UM School of Nursing and Health Studies’ RWJF NCIN Scholars Receive BSN Degrees

December 13, 2012 — Coral Gables, FL — Four Robert Wood Johnson Foundation New Careers in Nursing (RWJF NCIN) scholars graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree at the Thursday, December 13, 2012 University of Miami Fall Commencement ceremony. 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 University of Miami School of Nursing and Health Studies (UM SONHS) has received a total of $500,000 from RWJF and awarded 50 NCIN scholarships to “second career” students in its Accelerated BSN program who are from groups traditionally underrepresented in the field of nursing. The RWJF NCIN Scholars awarded their BSN degrees at Thursday’s ceremony are Hakimah Bankston, Calvin Dudley, Monica Garcia and Mathew Roy.

“We need a highly educated nursing workforce to meet the needs of our shifting patient population,” says Nilda (Nena) P. Peragallo Montano, DrPH, RN, FAAN, 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 capable, culturally competent nurses from a variety of ethnic, socioeconomic and racial backgrounds.”

Schools receiving grants through NCIN provide scholarships directly to students from groups underrepresented in nursing or from economically disadvantaged backgrounds. The backbone of the RWJF NCIN scholarship program is a threefold approach that combines a pre-entry immersion program, a one-on-one mentoring program, and a leadership development series. All NCIN grantee schools are required to provide this three-pronged resource system to aid the scholars in managing the challenges of an accelerated path to their Bachelor of Science in nursing degree. The method seems to be working in that 90 percent of the students who received funding in the first three years of the program have indicated a desire to advance their education to the master’s and doctoral levels. Says Kenya Snowden, (DNP, 2011), Assistant Professor of Clinical and Director of the RWJ NCIN program at the UM SONHS. “We are utilizing our RWJF NCIN funding to perpetuate the cycle of diversity and excellence in the healthcare field.”

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

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