State-funded grant helps UMD nursing students stay on track for their degrees

State-funded grant helps UMD nursing students stay on track for their degrees. (ABC7)

The aging Baby Boomer population is creating a critical need for nurses across the country.

A grant is helping to accelerate the pipeline of students who earn nursing degrees.

Elizabeth Capowski didn't always aspire to become a nurse.

“I'm a personal trainer by trade but I wanted to go deeper,” she says. “I wanted to get in the medical field.”

The senior at the University of Maryland School of Nursing will soon graduate thanks in part to a scholarship provided through the state-funded $200,000 EARN grant.

The grant assists more than 60 Bachelor of Science nursing students over two years.

“Most of the candidates still had family obligations and needed to work while they were in school so we wanted to provide the scholarships to eliminate that stress,” says Ellie Giles of WorkSource Montgomery

The program is a partnership between WorkSource Montgomery, the Healthcare Initiative Foundation, and the Universities at Shady Grove. The ultimate goal is to help meet the demand for nurses in Montgomery County.

“It's expensive to go to school and if we can get the support to go we're going to produce more qualified nurses,: Capowski says.

Employment for nurses is expected to increase 15 percent between now and 2026.

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