The Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing (JHUSON) marked the graduation of its largest accelerated class of baccalaureate students to date-163 students-at commencement ceremonies on July 20, 2007. Graduates represented 35 different states in addition to the District of Columbia, Canada, China, Netherlands, South Korea, Israel, Dominican Republic, and the Philippines; and came to JHUSON from 60 different programs of study at 119 colleges and universities.
The keynote address at the July commencement ceremony was delivered by Joshua Sharfstein, MD, the Commissioner of Health in Baltimore City since December 2005. Sharfstein, who previously served on the minority staff of the Government Reform Committee of the U.S. House of Representatives, working for Congressman Henry A. Waxman, spoke to the graduates about the importance of public health and how all nurses need a public health attitude when dealing with patients and the community as a whole. During his speech, Sharfstein joked that he had written a 15-minute speech, but since they were accelerated students he would try to condense it to only six minutes.
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 BS in Nursing in only 13.5 months. The program begins in June of each year and ends 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 Bachelor of Science degree with a major in Nursing and are qualified to take the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX) to obtain licensure as a registered nurse.