November 2021

Nursing Students Graduating Early Again for Front Lines

November 23, 2021    |  

In the continued response to the COVID-19 pandemic and Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan’s request, the University of Maryland School of Nursing (UMSON) for the fourth time has approved an early exit for entry-into-nursing students who are scheduled to graduate on Dec. 23, 2021. In an effort to bolster the nursing workforce, students approved for an early exit can begin working as nursing graduates.

University of Maryland School of Nursing Dean Jane M. Kirschling overseeing a virtual commencement ceremony in May 2021.

University of Maryland School of Nursing Dean Jane M. Kirschling overseeing a virtual commencement ceremony in May 2021.

All 161 graduating Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) students will exit as early as Nov. 19, provided they have successfully completed fall 2021 courses. And 11 graduating entry-into-nursing Clinical Nurse Leader (CNL) master’s students opted to exit as early as Nov. 19. To be eligible for the early-exit option, CNL students had to meet specific GPA and academic program requirements. Exits for both groups will continue until the first week of December.

UMSON has collaborated with the chief nursing officers of local major hospital systems such as the University of Maryland Medical System, the Johns Hopkins Health System, MedStar Health, Luminis Health Anne Arundel Medical Center, and Holy Cross Health and has ascertained their need for and interest in hiring nursing graduates. Students who are exiting early have been encouraged to pursue nursing graduate positions at these and other employers to support the state’s health care systems through the pandemic.

“We are committed to continuing to partner with Maryland’s health care systems to support them in meeting the needs of our state,” said Jane M. Kirschling, PhD, RN, FAAN, the Bill and Joanne Conway Dean of UMSON. “Now in its fourth iteration, our early-exit option has been a vital source of new nursing graduates for Maryland’s nursing workforce as area facilities continue to grapple with the ramifications of the pandemic. Nurses throughout Maryland have served courageously on the front lines for over 20 months. I am proud of our entry-into-practice students for their willingness to support these efforts, and I applaud all of our students for their resiliency and for persevering in their studies during a difficult time marked by uncertainty and ongoing challenges. Maryland is well served by all of these truly dedicated individuals.”

Read more about the response in The Baltimore Sun.