Baltimore, Md. - The Maryland Health Services Cost Review Commission, the state agency charged with setting rates for Maryland Hospitals, in collaboration with the Maryland Higher Education Commission, has approved funding for a Nurse Support Program (NSP) in the amount $9.4 million a year over the next 10 years to support two initiatives to help alleviate Maryland's critical shortage of nurse faculty and bedside nurses. Funding will be used to expand the pool of nurses in the Maryland by increasing the capacity of nursing programs.
The first statewide initiative will provide funding for graduate nursing faculty scholarships and living expenses, new nursing faculty fellowships, and state nursing scholarship and living expenses grants. The second program, the competitive institutional grants initiative, will expand the state's nursing capacity through shared resources, increase the state's nursing faculty, increase nursing student retention, and increase the pipeline for nurse faculty.
"This funding comes at a time when the state and the nation are experiencing a severe shortage of nurse faculty, which resulted in Maryland nursing schools denying admission to nearly 2,000 qualified applicants in 2003-2004," says Janet D. Allan, PhD, RN, CS, FAAN, dean of the University of Maryland School of Nursing. Dean Allan, who arrived in Maryland in 2002, has made finding solutions to the nurse and nurse faculty shortage her priority. She led her peers and collaborated with other health care providers in the state to conceive and help develop the NSP.
"This state initiative is unprecedented," says Dean Allan. "Maryland needs nurses, and to get more nurses, we need the nurse faculty to educate them. This program couldn't have come at a better time."
For more information about the Nurse Support Program, call 410-764-2566.