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January 6, 2009

Contact: Patricia Adams

University of Maryland School of Nursing Receives $1 Million Gift for Student Scholarships

Baltimore, Md.—The University of Maryland School of Nursing has received a pledge of $1 million from Mary Catherine Bunting, a 1972 graduate of the School's Master of Science program. The donation will establish the Mary Catherine Bunting Scholarship, designated for Maryland residents enrolled in the School's Clinical Nurse Leader (CNL) program.

The CNL program allows people with a bachelor's degree in a non-nursing discipline to obtain a master's degree in nursing in 16 months. Graduates are eligible to take the Registered Nurse (RN) licensure examination, qualifying them for positions in hospitals and health care facilities across the state.

“CNL students pay more than $18,000 a year in tuition and fees, and the extremely rigorous course load makes it impossible for them to work—even part-time—while they are in the program,” says Gail Schoen Lemaire, PhD, PMHCNS, BC, CNL, associate professor and co-director of the CNL program. “This gift will provide a source of financial support for these highly qualified students who, after licensure, will practice nursing in diverse settings in the Baltimore area and throughout the state.”

Ms. Bunting is a retired nurse practitioner and teacher, which has given her a keen appreciation for the value of highly-educated nurses.

“I am concerned about the shortage of nurses facing our state,” says Ms. Bunting. “We need to find creative ways, such as the CNL program, to attract talented individuals and make it possible for them to pursue this vital profession.”

“Ms. Bunting's generosity opens the door to a nursing career for those who could not otherwise afford it,” says Janet D. Allan, PhD, RN, FAAN, dean of the School of Nursing. “This gift presents a wonderful opportunity for our students while benefitting the entire state by bolstering the professional nurse workforce.”

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