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June 19, 2006

Contact: Patricia Adams

University of Maryland School of Nursing Receives Grants Totaling Over $2M to Support New Graduate Programs

Funds earmarked to address nurse and nurse faculty shortages.

Baltimore, Md. – The University of Maryland School of Nursing has received two five-year grants totaling $2,345,000 from the Maryland Health Services Cost Review Commission's Nurse Support Program II. This program was specifically developed to help alleviate the state's critical shortage of nursing faculty and bedside nurses. The grant will support two new initiatives at the School of Nursing – the Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) degree and an on-line master's preparation program for staff nurses to expand their clinical instruction capacity.

“This state initiative is unprecedented and hopefully will serve as a national model,” says Janet D. Allan, PhD, RN, CS, FAAN, dean of the School of Nursing, who led her peers and collaborated with other health care providers in the state to conceive and help develop the Nurse Support Program. “It is clear that we cannot prepare more nurses for our state without more qualified faculty. The Nurse Support Program II provides funds to directly address the need for both nurses and nurse faculty.”

One grant, in the amount of $1,020,000, will provide funding for the School's new DNP degree, the first in the state of Maryland. This program appeals to many master's prepared, experienced clinicians, executives, and nurses specializing in informatics, who desire the doctoral credential recommended or required to become nursing faculty, but who do not wish to pursue the research-focused PhD degree. Graduates will be prepared to assume leadership roles in nursing education and practice.

The second grant in the amount of $1,325,000 will fund a unique collaborative effort between the School of Nursing and two Maryland hospitals, Franklin Square Medical Center and the University of Maryland Medical Center. The grant provides an opportunity for staff nurses to obtain a master's degree through the School's online “Health Services Leadership and Management” master's specialty. Graduates of this program will be able to serve as clinical instructors and student nurse preceptors for the next generation of nurses.

The Maryland Health Services Cost Review Commission awarded seven grants totaling $6 million to nursing schools throughout the state. The University of Maryland School of Nursing was the only school to receive two grants. The projected outcome of the first round of grants is expected to increase graduate enrollments in all Maryland nursing schools by an estimated total of 500 students over five years.

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