The Application period for Spring 2018 has now closed. Application Information for masters entry students graduating in Summer 2018 will be posted in early 2018.
What is SPAN?
The SPAN (Supporting Professional Advancement in Nursing) program is an exciting opportunity funded by the Maryland Higher Education Commission (MHEC) for talented pre-licensure nursing students who are committed to pursuing advanced graduate studies in nursing in the near future. SPAN is an academic-practice partnership that begins with students’ final clinical practicum and continues for 3 years post-graduation. Students complete their final clinical practicum which is part of the Integrated Clinical Management: Synthesis Practicum course at one of 4 partner sites, are matched depending on their clinical interests. They are mentored by a full-time nurse preceptor on their assigned unit and will take the NCLEX exam upon successful completion of their pre-licensure degree.
After passing the NCLEX exam, participants will enter the next stage of the SPAN program, in which they are hired by the health care facility where they completed their practicum and begin full-time work as a registered nurse. Participants must meet all hiring criteria established by the employer and must commit to working for 1 year full-time on the unit*, followed by two years of employment either part time, or with the option of continued full-time work on the unit. New nurse graduates will then apply to an advanced graduate nursing program during their first year of work and will be expected to attend graduate school full or part-time while working during years 2 and 3 of the program. Upon completion of the program, participants will have obtained an advanced graduate degree and will be qualified to obtain nurse leadership positions.
This is a highly competitive program available exclusively to JHSON students who are committed to pursuing graduate studies in nursing in the next 1-2 years.
Students accepted to the program will complete their Integrated Clinical Management: Synthesis Practicum course at, and then be hired by, 1 of 4 Maryland area health care facilities. Our SPAN partner institutions are:
- The Johns Hopkins Hospital
- Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center
- Sibley Memorial Hospital, Washington DC
- Baltimore VA Medical Center
Information about SPAN placements available for Spring 2018 can be viewed here.
What will participants gain?
- Work experience while obtaining an advanced level nursing degree.
- Be accepted into an elite and competitive program funded by the Maryland Higher Education Commission (MHEC) to increase the number of qualified nurses in Maryland-area hospitals and other health care facilities with advanced nursing degrees.
- Career placement in your desired area of nursing practice. Proceed directly to the workforce upon graduation. You are preferred to be hired by the facility where you completed your transitions placement assuming you meet all of its hiring and performance criteria.
- Mentorship—One-on-one ongoing support and guidance beyond graduation with an experienced nurse at your place of employment and a faculty mentor at JHSON who will help you articulate your goals to complete your graduate nursing degree.
- Built in support to balance work and school. Your employer has already agreed to support you as you pursue your advanced nursing degree.
- Take advantage of tuition assistance benefits from your employer to help pay for graduate school.
- Benefit from access to free online learning modules. Modules are tailored to provide solutions to professional challenges and suggestions on areas for growth that new nurses may encounter upon entering the workforce.
Criteria for admission
- Be in your final semester at JHSON
- Have a minimum 3.2 GPA
- Be committed to return to school within 12-18 months of graduating from JHSON to pursue an advanced nursing degree
- Successfully interview with SPAN selection committee and nurse managers from partner health care facility
- Satisfy hiring criteria mandated by partner institution
- Be committed to your employer and the program for three years
- While not required, CNE or related health care clinical work experience and/or experience working with desired unit population is a plus
How can I apply?
Before applying to the SPAN Program be certain to review our FAQs. To be considered for the program you must first indicate on your Synthesis course application that you are also applying to the SPAN Program. Then you must submit a completed application by midnight, Wednesday, October 18, 2017. Your application must include:
Essays should be 1-2 pages, single-spaced, and typed. Essays longer than specified will not be read beyond the second page. Your essay should address why you became a nurse, why you are interested in SPAN and describe your career and graduate school goals. You should include when and where you plan to attend graduate school and your clinical practice area(s) and/or nursing units of interest. If you have a preference to be placed at any of the partner institutions, include that information as well and why this/these placement(s) interest you.
4) Recommendations including Preceptor Form
Two (2) letters of recommendation that address why you are a strong candidate for the SPAN program. One recommendation must be from a former supervisor at a previous place of employment where you worked for at least 6 months. Your second recommendation should be from a clinical faculty member at JHSON who has worked with you in skills labs and/or clinical settings and is familiar with your academic AND clinical performance. References should refer to your academic aptitude, performance in clinical or work settings, professionalism, and readiness to be successful as a graduate student. Your references should go to this link, answer the questions, and upload their letters of recommendation through the website no later than midnight, October 20, 2017. An optional third recommendation from another JHSON clinical faculty member, or from a supervisor who is familiar with your work as a CNE or your related health care clinical work experience, will be considered by the selection committee.
In addition to a minimum of two letters of recommendation, you must have a clinical preceptor who has observed you in a clinical setting, and worked with you for an entire shift complete this online form no later than midnight, October 20, 2017. In this case, a clinical preceptor is defined as a registered nurse with whom you shadowed and/or assisted during a clinical rotation on a unit where s/he works as an RN or clinical instructor. This person may be a JHSON clinical course coordinator, JHSON clinical instructor or may be a nurse employed at any hospital where you completed clinical hours since beginning nursing school.
References use this form
Preceptors use this form
Incomplete applications will not be considered.
The selection process
All applications will be reviewed by the selection committee on a first come, first served basis. Students are encouraged to get their applications in as soon as possible for the best chance at being considered. Finalists will be selected based on the content of their applications, their clinical interests and desired employer(s), and the number of spaces and types of clinical placements available. Preference will be given to applicants who will be pursuing an advanced level nursing degree at Johns Hopkins School of Nursing. If selected as a finalist, you will be invited in for an interview with the SPAN selection committee at the JHSON and then interview with nurse manager(s) from the partner institution prior to the start of the Synthesis course practicum. These practicum experiences will translate to post-graduation employment offers provided the student believes the unit to be a good fit, and vice versa and the student meets all hiring and performance criteria.
Application deadline for spring 2018 cohort
Midnight, Wednesday, October 18, 2017.
Letters of recommendation from references are due no later than Friday, October 20, 2017.
Applicants will be notified of their standing no later than November 17, 2017.
Sarah Firestone, SPAN Program Coordinator
*SPAN Participants placed at Johns Hopkins Hospital work for two years full-time with the option of part-time work their third year.
The SPAN Program is produced with the assistance of a Nurse Support II Program grant #16-112 under the auspices of the Health Services Cost Review Commission. Opinions, findings, and conclusions expressed herein do not necessarily reflect the position or policy of the Health Services Cost Review Commission, and no official endorsement should be inferred.