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Four officers from the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare (MHLW) of Japan visited the Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing (JHUSON) on January 31 to learn more about advance practice nursing and short-term special training for graduate students.
During their visit, the delegation attended presentations by JHUSON faculty, met with Associate Dean for Academic Affairs Pamela Jeffries, PhD, RN, FAAN, ANEF; Executive Director for the Institute for Johns Hopkins Nursing Jane Shivnan, MScN, RN, AOCN; and other members of Johns Hopkins International.
"The Japanese delegates are very interested in the different programs we use in the U.S. to train our nurses," said Dean Martha N. Hill, PhD, RN. "We were able to show them how Hopkins prepares its nurses to meet the national and global demand, and the Japanese are hoping to model their curriculums from ours."
The delegation consisted of Tadayuki Mizutani, First Secretary (Health and Welfare) from the Embassy of Japan in the U.S.; Kiyoko Okuda and Yoko Shimada from the Nursing Division, Health Policy Bureau MHLW; and Kazunobu Kimoto, from the Medical Services Division, Health Policy Bureau, MHLW. Japan, like the U.S., is facing a shortage of qualified nurses, and it's difficult to attract students to attend nursing school. In a written report, the delegation stated in the current Japanese nursing system, all nurses must pass the National exam in order to be qualified as a licensed nurse before obtaining work in that field. If a nurse continues further education in a specific field and passes an additional non-governmental exam, they will become Certified Nurse Specialists (CNS).
However, a special group within the MHLW is designing a new system, Specific Practice Nurses (SPN), to take responsibilities ordinarily performed by physicians and give them to nurses. According to the new design, only nurses who have practical working experience with higher level medical education can work as an SPN. The Japanese delegation is looking at the American Advance Practice Nurse (APN) option, specifically at Hopkins, as a model to set up their new SPN program. They also are looking to model a new program after the JHUSON accelerated baccalaureate program, to offer students with non-medical degrees the opportunity to earn a nursing degree.