June 22, 2012 — Scholarships, program support will aid second-career nurses from groups underrepresented in nursing that are enrolled in accelerated degree programs.
The University of Miami School of Nursing & Health Studies announced today that for the third time, it has been selected as a grant recipient of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation New Careers in Nursing Scholarship Program (NCIN). During the 2012-2013 academic year, the School of Nursing & Health Studies will receive $150,000.00 to support students in the school’s Accelerated BSN program who are traditionally underrepresented in the field of nursing and are pursuing a second career in 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 expand enrollment in accelerated degree programs in schools of nursing while increasing diversity in the nursing workforce.
“We need a well-educated, diverse nursing workforce to provide quality care for our changing patient population,” said David Krol, MD, MPH, FAAP, program officer for NCIN, RWJF senior program officer and team director of the RWJF Human Capital portfolio. “NCIN is strengthening nursing education and helping to fill the pipeline with capable, culturally competent nurses.”
Schools receiving grants through NCIN provide scholarships directly to students from groups underrepresented in nursing or from economically disadvantaged backgrounds. 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.
At the SONHS, 15 students will be awarded NCIN scholarships. Since 2008, the NCIN program has distributed 2,717 scholarships to students at more than 100 unique schools of nursing. This year, funding for 400 scholarships was granted to 55 schools of nursing.
Students also receive other supports to help them meet the demands of an accelerated degree program. All NCIN grantee schools are required to maintain a mentoring program for their scholars, and many offer a pre-entry immersion program to help scholars with study, test-taking and other skills that will aid them in managing the challenges of the program.
“One of the primary goals of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation is to promote the growth of nursing as a profession; this generous grant is designed not only to expand program capacity but also to increase diversity,” said Dean and Professor Nilda (Nena) P. Peragallo Montano, DrPH, RN, FAAN.
“AACN is proud to collaborate with RWJF on this unique effort. NCIN scholars bring life experience that makes them exceptional, mature nursing candidates, and they represent the diverse, culturally competent nursing workforce our nation needs,” said AACN President Jane Kirschling, DNS, RN, FAAN. “NCIN provides the scholarship and support these students need to succeed in school, and thrive in the workforce.”
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. The mission of the NCIN program 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. Data from the U.S. Health Resources and Services Administration show that nurses entering the profession via baccalaureate programs are four times more likely than other nurses to pursue a graduate degree in nursing. 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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