CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield is investing another $1 million in a program it launched six years ago to help train the next generation of nurse educators.
The program gives nurses a stipend of up to $80,000 to pursue a master's or doctorate degree. In exchange, the nurses must agree to teach nursing classes for at least three years.
The program is aimed at increasing the area's nursing ranks. One dilemma in addressing the problem has been the limited number of qualified faculty at nursing schools.
The nation’s shortage of bedside nurses could grow to 260,000 by 2025, according to a CareFirst press release. Meanwhile, a nearly 8 percent nurse faculty vacancy rate exists, according to the American Association of Colleges of Nursing.
CareFirst has invested $2.2 million in 31 master's level nursing students at 13 universities since starting its program. Fourteen students have graduated and are now teaching.
The latest investment will bring CareFirst's contribution to the program to $3.2 million.