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Posted: 7/29/2009

The Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing (JHUSON) has received a $1.6 million Nurse Support Program (NSP) II grant to increase the number of masters prepared nurses qualified to fill faculty vacancies Maryland schools of nursing. NSP II grants aim to expand the capacity to educate nurses by concentrating on schools offering nursing programs.

According to an American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) report, U.S. nursing schools turned away nearly 50,000 qualified applicants in 2008 due in part to an insufficient number of faculty.

To obtain the grant, JHUSON associate professor Kathleen White, PhD, RN, CEA-BC, FAAN and team members, Drs. Anne Belcher, Sharon Olsen and Pam Jeffries submitted a proposal, "Needs Based Graduate Education II Online Masters Specialty."  The grant outlines a plan to offer the Health and Clinical Nurse Specialist tracks of the Masters program using online and distance learning technology.   By affording more students the opportunity to pursue graduate degrees in a flexible and convenient manner, the likelihood of preparing nurses qualified to fill faculty vacancies will increase.

Previous partners in the first NSP II grant submitted by the JHUSON, Johns Hopkins Hospital, Hopkins Bayview Medical Center, Mercy Health Services, St. Agnes Health Care, Greater Baltimore Medical Center (GBMC), and Howard County General Hospital wrote letters of support for this current grant.

"It was wonderful to see such overwhelming support," White said. "It demonstrates how important it is to offer the master's program in an online format.  Students have also been asking for more online courses and this should meet an important need."

The grant is funded by the Maryland Health Services Cost Review Commission (HSCRC) and the Maryland Higher Education Commission (MHEC).