Quick Guide to Nurse Support Programs

Core Facts

What are the goals of the program?

Nurse Support Program I

1. Increase the number of nurses in Maryland through recruitment and retention.

2. Align the NSP I program with the Institute of Medicine recommendations for the Future of Nursing with emphasis on increasing the number of nurses with higher levels of education, improving the clinical competencies of nurses, and elevating the practice of nursing through evidenced-based research.

Nurse Support Program II

1. Increase nursing faculty capacity and diversity.

2. Align the NSP II program with the Institute of Medicine recommendations for the Future of Nursing with emphasis on meeting the goals of 80% BSN by 2020, doubling the doctorates by 2020 and supporting nurse leadership and lifelong learning.

4. Expand the education pipeline and address barriers to nursing education pathways.

3. Promote innovation in nursing education models.

What is the program?

The NSP I program is a non-competitive grant to hospitals to fund projects that address the individual needs of the hospitals as they relate to nurse recruitment and retention.

It is not the intent of NSP I to fund existing programs that are more appropriately funded through employee fringe benefit programs or to duplicate what is available in rates for traditional hospital-based services or operations.

The NSP II program is comprised of two components, Competitive Institutional Grants and Statewide Initiatives.

Competitive institutional grants fund providers of nursing education. Statewide initiatives fund individual graduate nursing students seeking faculty careers and currently employed nurse faculty.

Why was the program initiated?

• In 1986, the HSCRC initiated the Nurse Education Support Program (NESP) through collaborative efforts with the hospital and payer industry in response to a growing nursing shortage in Maryland.

• Originally focused on supporting college and hospital-based training of RNs and LPNs, the NESP was expanded to fund innovative approaches to address the challenges and demands facing the nursing profession.

• Approximately $7 million was allocated to 37 hospitals from 1986 until 1995 when the program was concluded.

• Another nursing shortage emerged as the economic situation improved during the late 1990s. In an effort to sustain and improve retention of bedside nurses in Maryland, the NSP I program was initiated in 2000.

• The activities of the NSP I program increased the number of students applying for nursing schools and exposed the inability of nursing programs to accept large numbers of students because of limited nursing education and faculty capacity.

• The shortage of qualified nursing faculty was the fundamental obstacle to expanding the enrollments in nursing programs, thereby exacerbating the nursing shortage in future years.

• At its May 4, 2005, public meeting, the HSCRC unanimously approved an increase of 0.1% of regulated patient revenue for the use in expanding the pool of nurses in the State by increasing the capacity of nursing programs in Maryland.

•The NSP II funded the first projects for educational institutions and faculty development in FY 2006.

How long has the program been in existence?

The Commission approved the first 5-year cycle in 2000. At the July 2012 meeting, the Commission approved another 5-year cycle. (July 2012 Meeting Documents). The next evaluation is due in 2017.

The Commission approved the allocation of money in rates for the program in May 2005 and the first cycle of grants were awarded in 2006. At the January 2015 meeting, the Commission approved another 5-year cycle. (January 2015 Meeting Documents) The next evaluation is due in 2020.

Who administers the program?

The NSP I program is administered by the HSCRC staff. HSCRC is responsible for:

1. Developing metrics and reporting guidelines for NSP I

2. Monitoring and evaluation of hospital-specific NSP I programs

3. Collection and distribution of funds to hospitals for the NSP I programs and to MHEC for distribution to NSP II funded programs

The HSCRC contracted with the Maryland Higher Education Commission (MHEC) to administer the NSPII. MHEC is responsible for:

1. Developing applications and guidelines.

2. Overseeing the review and selection of applicants

3. Monitoring and evaluation of recipients of NSP II award.

What is the application process?

• Hospitals submit proposals for programs that address their specific workforce needs. Examples include nursing educational scholarships for their employees and journey to Magnet designation.

• A multi-stakeholder evaluation committee reviews the proposals and works with hospitals to ensure compliance to the overall goals of the NSP I program.

Competitive Institutional Grants:

In an annual Request for Applications (RFA), HSCRC/MHEC designates initiatives that are eligible for funding. A review panel evaluates and makes recommendations regarding the selection of proposals that best meet the goals of the NSP II program, as well as the level of funding that should be granted to each proposal.

Statewide Initiatives:

Depending on the initiative, eligible faculty and students are nominated for funding. Awards are determined based on the needs for faculty development and availability of funds.

Who are eligible to apply for apply for funding?

Acute care hospitals located in Maryland that are under the jurisdiction of the HSCRC are eligible for funding through their regulated hospital rates.

For Competitive Institutional Grants, eligible entities are Maryland higher education institutions with nursing degree programs. They may partner with other schools and/or Maryland hospitals.
For Statewide Initiatives, individual nursing students and faculty are eligible for 3 types of funding:

1.The Hal and Jo Cohen Graduate Nursing Faculty Scholarship (GNF)

2.New Nursing Faculty Fellowship (NNFF)

3.Nurse Educator Doctoral Grants or Practice and Dissertation Research (NEDG)

How is the program implemented?

Hospitals are given leeway as to how the programs are implemented, as long as the programs are aligned with the goals of the NSP I program. Some examples of funded programs/initiatives include:

• Internships/externships for nursing students

• Scholarships for nurses to pursue advanced degrees

• Development of nursing leadership and nurse councils

• Magnet© Journey or Pathway to Excellence©

• Evidenced-based practice (EBP) research

• Nurse Residency programs

For the Competitive Institutional Grants, Maryland higher education institutions with nursing degree programs are given leeway as to how the programs are implemented, as long as the programs are aligned with the goals of NSP II. Applicants are encouraged to collaborate, develop partnerships and address current issues in nursing workforce and nursing education. Some examples of funded program/initiatives include:

• Creating dual roles for nurse clinicians in teaching and clinical care

• Development of curricula that efficiently integrates undergraduate and graduate study to reduce time to graduate

• Pathways that fast-track qualified students entering nursing education through community colleges to successfully complete their BSN or MSN

• Increased use of Instructional technology for hybrid, online and flexible delivery models, as well as inter-professional and clinical simulation resources

How is the program funded?

Funds are added to each hospital’s rates. Hospitals receive either:

• 0.1% of the hospital’s gross regulated patient revenue for the prior year or

• The requested grant amount, if less than the 0.1% of the hospital’s gross regulated patient revenue.

Funds for the NSP II program are pooled from hospital assessments equaling 0.1% of gross regulated patient revenue. The pooled funds are deposited into a non-lapsing fund for distribution to NSP II awardees.

How much has been funded to date?

Approximately $126.6 million to date between FY 2001 through FY 2016.

Approximately $140 million to date between FY 2001 through FY 2017.

Approximately $115 million to date between FY 2006 and FY 2017.

How many organizations have been funded to date?

To date, a total of 52 hospitals and medical centers have been funded by the program at varying times during its existence.

To date, a total of 27 Schools of Nursing at community colleges, public and private universities across the State have been funded by the program at varying times during its existence.