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Larry Hogan looks to fix staff shortages in the fight against COVID-19

Posted at 1:36 PM, Sep 23, 2021
and last updated 2021-09-23 17:38:11-04

ANNAPOLIS, Md — While Maryland continues to tackle COVID-19 head on, Governor Larry Hogan is taking steps to make sure that all hands are on deck when it comes to fighting this virus. Today the governor announced that the state is looking to increase nursing personnel by providing hospitals with maximum flexibility to mitigate staffing shortages.

“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.”

The state is calling upon out-of-state registered nurses and licensed practical nurses. Maryland Department of Health secretary Dennis R. Schrader has issued a notice stating that registered nurses or licensed practical nurses who hold a current active license in any other state or jurisdiction may render nursing care.

“We have worked closely with our hospitals, healthcare associations, and many others in the state on this solution that will further our ability to continue to provide quality care to Marylanders,” said Secretary Schrader. “Nurses and student nurses have been invaluable in our fight against COVID-19 and so much more and these steps will ensure that hospitals can use all available nursing solutions.”

Also, the Maryland Higher Education Commission has explored early exit for nursing graduates. Commission secretary James D. Fielder has issued a request to the leaders of all state nursing programs to once again allow the earliest graduation possible for qualified nursing students.