Today, Governor Larry Hogan announced several measures to increase nursing personnel throughout the state. In recent days, numerous outlets, including WBAL and WJZ, have reported urgent nursing shortages across Maryland.
WBAL noted, “According to the Maryland Nurses Association, before COVID-19, 17% of nurses surveyed considered leaving the profession. Today, that number is 33%.” WJZ cites several factors in addition to COVID-19 resulting in the shortage, including burnout, retirement, and nursing program graduation deficits; adding, “Maryland will need 10,000 nurses in the next 10 years.”
Governor Hogan discussed the nursing workforce in a press release:
“This week, Maryland reported the nation’s lowest COVID-19 case rate, and we continue to withstand the Delta variant surge better than just about any other state,” said Governor Hogan. “While our hospitalizations remain well below all of our pandemic surge capacity triggers, we are taking proactive steps to maximize the ability of our hospitals to increase their nursing workforce.”
In the interim, the Maryland Department of Health (MDH) will allow “registered nurses or licensed practical nurses who hold a current active license in any other state or jurisdiction [to] render nursing care.” Among other measures, MDH will also allow hospitals greater flexibility in their hiring of unlicensed nurses/physician assistants and nursing students.