Move over Clara Barton. The announcement this week by Villa Julie College and Union Memorial Hospital of a new, "hands-on" baccalaureate nursing degree program that allows students to begin clinical work in hospitals during their first year promises to be as revolutionary an advance as the creation of the nursing profession itself more than a century ago by the legendary founder of the Red Cross.
The Villa Julie-Union Memorial program, which will open in September, is aimed especially at adults thinking of switching to nursing careers. It will offer both night and weekend classes and lead to a four-year bachelor of science in nursing degree.
With a national shortage of nurses that could exceed 400,000 by the year 2000, the Villa Julie-Union Memorial program will play an important role in providing trained personnel for what has becoming an increasingly complex and technologically sophisticated health-care system. Purely in economic terms, the health-care industry is now the largest private employer in the Baltimore area. The Villa Julie-Union Memorial program will thus be in an excellent position to extend into the 21st century the great tradition which Barton inspired.