Nurse Support Program II (NSP II)

The goal of Nurse Support Program (NSP) is to increase the number of nurses in Maryland hospitals. NSP I is hospital centered while NSP II focuses on expanding the capacity to educate nurses through nursing education programs at Maryland institutions.

Research is showing a critical need for an increase in highly-educated nurses and an improved education system, which is needed to address the nursing shortage expected to impact the state by 2025. While 19.3 percent of nurses hold a graduate degree, less than 2 percent have a doctoral degree. ​​ Nurses with doctorates are needed to teach future generations of nurses and to conduct research that will become the basis for improvements in nursing science and practice.

The implementation of the following goals will assist in meeting this critical need in Maryland:

  • Increase the proportion of nurses with a baccalaureate degree to 80 percent by 2020 (goal extended to 2025) as recommended in the 2010 Institute of Medicine Report

  • Double the number of nurses with a doctorate by 2020 (goal met)

  • Double the number of full-time nurse faculty credentialed by the National League for Nursing as Certified Nurse Educators by 2025​

  • Ensure that nurses engage in lifelong learning 

  • Build an infrastructure for the collection and analysis of inter-professional data (goal met- funded the Maryland Nursing Workforce Center- see more at )​

Over the years, the Nurse Support Program, both NSP I and NSP II (formerly titled Nurse Education Support Program) has been expanded to encourage new and innovative approaches to address the challenges and demands facing the nursing and allied professions. It has successfully met the needs of hospitals for nursing professionals and schools of nursing for educational capacity through faculty development to ensure qualified bedside nurses for over 26 years.

The Nurse Support Program (NSP) is funded by the Health Services Cost Review Commission (HSCRC) and administered by Maryland Higher Education Commission.

Maryland Nursing Education Articulation​ - The goal of this articulation plan is to create a pathway for nurses to advance their education, thereby creating a more highly educated workforc​e.

For more information, please visit the Nurse Support Program website at

Background on the NSP I and NSP II Programs

The HSCRC has funded programs to address the cyclical nursing workforce shortages since 1985. In July 2001, the HSCRC implemented the hospital-based Nurse Support Program I (NSP I) to address the nursing shortage impacting Maryland hospitals. Since that time, the NSP I completed three program evaluation cycles at five year intervals. The most recent NSP I renewal was approved on July 12, 2017 to extend the funding until June 30, 2022.

The HSCRC implemented the NSP II program in May 2005 to respond to the faculty shortage and other limitations in nursing educational capacity underlying the nursing shortage. The Commission approved an increase of up to 0.1 percent of regulated gross hospital revenue to increase the number of nurses in the state by increasing the capacity of nursing programs through institutional and nursing faculty interventions. MHEC was selected by the HSCRC to administer the NSP II programs, as the coordinating board for all Maryland institutions of higher education. On March 7, 2012, the HSCRC approved modifications to NSP II to include increased doctoral education support for greater development of new and existing nursing faculty.

At the conclusion of the first ten years of funding on January 14, 2015, five more years of funding was renewed. The HSCRC renewed NSP II funding for FY 2016 through June 30, 2020. In 2016 the Maryland General Assembly revised the NSP II statute to meet Maryland’s changing health care delivery models to recognize all registered nurses (RNs) are needed to ensure a strong nursing workforce. On December 11, 2019, the HSCRC renewed NSP II funding for FY2021 through June 30, 2025. 

​​​​​​A copy of the Maryland Nurse recently highlighted the NSP II Nurse Educator Workshop for nurse educators across the state.  Go to page 14 to read about what our team is doing to support the need for more nurse faculty and educators.  You can also read archived editions of Maryland Nurse.

Maryland Student Loan Repayment Tax Credit:

Maryland Nursing Program Capacity Study:

​For additional information on NSPII Nurse Faculty Programs for New Nurse Faculty, Nurse Educator Doctoral Grants for Practice and Dissertation Research, Cohen Scholars and Academic​ Nurse Educator Grants, visit​​ .


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