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May 29, 2008

Grants Totaling $2.8 Million Awarded to Address Maryland's Nursing Shortage

For Immediate Release:
May 29, 2008

Contact: Patricia Adams

Annapolis, Md.—The Health Services Cost Review Commission (HSCRC) has awarded three institutions grants totaling $2.8 million over five years as part of the third round of funding in the Competitive Institutional Grants component of the Nurse Support Program II (NSP II). HSCRC has contracted with the Maryland Higher Education Commission (MHEC) to administer the Nurse Support Program II.

Funding for NSP II is being provided through a 0.1% increase to the rate structure of all hospitals since July 2005 to promote the program's goal of increasing the number of bedside nurses in Maryland hospitals by expanding the capacity of Maryland's nursing education programs. This innovative program is a unique venture that teams hospitals and colleges to create partnerships to address the critical shortage of nurses. The projected outcomes of this third round of institutional grants expect to increase new RNs by 80, and new Master's and Doctor of Nursing Practice graduates (who will be eligible to become faculty) by 236.

The 16 programs funded in the first two years of NSP II are expected to produce 1,941 new RNs, and 656 new graduates eligible to become faculty.

“The Health Services Cost Review Commission is to be commended for creating this very effective vehicle to address the nursing shortage,” Higher Education Secretary, James E. Lyons, Sr., said. “MHEC is pleased to be a partner by administering the NSP II Program. Governor O'Malley is progressively pursuing measures to address the critical need for more nurses in our State. MHEC is proud to be part of the solution.”

Two of the three projects were awarded to the University of Maryland School of Nursing:

  • A Doctor of Nursing Practice Program Using Online and Blended Teaching Methods: An Initiative to Increase Maryland's Nursing Faculty
  • Nursing Faculty for Maryland

Through the NSP II Program, awards are being made to two types of initiatives, the Competitive Institutional Grants, as detailed above, and Statewide Initiatives. Competitive Institutional Grants require formal proposals in response to a Request for Applications, and include initiatives to expand Maryland's nursing capacity through hospital and nursing school collaboration, increase Maryland nursing faculty, increase student retention, and increase the pipeline for nursing faculty.

Statewide Initiatives provide funding for nursing scholarships and fellowships described below:

  • Graduate Nursing Scholarship and Living Expenses Grants for students to complete the graduate education necessary to become nursing faculty at Maryland institutions of higher education.
  • Fellowships for new nursing faculty hired by Maryland institutions to expand enrollments in their nursing programs.
  • Workforce Shortage Student Assistance Grant Program for students enrolled in nursing programs at Maryland institutions.
  • Janet L. Hoffman Loan Assistance Repayment Program available to Maryland nursing faculty.

“The faculty shortage continues to limit the needed expansion of nursing programs in Maryland,” said Janet D. Allan, PhD, RN, FAAN, dean of the University of Maryland School of Nursing. “The funding of these two University of Maryland School of Nursing projects will support the education of new faculty for the state.”

For more information, see www.mhec.state.md.us/Grants/NSPII/NSPII.asp.

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