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August 16, 2004

Contact: Patricia Adams

University of Maryland School of Nursing to Launch Institute For Nurse Educators

Baltimore, Md. - The University of Maryland School of Nursing is launching an Institute for Nurse Educators this fall to address the critical and growing shortage of nursing faculty in Maryland and across the nation.

A recent survey conducted by the School of Nursing revealed that Maryland's nursing schools turned away nearly 2,000 qualified Associate in Arts and Bachelor of Science in Nursing applicants last year, due mostly to the lack of faculty. This does not bode well for Maryland hospitals, who continue to experience a shortage of nurses (10.8 percent in 2003, as reported by the Maryland Hospital Association), and who rely on area nursing schools to help fill those positions.

To work as a faculty member, nurses must have a master's degree in nursing or a related field or a doctoral degree. To this end, the Institute will centralize nurse education resources to prepare nurses with the essential knowledge and skills they need to assume educator roles in both academic and clinical settings. The Institute will provide classroom and web-based courses for an education minor as part of a master's degree, a doctoral degree, or a post-master's certificate for nurses or other health care professionals. A variety of ongoing professional development courses for current faculty and clinical nurse educators will also be offered.

"There is no quick solution to the nurse faculty shortage," says Janet D. Allan, PhD, RN, CS, FAAN, dean of the School of Nursing. "However, the Institute for Nurse Educators will help us make major strides towards alleviating the problem by focusing our attention on the recruitment and preparation of nurses for faculty roles."

For more information, contact interim program co-directors Louise Jenkins, PhD, RN, associate professor, 410-706-4296 or e-mail jenkins@son.umaryand.edu or Carol O'Neil, PhD, RN, assistant professor, 410-706-8706 or e-mail oneil@son.umaryland.edu.

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