University of Maryland nurses to graduate early, aid with pandemic

University of Maryland nurses to graduate early, aid with pandemic

By Kiersten Willis, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Troy Warren for CNT #Health  #COVID-19

As the coronavirus pandemic continues, hospitals around the nation have experienced staffing shortages. But one school in Maryland is about to help with that.

Nursing students at the University of Maryland have been allowed to graduate early to head into the field, according to the Baltimore Sun. It’s the fourth time that this has been allowed. This time, it affects students expected to graduate on Dec. 23.

Students are urged to take positions in the state’s health care system, which has been strained by the number of COVID-19 cases.

Data compiled by Stacker on the counties with the lowest hospital bed count in Maryland show that St. Mary’s County ranks the highest. It has 107.0% of inpatient beds occupied, with 6% being patients with COVID-19. The county’s hospitals are 30.5% more full than Maryland overall.

Another state has implemented a scholarship for nursing students to encourage them to work in the field.

Last week, New York announced a scholarship to cover 1,000 health care workers’ tuition at the State University of New York and the City University of New York.

“SUNY and CUNY scholarships move us toward a more prosperous and equal New York, by working to make sure every New Yorker has access to training programs, one-, two-, and four-year degrees, community college; SUNY and CUNY should be the pathway to the middle class,” New York Governor Kathy Hochul said.

The efforts come amid reports that many nurses are considering leaving their jobs as soon as next year.

In a survey conducted by Hospital IQ, 90% of respondents said they’re thinking of leaving the profession in 2022.

“Overwhelming workloads and mass burnout have plagued frontline nurses for years, and, it appears many have finally reached the breaking point,” Teri Ridge, RN, director of clinical solutions at Hospital IQ said in a statement. “The survey shatters the notion that current nursing challenges are temporary, anomalous and contingent upon the pandemic.”

In an effort to combat the staffing shortages and encourage nurses to remain in the industry, salaries are on the rise.

HCA Healthcare, one of the biggest health care chains in the nation, boosted nurses’ pay in response to the increased COVID pandemic cases, the Wall Street Journal reported. This is also in an effort to keep pace with competitors attempting to fill roles and retain staff.

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By Troy Warren

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