exposed to pandemic diseases.
The University of St. Augustine for Health Sciences (USAHS) strives to provide a safe and healthy campus. This policy outlines specific steps USAHS takes to safeguard health and well-being during a pandemic while ensuring our ability to maintain essential operations and continue providing critical services to our students. In addition, it provides guidance on how we intend to respond to specific operational and human resource issues in the event of a pandemic and specifically in the case of a communicable disease outbreak.
USAHS’s decisions involving persons who have communicable diseases shall be based on current and well-informed medical judgments concerning the disease, the risks of transmitting the illness to others, the symptoms and special circumstances of each individual who has a communicable disease, and a careful weighing of the identified risks and the available alternative for responding to an individual with a communicable disease.
Step 1: Notification
Human Resources must be notified immediately of a communicable disease risk that may exist in the workplace to limit additional exposure at [email protected] and /or [email protected]. Reporting is required by supervisors, the infected individual and others who are made aware of a communicable disease impacting the workplace. Medical information, as well as information on any accommodations or leaves, will remain confidential. USAHS will comply with federal, state or local regulations such as OSHA or to the local health department regarding reporting communicable disease.
Step 2: Understanding the disease and resources
USAHS will review the illness and respond appropriately and consider the particular facts regarding the contagion including how the disease is transmitted, probability of transmission and complications, level of severity, and duration of risk based on guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), OSHA, state and local health departments.
Step 3: Identifying scope of risk
USAHS will determine who is at risk for contracting the illness in the workplace and consider any possible contacts, including those outside of the office or campus that is within the University’s control. Possible contacts include employees, students, clients, the public or vendors that may have been exposed or infected. USAHS will review how many individuals may be affected, the severity of the disease, and how the disease was contracted.
Step 4: Worksite response
Based on a comprehensive disease research, management will review information to determine the severity and implement decisions such as an emergency shutdown, or if a limited threat, a review of a department or single area, and other response protocols as applicable to minimize contagion in the workplace. A confidential record of all incidents will be kept on file.
Step 5: Communication
USAHS communications will be released as appropriate via official communication channels to include all internal or external contact and notification to employees/faculty, students, the public, vendors and clients as well as any communications with family members of anyone impacted or hospitalized as a result of a communicable disease.
General notice will be provided to impacted individuals while preserving confidentiality and privacy of individuals involved as appropriate to allow individuals to monitor themselves for symptoms and seek treatment if needed.
USAHS will comply with all applicable statutes and regulations that protect the privacy of persons who have a communicable disease. Every effort will be made to ensure procedurally sufficient safeguards to maintain the personal confidence about persons who have communicable diseases.
Our policy is to treat any medical information as a confidential medical record. In furtherance of this policy, any disclosure of medical information is in limited circumstances with supervisors, managers, first aid and safety personnel, and government officials as required by law.
COVID-19 CDC Quarantine Guidelines
Campus Reentry Considerations
Please refer to CDC Guidelines
Individual confirmed positive or presumed positive for COVID-19
Individual received COVID positive test but had no symptoms
10 days have passed since the date of the positive test for COVID-19
Individual had prolonged exposure to someone w/COVID-19
For a duration of 14-days from your last exposure to an individual who is diagnosed or presumed positive with COVID-19, if you are identified as having had close contact by the DOH or a certified contact tracer.
Individual who traveled by cruise ship, internationally, or to areas designated Level 3 by CDC
Individual who traveled by cruise ship, internationally, or to areas designated as “Level 3 Travel Health Notice: Widespread ongoing transmission with restrictions on entry to the US” by the CDC or other areas restricted by local regulations should quarantine for duration of 14-days upon your return from travel.
COVID-19 Cleaning and Disinfection Protocols
To promote the health and safety of all students, faculty, and staff, facilities will be regularly cleaned and disinfected in accordance with CDC guidelines to prevent the spread of infectious disease. These guidelines outline the cleaning, processes, protocols by space, and frequency by space for continuous cleaning throughout each day and thorough cleaning at the conclusion of each day.
These guidelines comply with the Center for Disease Control recommendations.
How to Clean and Disinfect
- Wear appropriate PPE disposable gloves, masks, and for all tasks in the cleaning process, including handling trash, as appropriate.
- Practice routine cleaning of frequently touched surfaces like tables, doorknobs, light switches, countertops, handles, desks, keyboards, toilets, faucets, sinks, etc.
- Recommend use of EPA-registered household disinfect
- Spray surface with an EPA-registered disinfectant with an even coverage
- Leave solution on the surface for at least 1 minute.
