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July 9, 2007

Contact: Patricia Adams

University of Maryland School of Nursing Receives Grant to Increase and Diversify Nursing Informatics Workforce

Baltimore, Md.—Judy Ozbolt, PhD, RN, FAAN, a professor at the University of Maryland School of Nursing, has received a three-year, $950,544 grant from the Division of Nursing, Health Resources and Services Administration, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, for her study, Nursing Informatics Program Focused on Diversity and the Underserved. The purpose of the project is to increase the workforce of diverse, culturally competent nursing informatics (NI) specialists by revising and expanding the School of Nursing's master's and post-master's online informatics programs. The grant will allow the School to hire more NI faculty and upgrade Web-based courses.

“Strengthening our online NI program will allow us to extend our outreach to potential students in Maryland and around the world who cannot afford to quit their jobs or uproot their families to pursue advanced education,“ says Ozbolt. “We hope this will increase the diversity of our students and faculty, while helping to meet the growing demand for NI specialists, as health care organizations implement electronic health records and decision support systems to improve the safety and quality of care.“

Graduates, especially those in underserved areas, will help improve access to quality health care and strengthen health care systems through the provision of information tools that support the quality, safety, and evidence base of practice. Graduates of the program are eligible for the American Nurses Credentialing Center nursing informatics certification examination.

A pioneer in the nursing informatics field, the University of Maryland School of Nursing created the world's first master's program in nursing informatics in 1988. This specialty prepares nursing professionals to enhance the quality of patient care and outcomes through the development, implementation, use, and evaluation of information tools.

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