News Article

Baltimore County introduces Public Health Pathways pilot program to support high demand for nurses
December 13, 2022


By: Latrice Hill

“A new initiative between two Maryland medical and educational institutions will train members of underserved communities to become nurses.

University of Maryland St. Joseph Medical Center and the Community College of Baltimore County announced the Public Health Pathways Program, a workforce development initiative that will introduce individuals in underserved communities to careers in nursing.

The national nursing shortage has encouraged county officials to take action by providing education, funding and support to these local residents.

This $1.175 million workforce development plan is funded through Baltimore County’s federal American Rescue Plan Act funds and $500,000 from University of Maryland Medical Systems.

“We believe we have an opportunity and an obligation to provide more economic opportunity for our residents,” Baltimore County Executive Johnny Olszewski said in a statement. “We enthusiastically launch an incredible program that will pull some of our most financially vulnerable residents out of poverty by giving them a pathway to rewarding careers in healthcare with one of the country’s most esteemed medical systems. We are grateful to the University of Maryland Medical System, University of Maryland St. Joseph Medical Center, the Community College of Baltimore County and our County, state and federal partners for investing in our most important assets; our people.”

The program will provide 30 scholarships, covering full tuition and any additional fees for the CCBC Certified Nursing Assistant program.

Participants will also receive a stipend of $1,000 per month. Those funds can be used at the students discretion for transportation, housing, childcare, or any other necessities.

After graduation from CCBC’s Certified Nursing Assistant program, participants of the program will have guaranteed full-time employment at University of Maryland St. Joseph Medical Center and they will have the opportunity to continue their education as a licensed practical nurse.

According to officials, participants will take part in a 2-year education program which will include “four months of CNA training, four months of pre-requisites, and 16 months of LPN education.”

“The pandemic stretched thin our invaluable medical professionals and first responders, while exposing critical gaps in our healthcare systems. Our communities need an infusion of trained talent in the public health fields, and my colleagues and I were highly mindful of this reality when crafting the American Rescue Plan,” said U.S. Senator Ben Cardin, a senior member of the Senate Finance Health Care Subcommittee. “This announcement by the dynamic partners from Baltimore County, CCBC and St. Joseph’s Medical Center moves us in exactly the right direction, providing life-changing opportunities to those selected for the program and potentially life-saving care to their eventual patients.”

Both CCBC and St. Joseph Medical Center plan to provide mentorship, tutoring, and continued support for all participants throughout the program to ensure completion of the nursing program.

There will be eligibility requirements, which will be released along with the application in January 2023. The first set of students will begin courses in summer 2023.”