Maryland, like most states, is experiencing a significant shortage of nurses. However, unlike other states, they are making very serious efforts to address this. The state is working together with national initiatives and they are also working with the various schools inside the state to improve on provision of nursing education.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, there will be a 19% growth in demand for nurses between now and 2020. Indeed, there is a nationwide shortage. Additionally, the existing workforce is dwindling because of two main factors. First of all, the baby boomers are retiring in masses now since many had delayed their retirement during the economic recession. Secondly, because there is such an increase in the workload for nurses, many are choosing to leave the profession altogether or are moving into private practices such as insurance companies.
In response to this, various nursing school grants have been made available to ensure the high quality of workforce in Maryland. Additionally, as the demand for nurses with a master’s degree is so high, the state has made the Workforce Shortage Student Assistant Program available, which is designed for those who are already employed as a nurse. Various other grants are in place as well, including the Who Will Care? grant.
Unfortunately, despite being home to 12 schools accredited through the American Association of Colleges of Nursing, some 727 student applicants that were fully qualified had to be turned away. This is due to the fact that there is a significant shortage of Nurse Educators, something that the state is trying to address through the various grants.