MD Trying to Prevent Nursing Shortage

Washington Post staff reporter, Rick Rojas, recently wrote an article documenting the incredible efforts going on in Maryland to increase the number of nurses as well as nursing educators.  The Maryland Hospital Association plan to give $15.5 million over the next five years to 17 MD nursing schools to increase the number of students they can accept in their programs, which should also increase the number of nurses in the state.  The grant money will be coming from a number of sources, but mainly from healthcare providers, insurers, and individual donors all worrisome over the inevitable nursing shortage. 

The number of patients filling doctors’ offices is growing at an alarming rate in MD.  Catherine Crowley, VP of the Maryland Hospital Association, explains that with life expectancies going up due to more healthy and active citizens, Maryland will need 10,000 more nurses than it currently has in order to meet the needs of patients. 

According to Nancy Fiedler, a spokeswoman for the Maryland Hospital Association, the average age for a nurse in MD is 47, and about 43% of all nurses plan on retiring sometime in the next three years.  Crowley says the problem is further developed when approximately 1,000 qualified nursing school applicants are turned down each year due to inadequate faculty numbers and classroom space. 

Crowley estimates that about 360 more faculty members are needed in MD nursing school programs.  The schools also have to buy upgraded medical technology and new laboratories.  Since the distribution of monies has been announced, Montgomery College, one of the recipients, already has plans in place to invest their piece of the pie into three new laboratories. 

To read the entire Washington Post article, click here: Preventive Medicine for A Shortage Of Nurses