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Peace and friendship. Service to others. Helping your neighbor. It's the spirit of the Peace Corps — and the spirit of nursing — that we hear in corps founding director R. Sargent Shriver's call to look "more at each other."
This year, the Peace Corps celebrates its 50th anniversary. Since 1961, more than 200,000 U.S. volunteers have worked in 139 countries, helping their neighbors and promoting peace and understanding between nations.
But 2011 marks another milestone: the 20th anniversary of the Peace Corps Fellows program at the Johns Hopkins School of Nursing. The program was established in 1991 to provide community-outreach opportunities and financial assistance to Johns Hopkins nursing students who are returned Peace Corps volunteers More than 300 RPCVs have become Johns Hopkins nurses through this program.
"I hadn't considered nursing until I served in the Peace Corps. I realized the power that nurses have, particularly in the developing world, and how much I enjoy working at the community level to help people to help themselves," says Devon Gershaneck, accelerated BS '06. Today she is a nurse in the Emergency Department at The Johns Hopkins Hospital. In August, she will earn two more Johns Hopkins degrees — master's degrees in nursing and public health — from a nurse practitioner training program designed for students interested in community and public health.
Adapted from Johns Hopkins Nursing magazine, Spring 2011
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