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Hagerstown CC nursing program receives grant

August 03, 2009

Hagerstown Community College was recently named one of 17 Maryland schools of nursing to receive funds through the Who Will Care? grant, for the purpose of expanding enrollment in the nursing program. As such, HCC will receive $195,834 over a three-year period, which began July 1.

"We are very excited to have this support from the Maryland Hospital Association as well as the backing from the community. These funds enable us to strengthen a strong program that is well ahead of schedule in doubling the enrollment of our program over the next three years. With this grant, we are able to develop the Academic Success Program that will benefit both classes of the dual enrollment," said Nancy Meikrantz, HCC grant manager and assistant director of nursing.

The grant funds will be used to increase the nursing graduation rate by implementing a retention program and enhancing learning opportunities. Two faculty members will develop individualized learning contracts, provide tutoring and counseling, and establish study groups. The goal is to increase the number of nursing graduates by 50 over the grant period.

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Who Will Care? is an initiative established by a group of stakeholders, including the Maryland Hospital Association and health care and academic leaders, to double the number of nurse graduates in Maryland. Donors have pledged $15.5 million over five years to fund the grant. Washington County Health System pledged $200,000 to the campaign, which will help expand HCC's nursing program.

Mary Towe, vice president and chief nursing officer at Washington County Hospital, said, "We were pleased to contribute to Who Will Care? We know that the nursing shortage is expected to increase through 2020. The Academic Success Program at HCC will provide important resources for nursing students, ensuring that an increasing number of professional nurses will be available to care for our patients."

The campaign aims to raise $60 million from public and private sources to graduate an additional 1,500 registered nurses per year. For more information, go to www.md hospitals.org/mha/Who_Will_Care. 

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