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Early Decision Applications Surge for Accelerated Nursing Program

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Posted: 12/17/2009

As nursing schools throughout the nation experience increasing numbers of applications for all programs of study, the Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing (JHUSON) is reporting a remarkable 47 percent jump in early decision applications to its accelerated 13-month program. 

This year's JHUSON accelerated programs early decision applicant pool -- a diverse group of men and women of various ages and ethnicities from across the country -- shares several characteristics, most notably a strong academic background, and a desire to be a nurse and work with underserved populations.  Their increasing numbers -- even when compared to the Johns Hopkins University general increase of 10 percent in early decision applications -- are significant in the Schools application history and appear to illustrate a growing interest in the nursing profession.   

Preliminary data from the American Association of Colleges of Nursing also shows an overall 3.5 percent increase in nursing school enrollments nationwide, a trend that might reflect the changing perceptions about nursing and the opportunities the profession offers.  Another factor possibly fueling both applicant and enrollment growth is a recent Gallup annual survey of professions for their honesty and ethical standards that shows nurses were voted  the most trusted profession in the country for the eighth consecutive year.

The SON Admissions and Student Services Office attributes part of the surge in applications to an increased number of online chats with admissions officers, enhanced outreach to prospective students promoting the School's programs and events, and more recruitment receptions with alumni across the country.

"We have always had a very hands-on approach in recruiting and throughout the application process," Mary ORourke, the Director of Admissions and Student Services, says. "The Admissions Office even calls every admitted student to congratulate them on their acceptance."

Sandra Angell, Associate Dean for Student Affairs, believes the School has another recruitment asset:  a growing community of alumni across the country spreading the word about Hopkins nursing.  As the School concludes this year's anniversary celebrations of 25 years as a university school and 120 years of nursing education at Hopkins, Angell notes these alumni are among the best recruiters.  "It's clear that Hopkins has name recognition associated with high quality education. A lot of students hear about our program from an alumnus or worked with someone who graduated from the School or the previous nursing programs at Hopkins," she notes.

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 ends in July of the following year.