The Indiana University Board of Trustees has approved a request to allow fourth-year IU School of Medicine students to voluntarily graduate early to help the state’s healthcare workers during the COVID-19 pandemic surge.
Medical students who volunteer will graduate April 15, then will be employed by a health care facility that has contacted the state or the IU School of Medicine with a need. A virtual graduation is set for May 15 and will be available to all graduating students.
Nursing students who volunteer will be placed into one of two groups. The first group is seniors who have completed courses and requirements, who will be issued a 90-day temporary license and postpone the state licensing exam. Students at earlier stages of education will be asked to respond to an Indiana State Department of Health survey to match their skills and education.
“Leaders at the IU School of Nursing have been working to develop guidelines and share critical research findings that will enable nursing students to work safely if they choose to volunteer,” IU School of Nursing Dean Robin Newhouse said. “The essential and central contribution of nurses during the pandemic response is complex as well as physically and mentally demanding 24 hours a day. We are very proud of our graduates already serving in various health settings on the front lines of this crisis. It is clear to us that our nursing students are ready to help and will rise to meet the health care needs of patients.”