New Scholarship Program to Support Two Promising Doctoral Students

June 10, 2010 — Two qualified B.S.N. to Ph.D. students at the University of Miami School of Nursing and Health Studies will soon benefit from a new national initiative designed to increase the number of doctoral-prepared nurse educators and leaders in an effort to ease the ongoing nursing faculty shortage.

In April, the school received funding approval for two $20,000 scholarships from the Jonas Nurse Leaders Scholar Program, a new initiative of the Jonas Center for Nursing Excellence, a New York-based philanthropic organization that now concentrates on supporting the development of future nursing faculty.

The organization, which is supported by the Barbara and Donald Jonas Family Fund, was created in February 2006 to advance professional nursing through grants and programs that improve nurse recruitment and retention, increase ethnic and racial diversity among the nursing workforce, advance innovative practice models, and improve nursing practice settings. The Jonas Nurse Leaders Scholar Program will support 50 scholars by 2012 with a goal of reaching 100 scholars.

According to Dean Nilda (Nena) P. Peragallo Montano, DrPH, RN, FAAN, the scholarship will support two B.S.N. to Ph.D. students entering their second year of doctoral studies. The school will provide scholarship support for the students’ first year of the program through available matching funds and will then offer the Jonas Nurse Leaders scholarship to two students who, upon completion of their first year of study, show promise in becoming effective nurse leaders and faculty. The $40,000 will be paid over a two-year-period beginning July 1, 2010 and ending January 1, 2012.

“During their first year, B.S.N. to Ph.D. students take core courses and learn to hone their ideas for research. By their second year of studies, they have typically narrowed their research topic and begin to work closely with a research mentor,” explains Peragallo. “The students selected for the Jonas Nurse Leaders Program will be those who show the greatest promise to serve as faculty members in schools of nursing.”

Students chosen to receive the distinguished scholarship will work closely with faculty members affiliated with the school’s National Center on Minority Health and Health Disparities or El Centro, which “provides a rich training environment for the proposed Jonas Nurse Leader Program,” notes Peragallo. Approximately two to three new studies are initiated each year through El Centro, which currently supports two active randomized clinical trials and a pilot studies program.

The recipients of the scholarship also will be paired with a senior faculty member with expertise in their area of proposed research, who will act as their mentor for the duration of the program.

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