funds will enable nursing program to ‘grow its own' teachers
TU's Department of Nursing
is turning to self-help to augment its faculty and, eventually,
to expand its role in alleviating Maryland's critical nurse shortage.
The department is planning to use
part of a $384,000 appropriation from the Maryland General Assembly
to enable some part-time faculty (and new applicants) to enroll
in its M.S. in Nursing Education program,
the only one of its kind
in the state.
"We want to grow our own faculty,"
says chairperson Jacquelyn Jordan. "We're targeting part-time
staff with bachelor's degrees who by law are restricted to clinical
sections. Stipends may help them through the 36-hour master's program
and--with the acquisition of the credential needed to teach--onto
the regular faculty."
Jordan says she may also
recruit nurses who have taken two or three graduate-level courses
and offer incentives to get them on a fast track to their M.S. degrees.
The master's candidates
would be given a stipend to teach one clinical ourse per semester,
thus freeing a regular member of the faculty to teach graduate courses.
"It's a cyclical benefit,"
"There are so many
nurses who want to teach, but who lack the needed master's degree.
This is a way to take advantage of our unique program to enlarge
and improve our faculty, which will at some point allow us to admit
more students to the baccalaureate program."
The baccalaureate program
enrolls 224 undergraduate nursing majors at the junior/senior level,
with another 300 pre-nursing majors hoping to be admitted to the
"At present we can
admit only 56 new students per semester," Jordan explains,
"and the process is becoming increasingly competitive. Lately
we've turned away applicants with high GPAs because we don't have
the faculty we need to teach them."
If the "growing our
own" approach goes as planned, Jordan says the department may
be able to admit more students as soon as fall 2006. And, of course,
the hoped-for outcome will be more nurses in a state where an estimated
20,000 are desperately needed.
and Chip DiPaula [Maryland secretary of budget and management] really
advocated for this funding," Jordan emphasizes. "Dr. Caret
sees Towson's responsiveness to regional workforce needs as a key
component of its Metropolitan University role.
"It's a big problem, and our department
can't solve it alone," she says of the nursing shortage. "But
we're committed to doing our part."
Story by Jan Lucas/Photo by Kanji Takeno
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