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May 7, 2001

Contact: Patricia Adams

University of Maryland School of Nursing and Sinai Hospital Partner to Address Nursing Shortage

Baltimore, Md. – The University of Maryland School of Nursing recently announced a joint venture with Sinai Hospital of Baltimore aimed at addressing the nursing shortage in Maryland. The University of Maryland-Sinai Nurse Scholars Program offers financial assistance of up to $5,000 to top School of Nursing students, as well as specialized learning experiences in clinical focus areas. Upon graduation, students will have employment opportunities at Sinai Hospital.

"This cooperative effort demonstrates our commitment to help solve the nursing shortage by making nursing a more attractive and affordable career option for college-bound men and women," said Barbara R. Heller, EdD, RN, FAAN, Dean of the University of Maryland School of Nursing. "Our school provides 41 percent of the state's professional nurse workforce, and the University of Maryland-Sinai Nurse Scholars Program will help eliminate financial barriers to a nursing education."

To qualify for the program, students must be enrolled as undergraduates at the School of Nursing, maintain a minimum 3.0 grade point average, agree to complete their senior practicum at Sinai Hospital, and agree to remain at Sinai Hospital for a period of one year after orientation.

Sinai Hospital of Baltimore has pledged a significant contribution to fund the program. "This strategic partnership builds on an existing relationship with the School and affords us a three-way winning opportunity with the students. In addition to financial assistance, students will enjoy the benefits of learning and working in one of the regions' premiere health care institutions," said Diane Johnson, RN, MBA, CNA, Vice President of Patient Care Services and Chief Nursing Officer at Sinai Hospital. Sinai is the most comprehensive community hospital and the third largest teaching hospital in Maryland. The agreement between the School and Sinai Hospital comes at a time when health facilities in Baltimore and throughout the state are struggling to fill nursing positions. According to the Board of Nursing, the number of registered nurses available to work in Maryland dropped by 2,335 in one year. At the same time, enrollment of nursing students in professional programs has declined, according to the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN). For more information about the program or the University of Maryland School of Nursing, call 1-866-NURSE-UM.

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