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First Doctoral Students Graduate from Joint Hopkins/PUMC Nursing Program


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Posted: 7/10/2008

Through a joint program between the Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing (JHUSON) and the Peking Union Medical College (PUMC) School of Nursing, five doctoral students are the first Chinese nurses to receive a nursing PhD from a Chinese university. 

The first graduates Gao Feng Li, He Zhong, Liang Tao, Liang Xiaokun and Li Yang received their degrees in Beijing on July 9, 2008.  The five new PhD nurses are either current faculty members or hospital nurse executives at PUMC.  All will eventually become faculty in the PhD Program at PUMC. 

The joint JHUSON-PUMC program, funded by the China Medical Board of New York, Inc., was established in 2004 with the goal of bringing China and its health care system an internationally recognized, doctoral-level model for Chinese nursing education.  “This is an historic moment in the healthcare of China and reflects on the breathtaking timeline from the planning to outcomes of this program,” says Marie T. Nolan, PhD, MPH, RN, associate professor and director of the JHUSON-PUMC Doctoral Program Partnership.  

Dr. Nolan and Dr. Martha N. Hill, PhD, RN, FAAN, Dean of the JHUSON, attended the July 9 graduation ceremonies in Beijing and were recognized in the celebrations.  Dr. Hill began exploring the potential for such a program in 2001 when she collaborated with the Dean of Nursing from PUMC to develop a model program and obtain funding from the China Medical Board.  The program officially launched in 2004 under the leadership of the the late Dr. Vicki Mock, then JHUSON-PUMC program director, with the first cohort enrolled in the fall of 2005.

A hallmark of the program is the requirement for each student to spend a semester on campus at the JHUSON in Baltimore, MD.  While there, students participate in doctoral seminars with SON students, observe U.S. health care delivery systems, learn about the best of evidence-based nursing practices, and work toward finalizing their dissertations. 

Two additional cohorts comprised of nurses from throughout China, are now completing the program. The second completed their studies at Johns Hopkins East Baltimore Campus in fall 2007, and the third and final cohort will arrive in August 2008.  “Having doctoral students from China and other countries, such as South Africa, in doctoral seminars at Hopkins has transformed discussions about issues such as ethics in international research,” says Nolan. 

The tradition of a Hopkins relationship with the Chinese medical community goes back nearly a century, starting in 1919 when Anna D. Wolf, a 1915 graduate of the Hopkins School of Nursing, was PUMC Superintendent of Nurses, and after establishing a collegiate PUMC nursing education program, served as its dean from 1924 to 1925.  Wolf later became director of Nursing at Johns Hopkins Hospital (1940 to 1955).  “The JHUSON-PUMC program provides tremendous opportunities for our faculty and doctoral students to develop collegial relationships with the current and future leaders of nursing in China,” says Nolan.  “It has been an honor and a privilege for us to collaborate with them as they lead the nursing profession in China into a new era.”