Responding to COVID-19

nurses and doctors with personal protective equipment


COVID-19's arrival in the United States challenged our health care system like never before. Since early March, the University of Michigan School of Nursing community has displayed its breadth of knowledge, uncommon ingenuity and selfless ambition in the face of unprecedented challenges.

More than 13,000 U-M School of Nursing alumni across all 50 states have stepped up to meet these challenges on the front lines of patient care. The stories below are merely a snapshot of the many ways faculty, students and other members of our community have responded to one of the greatest health crises in recent history. From making sacrifices for their most vulnerable patients to confronting new and complex clinical problems, read more about Michigan Nurses fighting a global pandemic.


COVID-19 Response. 1 Linden, 2 Ann Arbor, 3 Detroit, 4 Ypsilanti, 5 St. Joseph, 6 Kalamazoo


Laura Struble in her home office

Clinical Associate Professor Laura Struble and the challenges of caring for the cognitively impaired in a pandemic

The COVID-19 pandemic has presented personal and professional challenges for Clinical Associate Professor Laura Struble. At East Ann Arbor Health and Geriatrics Center and in two local dementia assisted living facilities, Struble cares for cognitively impaired patients ages 65 and older.

We Dare to rise to the challenge

As students submitted their last assignments and prepared for final exams, many of them were also working in clinical settings as the COVID-19 pandemic threatened to overwhelm the country’s health care system. Some of these new Michigan nurses took the time to share their perspectives.

Nursing alumni build nationwide network to bring face shields to the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic

Becky Cherney (BSN '12) and Kevin Leeser (BSN ’13) have built a national network of volunteers that’s helped deliver more than 10,000 face shields to frontline health care workers, first responders and other essential personnel throughout Michigan and across the United States.

Clinical Instructor Deb Lee is providing critical care to all types of patients on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic

Clinical Instructor Deb Lee, MSN, FNP, ACNP-BC, is working long hours caring for COVID-19 patients in the ICU at Borgess Medical Center in Kalamazoo, Michigan, navigating new approaches at the hospital and adjusting to a different way of life at home.

Clinical Assistant Professor Heidi Mason is working to protect cancer patients during the COVID-19 pandemic

At U-M’s Rogel Cancer Center, Clinical Assistant Professor Heidi Mason, RN, DNP, ACNP-BC is caring for head and neck cancer patients during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Clinical Assistant Professor Gina Dahlem is caring for those experiencing homelessness during the COVID-19 pandemic

Clinical Assistant Professor Gina Dahlem, Ph.D., FNP-C, FAANP, is working for Packard Health at the Shelter Association of Washtenaw County to deliver primary care services to those experiencing homelessness in the local community.

Class of 1966 Emergency Fund provides essential support for students during the COVID-19 pandemic

As members of the U-M School of Nursing’s Class of 1966 were planning their 50th reunion, they were also building an endowed fund that could support students for decades to come. Now that fund  has become an important source of support for students during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Clinical Assistant Professor Beth Ammerman is shifting her approach to primary care during the COVID-19 pandemic

Clinical Assistant Professor Beth Ammerman is working extra hours at her family practice primary care clinic in Linden, Michigan, taking on additional patients for a physician serving on the statewide COVID-19 task force and implementing new strategies in a rapidly progressing pandemic.

Clinical Assistant Professor Ray Blush discusses the importance of adaptation, information and protecting those on the front lines

As many clinicians are reassigned to support the hospital’s dedicated COVID-19 unit, Clinical Assistant Professor Ray Blush is continuing to treat patients with general medical issues who still require hospitalization.

Clinical Assistant Professor Katie Nelson addresses the pandemic's impact on pediatric care

As the COVID-19 pandemic evolves, children with serious health conditions who aren’t infected with the virus will continue to need care. Clinical Assistant Professor Katie Nelson and her colleagues have been developing plans to continue that care while minimizing their patients’ risk of exposure.

Clinical Associate Professor April Bigelow is caring for underserved patients as the COVID-19 pandemic evolves

Before COVID-19, part of Clinical Associate Professor April Bigelow's clinical work took place in patients’ homes. Since the outbreak, she only sees patients in the clinical setting when absolutely necessary.