Rebecca Wiseman, PhD ’93, RN, associate professor and chair of the University of Maryland School of Nursing (UMSON) at the Universities at Shady Grove, has been awarded a $265,467 Nurse Support Program II (NSP II) grant to establish the Maryland Nursing Workforce Center at the University of Maryland, Baltimore (UMB).
Funded through the Maryland Health Services Cost Review Commission and administered by the Maryland Higher Education Commission (MHEC), the grant will fund the project over two years.
Through the project, Wiseman will ensure the state of Maryland is meeting the recommendation in the Institute of Medicine’s (IOM) 2010 Future of Nursing report calling for improving collection methods of workforce data. To plan for future workforce needs and to measure the success of programs and initiatives related to the report’s recommendations, an accurate and comprehensive data set is essential. The Maryland Nursing Workforce Center will be responsible for compiling and reporting this data.
"It is difficult to secure accurate and adequate data on workforce-related issues and to measure the state’s progress on the IOM Future of Nursing recommendations when we do not have baseline data. In Maryland, there are pockets of data, but this data is not readily available to all constituents," Wiseman said. "The Maryland Nursing Workforce Center will provide a centralized repository of data to use for projections of future nursing resource needs, understanding diversity of the workforce, planning for educational programs to meet current and future requirements, identifying geographical distribution of nursing resources, and grant writing."
The Maryland Nursing Workforce Center will enable the state to gather critical data in three key areas: faculty, pipeline, and practice. Faculty data will focus on statistics related to the number of faculty positions available, projected faculty needs, areas with the most faculty vacancies, and educational background of faculty members. Relevant data for the pipeline includes the number of nursing students currently in nursing programs, graduation rates, National Council Licensure Examination pass rates, projected need for new nurses, recruitment and retention initiatives, number of qualified nursing school candidates denied admission, student diversity, and clinical placements. The practice data details projected nursing demands, current workforce numbers, nursing shortage locations, and diversity within the workforce.
"We are grateful to the Nurse Support Program II for funding this project to establish a Maryland Nursing Workforce Center and thank Dr. Wiseman for her significant leadership on this undertaking," said UMSON Dean Jane M. Kirschling, PhD, RN, FAAN, who also serves as co-chair of the Maryland Action Coalition (MDAC), established in 2011 to address the Future of Nursing report’s recommendations. "This center is an important outgrowth of the ongoing work of MDAC and its commitment to advancing the recommendations of the IOM report. Along with my MDAC co-chair, Patricia Travis, PhD, RN, CCRP, we applaud this important step in providing a much-needed source of statewide nursing workforce data. The center’s work will support long-range planning on the need for nurses and nurse faculty and will allow for coordination of nursing workforce development throughout Maryland. We are confident it will provide an important resource for nursing leaders, policymakers, and regulatory bodies in our state. And it is a critical step in ensuring that in the years ahead, all Maryland residents have access to high-quality care that fosters better health and well-being."
NSP II grants aid in increasing the capacity of nurses in Maryland by implementing statewide initiatives to grow the number of nurses prepared to serve effectively in faculty roles. MHEC offers a number of educational grant programs, funded by state general funds, special funds, and federal funds, designed to address Maryland’s economic and workforce development needs, campus reform initiatives, student preparation for post-secondary education, faculty and student diversity goals, and teacher professional development objectives.
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The University of Maryland School of Nursing, founded in 1889, is one of the oldest and largest nursing schools in the United States and is in the top 10 nationally for all of its ranked master’s and DNP specialties. Enrolling nearly 1,900 students in its baccalaureate, master’s, and doctoral programs, the School develops leaders who shape the profession of nursing and impact the health care environment.