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Maryland lets nursing students leave early amid pandemic

November 21, 2021 GMT

BALTIMORE (AP) — Nursing students at the University of Maryland are getting an early jump on their post-graduate careers.

The university’s nursing school is allowing its students who are scheduled to graduate on Dec. 23 to leave a few weeks early and begin working in the field. The move is motivated by a nursing shortage during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Baltimore Sun reports that it’s the fourth time the school has approved such an early-exit program. This time, it was in response to a request from Republican Gov. Larry Hogan

All 161 bachelor’s degree students and 11 master’s degree students will leave early during a period that runs from Friday to the first week of December.

“Nurses throughout Maryland have served courageously on the front lines for over 20 months,” the school’s dean, Jane Kirschling, said in a statement. “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.”