June 26, 2013 — The University of Miami School of Nursing and Health Studies (UM SONHS) has been selected as a fourth-time recipient of the prestigious Robert Wood Johnson Foundation New Careers in Nursing (RWJF NCIN) scholarship program. During the 2013-2014 academic year, the School of Nursing and Health Studies will receive $100,000 to support 10 “second career” students in its Accelerated BSN program. Since 2008, the UM SONHS has received a total of $600,000 from RWJF for a total of 60 NCIN scholarships. This funding is providing scholarship recipients with a pathway to their dreams of professional success, including, for many, advanced healthcare degrees.
“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.”
Students who receive the NCIN scholarships — in the amount of $10,000 each — have already earned a bachelor’s degree in another field, and are making a career switch to nursing through accelerated nursing degree programs. These programs prepare students to pass the licensure exam required for all registered nurses in as little as 12 - 18 months and provide quicker routes to workforce eligibility than traditional programs.
The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) and the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) launched the NCIN Scholarship Program in 2008 to expand enrollment and retention in accelerated degree programs at schools of nursing and to help increase diversity in the nursing workforce. 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.
“The needs of our shifting patient population call for a highly educated nursing workforce,” says Nilda (Nena Peragallo Montano, Dean of the School of Nursing and Health Studies. “RWJF and the AACN are to be commended for joining forces to create this unique mechanism that strengthens nursing education. We are proud that with the help of RWJF NCIN scholarships, our program is replenishing the pipeline with able nurses from a variety of ethnic, socioeconomic and racial backgrounds”.
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 workforce prepared to meet the 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.
For more information about the University of Miami School of Nursing & Health Studies accelerated program, visit http://www.miami.edu/sonhs. To learn more about the NCIN program, visit http://www.NewCareersinNursing.org.
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