Baltimore, Md. – The University of Maryland School of Nursing recently received a three-year, $774,651 grant from the Division of Nursing, Health Resources Services Administration (HRSA) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to enhance and expand its nurse-midwifery education program.
The only one of its kind in the state of Maryland, the nurse-midwifery program began in 1999 and graduated its first class in 2001. With the HRSA grant, the School of Nursing seeks to strengthen the focus of the program on reduction of disparities in Maryland, particularly the disparity between the childbearing outcomes of White women and those of Black and Latina women. The federal grant also supports the School in placing parts of the curriculum on-line so residents of rural areas can access courses without coming to Baltimore.
During the grant period, experts in health disparities and cultural customization of care will conduct a comprehensive review, revision and evaluation of the curriculum, and significant parts of all nurse-midwifery courses will be converted to a web-based format. The School is taking these steps to significantly increase the diversity of students in the nurse-midwifery specialty from both rural and urban areas of the state.
"We sought these funds to address Maryland's tragic paradox: in 2000, only four states had higher per capita income than Maryland, but 36 states had better infant mortality rates," stated Sally Tom, EDM, RN, CNM, FACNM, assistant professor in the Department of Child, Women's and Family Health and coordinator of the School's nurse-midwifery specialty. "Maryland's mothers and babies will be healthier if more women have access to nurse-midwifery care. We are very grateful that the federal government is supporting our efforts."