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USD School of Nursing Student Goes to COVID-19 Epicenter

Published on: April 10, 2020

First-year Doctor of Nursing Practice student Elena Johns went to New York City, the current epicenter of the American COVID-19 outbreak, to help other medical professionals provide help to those who are seriously ill in an overwhelmed health care system. 

Meet One of USD's Courageous Front Line Workers

Elena earned her BSN in her home state of Louisiana. She worked as an ICU nurse before deciding to return to school here at USD and earn her DNP with a concentration in palliative and end-of-life care. Elena said she chose to go to New York to help patients who are unable to be with their families because of COVID-19 and who will not recover from the virus to be with them in their final moments so they are not alone.

Elena has a four-week commitment at the New York Hospital.  She said once she completes that she may consider returning to Louisiana to help there for a couple of weeks if the outbreak in that state is as severe as it is now.  Dean Jane M. Georges, the faculty, and the staff of the Hahn School of Nursing and Health Science proudly support Elena and the courage she shows by her willingness to step in where she is so badly needed.   

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Having patients die alone has unfortunately been a part of my ICU experience and so. . . if I'm the only one that can be there in the room with them. Then I absolutely will.

- Elena Johns, DNP Student



The USD School of Nursing—40 Years of Service and Excellence

The Hahn School of Nursing and Health Science was founded more than 40 years ago on the beautiful campus of the University of San Diego. Our school consistently ranks among the best graduate nursing schools locally and nationally, but that's not the only reason future students walk through our doors to pursue one of our graduate degrees.

The personal connections between faculty and students fuel our collective success and impact. Compassion isn’t just woven into our coursework — it’s embodied in our commitment to you. As scholars and clinicians, we value your talents and experiences. We’re here to mentor, nurture, and uplift you as you become all you’re meant to be.

We are proud of the compassion, service, and excellence of our entire nursing school community, particularly those who, like Elena Johns, are serving on the front lines of our collective crisis.

A Guide to Achieving the Doctor of Nursing Practice at USD

Our DNP program prepares nurses at the highest level of proficiency as they learn to translate science into clinical practice. Download the guide to learn about clinical placements, get answers to FAQs, and read about options to help finance your graduate nursing degree.

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A Guide to Achieving the Master of Science in Nursing at USD

For future Executive Nurse Leaders, Nursing Informaticists, or Adult-Gerontology CNSs.

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