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Fall 2021 Updates

Back to Mac

We can't wait to welcome you Back to Mac! This a guide for students, faculty and staff to summer and fall 2021 at McMaster, including ongoing COVID-19 reporting and campus updates.

Back to Mac - COVID-19 Website

Fall 2021: Hybrid

Course delivery with some on-campus instruction and significant online and hybrid elements. Modified on campus activities will resume and residences will be open. Some teams will gradually return to campus, based on supervisor guidance. Distancing, masking and screening to remain in place.

Winter 2022: Mostly in-person

Mostly on-campus teaching, learning and work, with online and hybrid elements to support as needed. McMaster will adhere to public health’s recommended safety measures.

Fall 2021: Frequently Asked Questions

Updated August 17, 2021

FAQ from McMaster: 
Question: Will any of the BScN courses be in-person this Fall?
Answer: Clinical lab courses and in-person clinical placements will be in-person. All other courses in the Fall 2021 term will be online. Please note your electives may be in-person. The tutorial for PSYCH 1X03 will be in-person.


​Question: How will I know if my course is online or in-person?
Answer:  When you register for classes, Mosaic will indicate the instruction mode.  ​This instruction mode document provides further information on what each instruction mode means.

Question: Will BScN courses be in-person in the Winter term?
Answer: At present, the university is planning for in-person delivery in January. As such, the BScN program will plan for in-person classes and labs.

Question: In first year, do we need to buy a stethoscope, a blood pressure cuff and a uniform?
Answer: Yes, you would need to buy each of these items, in addition to your text books. In order to assist you with this, the program office has organized special lab kits for clinical courses in levels 1-3 of the program. An information sheet with these details and how to purchase ​is sent to your mcmaster email. 

A Commitment to Inclusion and Racial Justice in the BScN Program 

Updated August 17, 2021

As a School of Nursing (SON), we believe the voices of our students need to be heard. We are strongly committed to fostering an environment of inclusion, one that welcomes and advances diversity across the student body. We recognize that awareness is not enough. This is an important time to embrace change and move words into actions. The learning environment must feel safe and comfortable for all, embracing individual and unique perspectives. 

The Bachelor of Science (Nursing) (BScN) program would like to thank all students who have recently shared experiences and recommendations to address elements of inclusion and racial justice. These contributions and active participation are very important to us. All feedback has been taken seriously and reviewed for immediate action. Justice for marginalized groups, including Indigenous and Black communities is recognized. We want to honour each perspective, particularly recommendations to move forward in the coming months.

As a Program and School, we would like to take a moment and publicly share the actions that both students and faculty have participated in to address these important issues of inequality. We recognize this is only the beginning - we must come together and continue to move forward. The actions identified in blue have been completed. The remaining actions are currently in progress. 

  • Development of a new five-year SON strategic plan for 2020-25, embracing the values and perspectives of the University Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Office and the Faculty of Health Sciences Indigenous Health Initiative 
  • Completion of several student, patient, faculty and community focus groups to ensure voices have been heard and integrated in the development of all short- and long-term strategic actions for the SON
  • Development and integration of a facilitated Indigenous admissions’ process for all three undergraduate BScN programs
  • Focused Indigenous recruitment, dedicated to hiring of at least one full-time faculty member this year   
  • Cultural safety training for all full-time faculty teaching in the SON 
  • Required bias training for faculty and staff participating in any element of the SON hiring process
  • Review of all narrative-based scenarios in the BScN curriculum, in order to strengthen elements of inclusion and correct perceptions of bias and racial injustice
  • Review of curricular content that addresses elements of diversity and health in the mandatory course, Social Determinants of Health
  • Development of a new Indigenous Health Policy and Nursing Practice course that is mandatory for all streams; the first offering will begin this academic year
  • Development of a new SON and Student Inclusion and Racial Justice committee in order to address actions that must move forward

As we enter the new academic year, we welcome students to continue to share their experiences, feedback and ideas. It is important for all of us to work together to achieve an inclusive learning environment for students and faculty.

In closing, we believe we can do better together.


Joanna Pierazzo, RN PhD, Assistant Dean, Undergraduate Nursing Programs
Chris Gibson, Program Manager, Undergraduate Nursing Programs
Sandra Carroll, RN PhD, Vice-Dean, Health Sciences, Executive Director School of Nursing


Professional Appearance Policy

Please note that each professional practice setting has its own uniform/professional appearance and/or footwear policies that are also to be followed. Students are expected to adhere to the professional appearance policy of both the School of Nursing and those outlined by their professional practice setting.

This policy outlines the professional image expectations for students in the clinical practice setting and is based on principles for professionalism, infection control, personal safety, and role identification.

If an agency has requirements not covered by this policy, students must conform to agency requirements. Consideration may be made for individual dress that is specific to cultural or religious beliefs.

Inappropriately dressed students may be asked to leave the clinical area. Any time away from professional practice will be considered an absence.

ID Badges

All badges must be visible in the professional practice environment.

  • McMaster students are to use their School of Nursing Identification Badge
  • Mohawk students are to use their McMaster and Mohawk Student cards in an ID badge holder bought at the Health Science Bookstore
  • Conestoga students must wear a yellow School of Nursing name pin purchased from the Conestoga Bookstore in addition to the agency approved Student ID
  • Lanyards holding ID badges must have a quick release mechanism to prevent injury


Presenting a professional image can enhance the development of respectful relationships with patients. Therefore, in clinical practice situations, students are required to ensure respectful coverage while providing patient care. Below will provide some guidance as you prepare to return in Sept.

  • Students of all sites, streams and levels (except Level 4 students in their final term, 4K10) are expected to wear Caribbean Blue scrubs with the “kaleidoscope” embroidered emblem for the McMaster-Mohawk-Conestoga BScN Program.
  • Uniforms can be purchased from the Health Science or Conestoga bookstore.
  • Plain, solid coloured, long sleeved shirts with snug sleeves may be worn under the scrub top, but sleeves must be able to be pushed up to the elbow to ensure hand hygiene.
  • Students should change into and out of their uniform on site to prevent the potential spread of infection. Uniforms should be kept clean and laundered.
  • All students, including Level 4 are subject to the same principles for professional appearance


  • Students must wear a separate pair of shoes for professional practice, as regular street shoes are not permitted due to policies related to infection control
  • Footwear must be in good condition, have an enclosed toe and heel, no mesh or holes, low to medium heel, and slip resistant soles as per occupational health and safety requirements
  • Shoes must be solid coloured with very limited designs or logos

Additional details regarding professional appearance will be made available in the BScN Handbook. It is the responsibility of all students to review prior to attending a clinical placement.




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