ELKRIDGE, Md (WMAR) — There’s growing concern about a nursing shortage in the Baltimore area as COVID-19 continues to put a strain on our health care system.
"This is the worst that I have ever seen the shortage. I have seen it come and go over the years but never to this extent," said Dr. Kathleen Wisser, who has 40 years of experience in the field.
She is the dean of the School of Nursing at Notre Dame of Maryland University. They have created a new program to prepare more people for the job faster.
Instead of a traditional four year program, this offers an accelerated nursing degree in just 15 months.
"I kinda wanted to accelerate things and just get started with my career," said student Kathryn Newsome.
Newsome is in her second semester of the hybrid program housed at the new learning center in Elkridge. She was working in a different filed but COVID-19 made her, like many others, re-evaluate things.
"It kind of just gave me an opportunity to sit back and think of what I really wanted to do as far as a career and where I want my life to go and with COVID, getting into the medical field, I wanted to be able to help others," said Newsome.
To be eligible for the program, students have to have a bachelor's degree in another field. Dr. Wisser said students have come from all different educational backgrounds.
"We may have had students with a business degree and worked in finance, so all of those experiences come forth and will enrich our profession," said Wisser.
There is also an in-person program option at the main campus.
The next cohort of new students for the hybrid program starts in January.