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Posted: 8/19/2008

On July 18, 2008, more than 129 accelerated students--118 women and 11 men--from the Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing (JHUSON) filed into Shriver Hall on the Universitys Homewood campus, marking their transition from students to nurses.

Linda D. Shockney, MAS, BS, RN, a University Distinguished Service Assistant Professor of Breast Cancer and Administrative Director of Johns Hopkins Avon Foundation Breast Cancer Center, delivered the commencement address. As a breast cancer survivor, she relayed stories from the perspective of both a nurse and a patient, urging the graduates to put always put the patient first.

Since 1997, Shockney has served as administrative director of the Breast Center. In 2008, she was appointed as a University Distinguished Service Assistant Professor in the School of Medicine, an award given by the Dean of the School of Medicine, President of the University, and Board of Trustees. She is the first hospital nurse to be made a faculty member in surgery and the first nurse to receive a distinguished service title from the university.

Student Anthony Pho also addressed his fellow graduates, reflecting on how quickly the 13.5-month accelerated program went by, and how much they learned.

"There are many challenges that lay ahead for us as we each find our place in health care," he said. "From bedside to O.R., classroom to village health post, we are a new generation of nurses that can advocate for patients, be change agents in health care, and one day, educate the next generation of nurses. This is our charge."

The JHUSON accelerated program, launched in 1989, was developed in response to the nationwide nursing shortage to allow students who already hold a degree to graduate with a Bachelor of Science degree in Nursing in only 13.5 months. The program begins in June of each year and end in July of the following year. The accelerated programs content, classes, and clinical requirements are exactly the same as the traditional 21-month program; and upon successful completion, the students receive a BS with a major in Nursing and are qualified to take the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX) to obtain licensure as a registered nurse.