MD hospitals budget $135M for more nurses

Hoping to head off a staggering nursing shortage barreling down on the state, Maryland's hospitals have set plans to spend $135 million to grow the number of nursing students and faculty in the state over the next five years. As things stand, Maryland could be short 10,000 nurses by 2016. As of August 2006, hospitals were already reporting a 13 percent nurse vacancy rate, up from 10 percent in 2005.

To address these issues, starting in 2009, the Maryland Hospital Association recommends enrolling 1,800 first-year nursing students annually, hiring 360 new nursing faculty members, boosting nurse faculty salaries to meet market levels, adding nursing classrooms and clinical sites and creating additional nursing education programs. To accomplish this, it could cost $34 million over the next year, and $25 million for each of the next four years, the group said. The MHA hopes to fund these efforts through a combination of state funding and private contributions.

To learn more about the proposed program:
- read this Baltimore Business Journal piece

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