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December 9, 2004

Contact: Patricia Adams

University of Maryland School of Nursing Program to Benefit From Federal Grant

New Institute for Nurse Educators will help address nurse and nurse faculty shortages

Baltimore, Md. – The Institute for Nurse Educators, a new initiative at the University of Maryland School of Nursing, will benefit from funding in the recently approved FY05 Federal Omnibus Appropriations Bill.

The $248,000 grant to establish the Institute at the School of Nursing - pursued by Senator Barbara Mikulski and Representatives Elijah Cummings and Steny Hoyer - will help address a nationwide shortage of nurses and the critically needed nursing faculty. The Institute will prepare nurses with the essential knowledge and skills to assume teaching roles in Maryland and the surrounding region.

A recent informal survey conducted by the School of Nursing revealed that last year, nearly 2,000 qualified applicants were denied admission to associate degree and baccalaureate nursing programs in Maryland, due primarily to a lack of faculty.

"The shortage of nurses is a severe public health crisis and is projected to worsen without significant action," says Janet D. Allan, PhD, RN, CS, FAAN, dean of the School of Nursing. "Clearly, we cannot educate more nurses without additional nursing faculty. While there is no quick solution to the nurse faculty shortage, our Institute for Nurse Educators will help us make major strides towards alleviating the problem."

The Institute, under the leadership of Interim Directors Drs. Louise Jenkins and Carol O'Neil, includes a "Teaching in Nursing and Health Professions" master's certificate program for an education minor or as part of a master's degree, a doctoral degree, or a post-master's certificate for nurses or other professionals. The 12-credit curriculum is offered in the classroom and via web-based courses. This December, six nurses and one genetics counselor will be the first cohort to complete the certificate program.

It is anticipated that the Institute will produce new initiatives and programs, including e-learning, faculty development, continuing education, and the development of the Maryland Faculty in Nursing and Health Professions Network.

"I'm so proud of this federal investment in the University of Maryland, Baltimore, to establish an Institute for Nurse Educators," says Senator Barbara Mikulski. "No school should have to turn away nursing students for lack of faculty, and these funds will address this critical shortage of nurse educators."

"We are extremely grateful to Maryland's entire congressional delegation, especially Senator Mikulski and Representatives Cummings and Hoyer, for their work in support of the Institute and this funding," says Dean Allan.

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