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Montgomery College and University of Maryland School of Nursing Partner to Address Statewide Nursing Shortage

With a shortage of bedside nurses in the state of Maryland, a new partnership between Montgomery College and the University of Maryland School of Nursing’s (UMSON) program at the Universities at Shady Grove (USG) in Rockville is attacking the issue. The joint venture was awarded a two-year Nurse Support Program II grant through the Maryland Health Services Cost Review Commission and the Maryland Higher Education Commission to develop a Model Dual Enrollment (MDE) project.

The goal of the MDE project is to create a smooth transition from the Associate’s Degree in Nursing (ADN) to the Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN), increasing the number of bedside nursing candidates in Maryland. Although each of the institutions currently has their own nursing program, the grant would allow them to share resources in developing the MDE project. If successful, the MDE project could be duplicated by other colleges and universities in the state, creating even more bedside nursing prospects.

“The MDE project will give us an opportunity to learn more about each other’s programs and will set the groundwork for building on each school’s strengths,” says Rebecca Wiseman, PhD, RN, assistant dean for the UMSON program at USG. “We are excited about the possibilities this partnership holds for each of our institutions.”

Believed to be a step in the right direction for increasing bedside nursing candidates, the award will also help further the mission of the Institute of Medicine’s Future of Nursing Campaign for Action to advance comprehensive health care change. A major barrier in solving the problem of the dearth of bedside nurses has been the struggle of ADN graduates to complete their BSN degrees. The Maryland Action Coalition, an arm of The Future of Nursing Campaign for Action, has identified an improved education system that promotes seamless academic progression as a solution and top priority.

“One of the barriers to ADN nurses continuing for their BSN degree is a perception that there is no value in further education,” said Montgomery College Associate Dean/Director of Nursing Barbara Nubile, MSN, RN. “By working together, MC and UMSON will be able to develop a transition from ADN to BSN that clearly demonstrates the added knowledge, skills, and abilities that further education provides. This is an exciting project, not just for the two schools, but also for the state.”

The Future of Nursing: Campaign for Action is coordinated through the Center to Champion Nursing in America, the AARP Foundation, and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. The MDE project will be funded through Fiscal Year 2014, totaling more than $161,000.

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