October 10, 2011

School of Nursing accelerates for second careers, more choices

College graduates and professionals seeking a career change and entry to the nursing profession will find a new and flexible accelerated option for earning a nursing degree at the Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing. Beginning in 2012, a four-semester, 17-month, late August–entry option joins the list of accelerated offerings leading to a bachelor of science with a major in nursing.

The school will now offer only accelerated bachelor of science options for those who hold a bachelor’s degree in another discipline. In addition to the 17-month August entry, those options include a June-entry 13-month BS and a January-entry BS to master of science in nursing [clinical specialist] with paid residency. All accelerated options can lead to a master’s degree.

The new 17-month option is designed for students with a bachelor’s degree in another discipline who want the flexibility of a course of study longer than the 13-month option. The four-semester program that begins in late August concludes in December of the following year and features a four-week intersession. During this extended break from mid-December through January, students can explore career paths, seek experiential learning, investigate research opportunities and take elective courses.

According to Sandra Angell, associate dean for student affairs, an accelerated format addresses the strong preferences of prospective Johns Hopkins students.

“We are finding that with each pool of applicants for our bachelor’s program, those who hold a previous degree are in the clear majority—and their numbers continue to grow,” she said. “They are former Peace Corps volunteers who have experienced the global need for nurses, computer and information science technologists who see a future in nursing and health informatics, and others from all professions and disciplines who recognize that nursing provides both career fulfillment and unlimited opportunities. They are eager to launch their new career as efficiently as possible and are more than capable of doing so through an accelerated program,” she said.

Martha N. Hill, dean of Nursing, said that the decision of the school’s leadership to offer only accelerated BS formats also was influenced by “The Future of Nursing,” a report issued by the Institute of Medicine and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

“This report and the data on which it is based show that nurses who provide the highest quality and safest care have at least a bachelor’s degree,” she said. “Our experience clearly demonstrates that the Johns Hopkins nursing students who already have a bachelor’s are mature, well-prepared and ready to successfully complete an accelerated program and enter the nursing profession. We are able to recruit, prepare and rapidly move these outstanding students into the health care work force while continuing the highest of educational standards,” she said.