- If you cannot let the solution air dry wipe the solution off with a disposable paper towel
- Soft surfaces (carpeted floors and upholstered furniture)
- Clean the surface using soap and water or with cleaners appropriate for use on these surfaces.
- Launder items – Use the warmest appropriate water setting and dry items completely.
- Disinfect with an EPA-registered household disinfectant
- Vacuum as usual
- Electronics Consider putting a wipeable cover
- Follow manufacturer’s instruction for cleaning and disinfecting.
- If no guidance, use alcohol-based wipes or sprays containing at least 70% alcohol. Dry surface thoroughly.
- Laundry (St. Augustine)
- Use the warmest appropriate water setting and dry items completely.
- Wear disposable gloves
- Do not shake dirty laundry
- Remove gloves, and wash hands right away
Cleaning and Disinfecting Your Building if Someone is Sick
If a student, faculty member, staff member, or other visitor to campus is known to have contracted COVID-19, the following protocol should be implemented:
- Close off areas used by the person who is sick
- Open outside doors and windows to increase air circulation if possible.
- Wait 24 hours before you clean or disinfect
- Clean and disinfect all areas used by the person who is sick
- Vacuum the space if needed. Use vacuum equipped with high-efficiency particular air (HEPA) filter, if available.
- Do not vacuum a room or space that has people in it. Wait until the room or space is empty to vacuum, such as at night, for common spaces, or during the day for private rooms.
- If it has been less than 7 dayssince the sick individual used the facility, notify facilities confidentially to clean and disinfect all areas used by the sick individual following the CDC cleaning and disinfection recommendations
- If it has been 7 days or moresince the sick individual used the facility, additional cleaning and disinfection is not necessary. Continue routinely cleaning and disinfecting all high-touch surfaces in the facility.
Cleaning and Disinfecting Outdoor Areas
- Outdoor areas generally require normal routine cleaning, but do not require disinfection.
- Do not spray disinfectant on outdoor areas
- High touch surfaces made of plastic or metal, such as grab bars and railings should be cleaned routinely
- Sidewalks and roads should not be disinfected
Opening preparation & checklist
USAHS campuses promotes health and safety guidelines in adherence to CDC recommended procedures, state, and local policies and recommendations. The checklist below outlines the campus facilities preparation tasks for reopening by space type:
- Entrances and exits should be thoroughly cleaned (in accordance with routine cleaning procedures intended to promote general health and safety standards) and high use areas and objects should be disinfected at the conclusion of each day after the building is closed to patrons. A thorough cleaning includes all hard surfaces, soft surfaces (if applicable), floors, window, doorways, and objects.
- Throughout the day, surfaces and doors present at entrances and exits should be continuously cleaned (after each group is admitted to the building or at least every hour).
- High touch objects such as laptops, tablets, phones, pens, and other items present at the check in/out station should be disinfected frequently or after each use with a disinfecting wipe.
- Supplies used for on-campus medical screenings (i.e. thermometers/scans) should be disinfected after each use.
- Disposals for PPE or other medical supplies should be emptied at the end of each day.
- Classrooms should be thoroughly cleaned (in accordance with routine cleaning procedures intended to promote general health and safety standards) and high use areas and objects should be disinfected at the conclusion of each day after the building is closed to patrons. A thorough cleaning and includes all hard surfaces, soft surfaces (if applicable), floors, window, doorways, and objects.
- After each class, surfaces, doorways, and high touch objects (i.e. light switches, chairs, etc.) should be cleaned and disinfected. All cleaning solutions should be dry before the next class can be admitted to the room.
- PPE disposals should be emptied at the conclusion of each cohort (when PPE is used).
- Shared office space should be thoroughly cleaned (in accordance with routine cleaning procedures intended to promote general health and safety standards) and high use areas and objects should be disinfected at the conclusion of each day after the building is closed to patrons. A thorough cleaning and disinfection includes all hard surfaces, soft surfaces (if applicable), floors, window, doorways, and objects.
- Throughout the day, high touch surfaces, doors, technology, light switches, and objects present in shared office space should be continuously cleaned at least twice per day.
- Private offices can be cleaned in accordance with standard cleaning policies if use is restricted to a single individual. Doorknobs and high touch objects outside of private offices should be included in the thorough shared office space cleaning conducted at the conclusion of each day.
- PPE disposal bins will be located at the building exit.
