The story of how Hershaw Davis got to nursing school is not uncommon in the state of Maryland. Despite a 3.5 grade-point average, Davis was turned away twice before being accepted to nursing school while switching careers.
Now, Davis is grateful he is scheduled to graduate in December with a BSN from the University of Maryland School of Nursing, Baltimore.
I know Im one of the lucky ones, said Davis, president of the Maryland Association of Nursing Students. The investment in future nurses such as Davis received a major boost June 22 when the Who Will Care? campaign announced it has collected $15.5 million in pledges from businesses, hospitals, and individuals to address Marylands nursing shortage.
Seventeen nursing schools throughout the state were chosen to receive grants from Who Will Care?Hershaw Davis, RN
Grants were awarded to Allegany College of Maryland; Anne Arundel Community College; Bowie State University; Carroll Community College; Community College of Baltimore County; College of Southern Maryland; Coppin State University; Frederick Community College; Hagerstown Community College; Howard Community College; The Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing; Montgomery College; Prince Georges Community College; Stevenson University; Towson University; Washington Adventist University; and Wor-Wic Community College.
The end result, according to the campaigns organizers, is more nurses caring for patients needs.
I do what I do because I love helping people, said Lia Walker, RN, a labor and delivery nurse at Sinai Hospital, Baltimore. But theres not enough of us.
Who Will Care? hopes to raise $60 million and graduate 1,500 more nurses over the next five years. The grants are expected to help prevent more stories like that of Davis.
It doesnt feel very good to turn students away, said Judith Feustle, RN, ScD, associate dean, nursing education, at Stevenson University. This is the first effort Ive seen … thats really going to work at addressing the nursing shortage because it is a combined effort of all the stakeholders.
Barry Bottino is a regional editor for Nursing Spectrum.