SONHS Students are Awarded Scholarships through RWJF New Careers in Nursing Program

January 25, 2012 — Five students at the University of Miami School of Nursing and Health Studies have been selected as grant recipients of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation New Careers in Nursing Scholarship Program (NCIN). $50,000 in scholarships ($10,000 each) was awarded to support five students in the school’s Accelerated BSN Nursing Program who are traditionally underrepresented in the field of nursing.

The NCIN Scholarship Program was launched in 2008 by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) and the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) to address the national nursing shortage, develop a diverse professional nursing workforce, and fuel the pipeline of nurse faculty and leaders. “Through the NCIN program, we are challenging nursing schools across the country to expand nurse leadership and strengthen education, two clear goals of the landmark 2010 Institute of Medicine (IOM) report on The Future of Nursing, “said Denise A. Davis, Dr. P.H, RWJF program officer for NCIN. “By diversifying the nursing profession through these scholarships, we are also helping to create a health care workforce ready to meet the needs of the 21st century American patient.”

“AACN is proud to collaborate with RWJF on this unique effort. Through this partnership, the NCIN program continues to provide much needed scholarship support, mentoring and leadership development to students enrolled in accelerated nursing programs,” said AACN President Kathleen Potempa. “By focusing on students entering the profession at the baccalaureate level, NCIN aligns well with the recommendations for educational preparation of the nursing workforce advanced in the IOM Report on The Future of Nursing.” In the 2011 - 2012 academic year, 320 students in accelerated baccalaureate programs and 80 students in accelerated master’s programs will receive scholarships.

The five RWJF Scholars include, Monica Garcia, Calvin Dudley, Hakimah Bankston, Benjamin Tabaria and Matthew Roy. The students were selected from more than 30 applicants who applied for the NCIN- New careers Scholarship and were the top picks from a committee of five faculty members based on not only GPA and ethnicity but also volunteer work, community activism, research aptitude and essays they wrote about why they wanted to be nurses.

Even before the semester started, the RWJF Scholars were receiving on-line guidance from their mentors. “The Pre-immersion program is innovative in that it was completely online using Collaborate technology which allowed us to meet with all five scholars weekly in a virtual classroom, with video- chatting, voice chatting capabilities,” says RWJF Scholarship Program Director Kenya Snowden, MSN, ARNP,BSN. Snowden says “the focus for the RWJF Scholarships is not only to support the scholarship recipients through graduation and becoming RN’s but also to assist them in becoming future leaders in nursing. “We want the RWJF Scholars to leave this program feeling empowered to go out and be change agents in healthcare and specifically give back to their community. We want them to be at the forefront of healthcare reform and show the world the true meaning and power of the word nurse. ”

For more information about University of Miami School of Nursing and Health Studies accelerated program, visit To find learn more about the NCIN program, visit

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