- Hallways should be thoroughly cleaned (in accordance with routine cleaning procedures intended to promote general health and safety standards) and high use areas and objects should be disinfected at the conclusion of each day after the building is closed to Students, Faculty and staff. A thorough cleaning includes all hard surfaces, soft surfaces (if applicable), floors, windows/glass, doors, handles and objects.
- Throughout the day, surfaces and doorways should be routinely cleaned (after large groups/classes letting out or coming in or at least twice during open building hours)
- Hallways should be thoroughly cleaned (in accordance with routine cleaning procedures intended to promote general health and safety standards).
- High use areas and objects should be disinfected at the conclusion of each day after the building is closed to Students, faculty and staff. A thorough cleaning includes all hard surfaces, soft surfaces (if applicable), floors, and handrails.
- Routinely throughout the day, surfaces, doorways, and handrails should be continuously cleaned and disinfected at least twice during open building hours).
- Elevators should be thoroughly cleaned (in accordance with routine cleaning procedures intended to promote general health and safety standards).
- High use areas and objects should be disinfected at the conclusion of each day after the building is closed to students, faculty and staff. A thorough cleaning includes all hard surfaces, buttons, doors and handrails.
- Throughout the day, elevator buttons and other high touch objects should be continuously cleaned and disinfected at least twice during open building hours.
- Bathrooms should be thoroughly cleaned (in accordance with routine cleaning procedures intended to promote general health and safety standards).
- Throughout the day, surfaces, countertops, faucets, flush handles, stall door handles and locks, and other high touch objects should be continuously cleaned and disinfected at least twice during open building hour or after scheduled class breaks.
- Water fountains should be thoroughly disabled/decommissioned.
- Throughout the day, bottle fillers should be cleaned and disinfected (after large groups or at least twice during building hours).
- If water fountains have been unused for a long period, the water should be flushed through the system in advance of reopening.
- Remove or decommission all vending machines.
Refrigerators and Kitchens
- Kitchens are only to be used for washing of hands and are not meant to be gathering areas.
- Refrigerators are not to be used in order to minimize people congregating.
- Closed off spaces should be cleaned according to routine building cleaning procedures.
- High touch surfaces made of plastic or metal, such as door handles and railings should be cleaned and disinfected routinely.
Interim Guidance on CPR Card Extensions
Dear Global AHA Training Network,
Beginning in early March, to provide additional flexibility for providers, AHA Instructors, and AHA Training Centers during the COVID-19 pandemic, the AHA issued extensions for AHA Instructor and Provider cards beyond their recommended renewal date, initially for 60 days, then to 120 days. Over the last 3 months, to support you during this challenging time, the AHA has also released guidance on additional precautions, options for healthcare and Heartsaver courses, CPR guidelines, just-in-time ventilation modules for healthcare providers, and is temporarily allowing virtual training through guidance to our Training Center Coordinators.
As the COVID-19 pandemic evolves and Training Centers may be more able to return to training providers and Instructors using options provided by the AHA, we are issuing clarification and updates for card extensions as outlined below.
- AHA Provider and Instructor cards that expired in March and April, and those expiring at the end of May and June can renew their card for up to 120 days from the recommended renewal date on their See below for specific recommended renewal and extension dates:
|Recommended Renewal Date
on Card (end of month)
|New Renewal Due Date with
120- day Extension (end of month)
|March 2020||July 2020|
|April 2020||August 2020|
|May 2020||September 2020|
|June 2020||October 2020|
- Beginning in July, we will resume normal timelines for renewing Those with cards expiring at the end of July should plan to renew their cards by the recommended renewal date on their card (July 2020).
- However, for those who may be in affected areas with restrictions still in place into July, Training Centers, at their discretion, may consider extending July cards past their renewal date, for no more than 120
- As always, AHA TCs are responsible for following the instructions from their local government or public health authority as it relates to actions around COVID-19. In accordance with the guidelines released by local government, the leadership of the TC should use discretion to evaluate the risk of disease transmission in their area before organizing any training events and take necessary precautions to avoid transmissions.
The AHA continues to closely monitor the COVID-19 pandemic and evaluate options for delivering resuscitation education while taking the proper precautions. Our top priority is the safety of both AHA Instructors and learners.
We know that high-quality CPR is the primary component in influencing survival from cardiac arrest. To save more lives, healthcare providers must be competent in delivering high-quality CPR, and patient care teams must be coordinated and competent working together effectively. Although COVID-19 is certainly our most immediate threat, we must remember the ever-lurking dangers of heart disease and stroke – which, year in and year out, are the top two killers worldwide.
