Robert Wood Johnson Grant
School Earned Seventh Round of Scholarships From Robert Wood Johnson Foundation New Careers in Nursing Program
Program Supported Effort to Expand and Diversify the Nursing Workforce
For the seventh consecutive year, the University of Rochester School of Nursing has been selected as a grant recipient of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) New Careers in Nursing (NCIN) Scholarship Program, which is co-sponsored by the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN).
The UR School of Nursing is the only nursing school in the country to receive all seven rounds of funding for the accelerated programs.
The School received $130,000 to support 13 students in the accelerated bachelor’s and master’s programs for non-nurses (APNN). The APNN is designed for students who already have degrees in other fields, and are interested in pursuing a second career in nursing. It attracts men and women from a broad range of cultures and backgrounds who have been traditionally underrepresented in the field of nursing.
“At this time when the nation’s need for highly educated nurses is growing, we are delighted to be able to support nursing students who will bring diverse and valuable perspectives to the field, and become capable, culturally-competent nurses,” said David Krol, MD, MPH, FAAP, RWJF senior program officer. “NCIN is not only helping these students succeed in school, it is helping prepare the nursing workforce to meet the challenges that lie ahead.”
The School of Nursing’s APNN, which began in 2002, provides 12 months of intensive academic and clinical preparation to qualify and prepare students for nursing licensure exams. Since 2008, the program has received more than $800,000 in RWJF/NCIN scholarship funding.
“These scholarships have made it possible for men and women from a variety of careers, backgrounds and experiences to follow their dreams of helping others by entering the nursing profession,” said School of Nursing Dean Kathy H. Rideout, EdD, PPCNP-BC, FNAP “It’s been a joy and inspiration to be a part of their journeys.
Our continued goal is to nurture every student’s unique strengths and interests, and encourage their continual progression as nurse clinicians, collaborators, leaders, scientists, educators and policy-makers.”
In addition to a $10,000 scholarship, NCIN scholars received other support to help them meet the demands of an accelerated degree program. Like other NCIN grantee schools, the University of Rochester School of Nursing maintains a leadership program and a mentoring program for its scholars. With NCIN support, the School has integrated a pre-entry immersion program for all APNN students and developed a Center for Academic and Professional Success, which helps all students strengthen their study and writing skills, and provides test-taking support. The Center also supports students’ ongoing success through career and professional development offerings and promotes a commitment to lifelong learning and the pursuit of advanced degrees.
“NCIN is strengthening nursing education and creating a culture of change at schools of nursing across the country,” said 2014 AACN President Jane Kirschling, PhD, RN, FAAN. “Our grantee schools are committed to enrolling students traditionally underrepresented in nursing, and students are benefiting from the emphasis on mentoring and leadership development that are hallmarks of the NCIN program. AACN is proud to collaborate with RWJF on this ground-breaking effort.”
The 2010 Institute of Medicine (IOM) report, The Future of Nursing: Leading Change, Advancing Health, recommends increasing the proportion of nurses with a baccalaureate degree or higher, and increasing the diversity of students to create a nursing workforce prepared to meet the health care demands of diverse populations across the lifespan. NCIN is helping to advance those recommendations, enabling schools to expand student capacity in higher education, and encouraging more diversity.
By bringing more nurses into the profession at the baccalaureate and master’s degree levels, the NCIN program also helped to address the nation’s nurse faculty shortage. This trend is reflected in the NCIN scholars, as 91 percent of the students receiving funding in the first three years of the program indicate a desire to advance their education to the master’s and doctoral levels.