Peace Corps Pipeline to MSN (Entry into Nursing)

The relationship between Peace Corps volunteers and the Johns Hopkins School of Nursing (JHSON) has been a rewarding one for both sides, with stories of bright, community-minded individuals looking for their place in the world and finding it—after a stint abroad—in East Baltimore. After that, the world is wide open.

JHSON annually offers up to seven $30,000 Coverdell Scholarships to returned Peace Corps volunteers (RPCVs) upon their admission to the Master’s (Entry into Nursing) program. Additionally, one RPCV each year also receives a Gurtler Scholarship, a $60,000 grant, announced each fall. Recruiting RPCVs is one more avenue for bringing the best of the best to the Master’s Entry program.

Take Allison D’Olio-Lundgren, bringing the tools she honed in Ecuador—particularly how to reach, and teach, young people about sexual health and to safeguard that nation’s legal sex workers—to a nursing program built to encourage, embrace, and enhance her natural leadership abilities.

Allison D’Olio-Lundgren in Ecuador

Or Cheryl Finnell, who recognized and used their own good fortune to change that of at-risk communities, from Massachusetts to Cameroon—and currently serves as an obstetrics and neonatal nurse at Johns Hopkins Hospital.

And Laura Moro, who trained health workers and local villagers on nutrition, sanitation, hygiene, and malaria prevention in Sao, Senegal. “The Peace Corps gave me a second family, it taught me the true meaning of cultural understanding.” She found a third family at JHSON.

Each earned a Gurtler Scholarship and is either there or upon a journey to serve whatever community they choose (even as faculty). And for JHSON, all serve as beacons to Peace Corps volunteers looking to make an even bigger difference, in nursing and the world. For these and so many other RPCVs, the road goes through Baltimore and JHSON.

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Steve St. Angelo is editorial strategist for the Johns Hopkins School of Nursing and editor of Johns Hopkins Nursing magazine.

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