As a reminder, the AHA offers many options to help meet your training needs and the needs of your learners. During this time of social distancing, our blended learning or self-directed learning may be good options for your organization. Consider offering blended learning courses such as the AHA’s HeartCode program for BLS, ACLS, and PALS, or Heartsaver First Aid CPR AED blended learning for non-healthcare providers. Students can complete the online portion of the course and then complete their skills session separately when it is convenient. Self-directed learning and skills competence can be obtained with social distancing outside the classroom with the AHA’s HeartCode Complete and RQI (Resuscitation Quality Improvement) programs for healthcare providers.
We remain committed to serving you as trusted resource to allow for the continuance of safe, high-quality CPR training, as feasible. Thank you for everything you are doing during this challenging time.
American Heart Association
Reporting COVID-19 Exposure While on Clinical/Fieldwork Experience
Students must use the following steps to report any exposures to COVID-19 while participating in clinical/fieldwork experiences:
- Communicate exposure to your faculty member.
- Follow site specific processes and protocols for exposure and communicate compliance with your faculty member.
- Complete USAHS Incident Report and upload to Exxat.
- Email Dawn Werling ([email protected]) of exposure to be added to USAHS log.
- Communicate changes/updates to their situation to AFWC/ACCE and Dawn Werling ([email protected]).
Safety Protocols for Lab Sessions and Personal Protective Equipment
USAHS campuses follow and employ health and safety guidelines in adherence to the CDC Considerations for Institutions of Higher Education. USAHS protocols include the following actions:
Cleaning and Disinfection
- All surfaces (e.g., door handles, sink handles, drinking fountains, grab bars, hand railings, bathroom stalls) within facilities will be cleaned between use as often as possible. Any shared objects (e.g., lab equipment, computer equipment, desks) will be cleaned between each use.
- A schedule has been developed for increased routine cleaning and disinfection.
- Students, faculty, and staff are encouraged to keep personal items (e.g., cell phones, other electronics), personal work, and living spaces clean. Students, faculty, and staff should use disinfectant wipes or disinfectant solution and disposable paper towels to wipe down shared desks, lab equipment, and other shared objects and surfaces before use. Disinfectant wipes or solution will be provided in classrooms.
- Hand sanitizer, disinfecting wipes, soap, and water are readily available to all individuals.
- All individuals must wash or sanitize their hands upon entering the classroom or laboratory.
- Sharing items that are difficult to clean or disinfect is not permitted.
- Lab equipment and supplies will be assigned to each student to minimize sharing of high-touch materials when appropriate. Equipment will be cleaned and disinfected after each use by one group of students at a time.
- Sharing electronic devices, books, pens, and other learning aids should be avoided.
- Chairs/desks/tables will be placed at least 6 feet apart.
- The number of individuals in a classroom will be no more than 10 people.
- Online learning for laboratory activities will be provided when possible to reduce the time for in-person activity.
- All individuals will be required to maintain at least 6 feet of separation from other individuals. When such distancing is not feasible for hands on learning, universal healthcare precautions including face covering, hand hygiene, the use of gloves, cough etiquette, cleanliness, and sanitation will be rigorously practiced.
Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
- USAHS is adhering to CDC recommended guidelines for PPE.
- All students, employees and visitors are required to wear a personal face covering on campus.
- USAHS will provide students and employees with procedural facemasks, disposable gloves and long-sleeved reusable gowns. Procedural facemasks and disposable gloves are recommended by the CDC for interactive settings with a presumed non-COVID patient.
- Though they are not required by the CDC, USAHS will also provide students and faculty with a face shield. Face shields provide an additional level of protection for the wearer.
- Since the provided face shields are reusable, students and faculty are instructed to follow cleaning procedures as recommended by the CDC that can also be found in the bag provided at the beginning of class
- PPE Reference List:
- Personal Face Covering (including cloth masks) – recommended for general public situations, as they protect others from the wearer.
- Procedural Face Mask – generally used for lower level and lower risk interventions, exposures, and examinations.
- Face Shield – protects the wearer’s face, mouth, nose, and eyes in healthcare settings.
- Gloves – protects the wearer’s hands in healthcare settings.
- Gown – recommended to create a barrier in order to reduce contact and droplet exposure and helps prevent the transfer of microorganisms between patients and healthcare workers.
- N-95 mask – Guidelines and norms do not suggest the use of N-95 masks for most settings USAHS students and faculty will encounter. N-95 masks will not be regularly provided as supply is limited; hospitals are reserving these masks for COVID-positive situations.
- Examples of USAHS provided PPE:
What to Expect When You Return to Campus
Download PDF-guide to Campus Reentry.