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October 26, 2000

Contact: Patricia Adams

Abell Foundation Grant Funds Planning of Pre-Nursing Academy

Baltimore, Md. – The University of Maryland School of Nursing has announced the receipt of a grant from the Abell Foundation, which will fund the planning of a pre-nursing academy and the development of innovative strategies to address the critical shortage of nurses in Maryland. This collaborative effort between the School of Nursing and Baltimore City Public Schools will focus on the development of a new model for identifying and recruiting middle school students into the academy, which is scheduled to open in September 2001 at Southwestern High School.

In order to address the nursing shortage in our state, we must get college bound youth interested in nursing as a profession, educate them about the many options available in the field and assist them in the pursuit of a nursing career," said Barbara R. Heller, EdD, RN, FAAN, Dean of the School of Nursing.

Beginning in 9th grade and continuing through 12th grade, students will be offered a sequence of college preparatory coursework and electives to prepare them for admission to the School of Nursing. Students will benefit from the School's faculty expertise, advisement and mentoring, and will have the opportunity to meet leaders in the nursing profession. In addition, students will be able to take advantage of the School's rich array of pre-clinical simulation laboratories, its standardized patients and clinical initiatives.

The program is expected to increase students knowledge and appreciation of basic nursing concepts, increase their awareness of the unparalleled career opportunities available in the nursing field, and ultimately provide a cadre of qualified students to enter the nursing profession.

For more information about the pre-nursing academy, call Dr. Linda Thompson, Assistant Dean, Policy and Planning, University of Maryland School of Nursing, 410-706-3664.

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