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Future of Nursing Scholars program awards grants to prepare PhD nurses

Friday July 18, 2014
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Seventeen nurses will receive financial support as they pursue their PhDs, thanks to grants from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Future of Nursing Scholars program. RWJF announced June 15 the first 14 schools of nursing selected to receive grants to support these nurses, according to a news release. Each school will select students to receive financial support, mentoring and leadership development over the three years of their PhD programs. Each scholar will receive $125,000 to be used over three years — $75,000 from the program, along with a $50,000 match from the school.

The Institute of Medicine’s landmark report “The Future of Nursing: Leading Change, Advancing Health” included the recommendation that the country double the number of nurses with doctorates by 2020. “PhD-prepared nurses are leaders in research, innovation, policy and education,” Julie Fairman, RN, PhD, FAAN, Future of Nursing Scholars program co-director, Nightingale professor of nursing and director of the Barbara Bates Center for the Study of the History of Nursing at the University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing, said in a news release. “The alumni of the Future of Nursing Scholars program will be among the nurse leaders who pioneer the groundbreaking research that provides solutions to our most pressing health problems, and they will educate thousands of nurses over the course of their careers. We are creating the next generation of change-makers.”

Fewer than 30,000 (or 1%) of the nation’s more than 3 million nurses have doctoral degrees in nursing or a related field. While enrollment in doctor of nursing practice programs has risen dramatically over the past few years, enrollment in PhD programs has been flat, according to the news release.

The FNS program plans to support up to 100 PhD nursing candidates over its first two years, according to the release. “This is a crucial and ambitious endeavor,” Susan Hassmiller, RN, PhD, FAAN, co-director of the program and RWJF’s senior adviser for nursing, said in the release. “It’s one that everyone in our country should be engaged in and that’s why the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation is inviting other funders to participate in this effort.”

The schools selected for Future of Nursing Scholars grants anticipated to start Sept. 1, 2014, include:

From the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation:
Duke University (two scholars)
The Johns Hopkins University
Medical University of South Carolina
University of California, Davis
University of California, Los Angeles
University of California, San Francisco
University of Cincinnati
University of Illinois in Chicago
University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston

From Independence Blue Cross Foundation:
University of Pennsylvania (two scholars)
Villanova University

From United Health Foundation:
Columbia University

From Cedars-Sinai Medical Center:
University of San Diego

From Rhode Island Foundation:
University of Rhode Island (two scholars)


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