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Baltimore, MD –  – Maryland Higher Education Commission Secretary Dr. James D. Fielder today announced that $9.6 million was awarded to 16 Maryland nursing programs by the Maryland Higher Education Commission (MHEC) Nurse Support Program II (NSP II).

The FY 2019 Competitive Institutional Grant awards include one-year planning grants, three- year full implementation grants, continuation grants, and nursing resource grants. All were approved for funding by the Health Services Cost Review Commission (HSCRC) at its June 13 meeting.

“We need to ensure that the dedicated professionals providing healthcare services to Marylanders are highly trained and able to adapt to the constantly changing demands of this challenging field,” said Governor Larry Hogan. “This program helps provide our nursing professionals with the educational resources they need to deliver the best possible care to our citizens.”

This joint effort between HSCRC, MHEC, and the higher education institutions in Maryland has been successful in meeting the needs of nursing professionals at hospitals as well as at nursing schools for more than 30 years, providing well-educated and qualified nurses to serve Maryland residents.

“Research shows that Maryland will soon face a nursing shortage; however, we are confident in our ability to meet this challenge by generating highly-educated nurses through an efficient and effective education system,” Secretary Fielder said. “These grants help to educate nurses through numerous programs at Maryland institutions and will address our critical need for nurses with a baccalaureate or doctorate degree and will ultimately increase the number of nurses in the field by 2025.”

The nine-member review panel, comprised of former NSP II grant project directors, retired nurse educators, licensure and policy leaders, MHEC and HSCRC staff, was responsible for reviewing the proposals. As a result, the review panel recommended funding for 16 of the 29 total proposals. The proposals that received the highest ratings for funding focused on nursing graduate outcomes with partnerships across community colleges, universities, and hospital health systems.

Over the years, the Nurse Support Program, both NSP I and NSP II (originally Nurse Education Support Program) has been expanded to encourage new and innovative approaches to address the challenges and demands facing the nursing workforce. The Nurse Support Program is funded by HSCRC and administered by MHEC. For more information, see http://mhec.maryland.gov/i nstitutions_training/Pages/grants/nspii.aspx?