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Some UMD nursing students could graduate early to help fight COVID-19

Posted at 10:07 AM, Apr 27, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-28 07:23:12-04

BALTIMORE — Some students at the University of Maryland School of Nursing could be graduating a bit early to help in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.

It's called the early-exit option, and it was approved by the university on the request of Governor Larry Hogan.

Only 151 students in the Bachelor of Science in Nursing and Clinical Nurse Leader master’s program are eligible. They were originally set to graduate on May 14, but would need to meet specific GPA and academic program requirements to get out early.

Those who want to finish up early and go to work, will be given a letter from the university telling potential employers that they have met all the program requirements and have qualified for and taken an early-exit option.

The university has been in talks and working with other area hospital systems to gauge the interest and need for these students.

“We are very pleased to partner with key Maryland health care systems to support them in meeting their needs for nursing personnel during this incredibly critical time,” said Dean Jane Kirschling, PhD, RN, FAAN. “The UMSON students opting into our early-exit option are well prepared and fully equipped to make a major contribution through their service as nursing graduates."

Hogan’s public health surge plan has called for the addition of up to 6,000 hospital beds across the state, including the reopening of Laurel Hospital and a field hospital at the Baltimore Convention Center, which will open Monday.