AUGUSTA, Ga. – For the sixth consecutive year, the Georgia Regents University (GRU) College of Nursing has been selected as a grant recipient of the prestigious Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) New Careers in Nursing Scholarship Program (NCIN). During the 2013-2014 academic year the College of Nursing will receive $100,000 to support students in the school’s MSN Clinical Nurse Leaders Program who are traditionally underrepresented in the field of nursing and are pursuing second careers in the field. NCIN is a program of RWJF and the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN).
“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.”
Each NCIN Scholar has already earned a bachelor’s degree in another field, and is making a career switch to nursing through an accelerated nursing degree program, which prepares students to pass the licensure exam required for all registered nurses in as little as 12-18 months.
At GRU, 10 students will be awarded NCIN scholarships. Since 2008, the NCIN program has distributed 3,117 scholarships to students at 125 unique schools of nursing. This year, funding for 400 scholarships was granted to 52 schools of nursing. GRU is the only nursing school in Georgia to receive this funding.
Since its inception, the program has supported 53 GRU students, including the 10 students receiving $10,000 scholarships for 2013-14:
- Blondine Dieujuste of Dacula, Ga.
- Chanda Okyere of Rex, Ga.
- Gaea Daniel of Fairburn, Ga.
- Shanelle Raiford of Brunswick, Ga.
- Leslie Stembridge of Sparta, Ga.
- Mahlique Mathis of Decatur, Ga.
- Shaleesa Bynum of Auburn, Ala.
- Antoinette Afriyie of Lithia Springs, Ga.
- Johnny Whitaker of Evans, Ga.
- Renata Biber of Atlanta, Ga.
“Scholarships are a crucial part of growing our Clinical Nurse Leader program and we are sincerely grateful to the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation for the opportunity to provide those,” said College of Nursing Dean Lucy Marion. “This gift enables us to reach our program’s goals of educating nurses who create an environment of clinical safety, who are clinical decision makers, and who facilitate and assure individualized, evidence-based and highly effective care.”
In addition to a $10,000 scholarship, NCIN scholars receive other support to help them meet the demands of an accelerated degree program. All NCIN grantee schools maintain a leadership program and a mentoring program for their scholars, as well as a pre-entry immersion program to help scholars learn study, test-taking, and other skills that will help them manage the challenges of an accelerated program.
“NCIN is strengthening nursing education and creating a culture of change at schools of nursing across the country,” said 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 helps 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.
The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) joined with the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) to create New Careers in Nursing (NCIN): an RWJF Scholarship Program to help alleviate the nursing shortage and increase the diversity of nursing professionals. Through annual grants to schools of nursing, NCIN provides $10,000 scholarships to college graduates with degrees in other fields who wish to transition into nursing through an accelerated baccalaureate or master’s nursing program. For more information, visit www.newcareersinnursing.org.
About the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation
The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation focuses on the pressing health and health care issues facing our country. As the nation’s largest philanthropy devoted exclusively to health and health care, the Foundation works with a diverse group of organizations and individuals to identify solutions and achieve comprehensive, measurable, and timely change. For more than 40 years the Foundation has brought experience, commitment, and a rigorous, balanced approach to the problems that affect the health and health care of those it serves. When it comes to helping Americans lead healthier lives and get the care they need, the Foundation expects to make a difference in your lifetime. Follow the Foundation on Twitter at www.rwjf.org/twitter or Facebook at www.rwjf.org/facebook.
The American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) is the national voice for baccalaureate and graduate programs in nursing. Representing more than 720 member schools of nursing at public and private institutions nationwide, AACN’s educational, research, governmental advocacy, data collection, publications and other programs work to establish quality standards for bachelor’s and graduate degree nursing education, assist deans and directors to implement those standards, influence the nursing profession to improve health care, and promote public support of baccalaureate and graduate nursing education, research and practice. For more information, visit www.aacn.nche.edu.