seeks partners to produce more graduates for Maryland's work force
Jacquelyn Jordan, it's one of those maddening good news/bad news
scenarios. The good news is that growing numbers of qualified men
and women aspire to be nurses. The bad news is that TU—like most
other U.S. baccalaureate nursing programs—can't educate most of
who assumed the post of Department of Nursing chairperson eight
months ago, is both heartened and distressed by the situation. “On
one hand, nursing's image has improved tremendously, thanks to nationwide
promotion initiatives and hospitals' efforts to make the profession
more attractive,” she says. “But now that there's a surge in interest,
nursing schools find they have neither the facilities nor the faculty
to accommodate it.”
ironic twist is that nurses with master's degrees—the minimum academic
preparation needed to teach at baccalaureate colleges or universities—can
command much larger salaries in the field than in the classroom.
that's especially frustrating given Maryland's need for an estimated
20,000 nurses by 2012, Jordan adds. TU is by no means alone in having
to turn away far more qualified applicants than it admits to its
academically rigorous program.
maximum is 56 new students per semester,” she says, “and we had
197 who met the standards for admission for fall 2004. It's a travesty
to have to deny the education to so many when the demand is so great.”
Jordan is busily exploring ways to maximize limited resources and
get more nurses into a profession that needs them desperately.
looking at every opportunity to expand our program, given our constraints,”
she says. “We have a successful partnership with the Greater Baltimore
Medical Center that enables nurses employed there to earn baccalaureate
degrees, and we're talking to other healthcare providers to see
if we can partner to get more graduates into the work force.
may involve some creative approaches, such as facilities sharing
and weekend programs,” she adds. “We're considering on-and off-campus
options, so long as there's a need and the potential for collaboration.”
who recently was appointed to the Statewide Commission on the Crisis
in Nursing, says she's undertaking her quest with the support
and encouragement of President Robert L. Caret.
Caret wants us to do whatever we can to respond to the state's nursing
shortage,” she says. “He recognizes the dimensions of the crisis,
and he understands what needs to be done.
really jumped in and took charge.”
by Jan Lucas/Photo by Kanji Takeno