School of Nursing Faculty Member Selected as a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Nurse Faculty Scholar

New National Program Seeks to Advance Careers of Talented Junior Faculty

September 29, 2008

Ying Xue, D.N.Sc., R.N., assistant professor at the University of Rochester School of Nursing, is one of 15 junior faculty nationwide to receive an inaugural Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Nurse Faculty Scholar (NFS)award.

The three-year, $350,000 grant, which began September 1, will support Xue’s research to examine national employment patterns of supplemental nurses (SRNs) in the U.S. from 1984 to 2004, one of the keys to understanding how to address the nursing shortage and further examine the impact of hospital supplemental nurse staffing on quality of care and cost in an acute-care setting.

“The U.S. is in the midst of a nursing shortage, which is expected to intensify as baby boomers age and the need for health care grows,” said Xue. “Many hospitals use SRNs hired from staffing agencies to compensate for their nurse shortage, but evidence is limited on the trends in employment patterns of SRNs and their impact on quality of care and cost. This research will have implications for nurse staffing, for policy development, and for shaping future research to expand knowledge about SRNs.

“I hope to use this generous support from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation to advance my career in academic nursing and interdisciplinary leadership to improve nursing and health care,” said Xue.

Xue’s faculty mentors for this award are Madeline H. Schmitt, Ph.D., R.N., professor emerita, University of Rochester School of Nursing, and Deborah Freund, Ph.D., distinguished professor of Public Administration and Economics, Maxwell School, Syracuse University.

“We are very proud of Dr. Ying Xue and the outstanding work she is doing at the School of Nursing,” said Patricia Chiverton, Ed.D., R.N., who served as dean of the University of Rochester School of Nursing when Xue was recruited to the School and was nominated for the NFS award. “Her acceptance in the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Nurse Faculty Scholars Program provides further evidence that Ying is on her way to becoming a national leader in academic nursing.”

In 2007, her first year on the University of Rochester faculty, Xue was awarded a $300,000 grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s Interdisciplinary Nursing Quality Research Initiative to study the use of SRNs by hospitals and its impact on quality of care and cost, which was the first study to explore both outcomes and costs related to the use of SRNs in a hospital setting. The interdisciplinary team seeks to understand the use of SRNs, including economic consequences, and examine the relationship between use of SRNs and patient outcomes and voluntary nurse turnover. Xue’s research under NFS will build on this initiative.

The goal of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Nurse Faculty Scholars program is to develop the next generation of national leaders in academic nursing through career development awards for outstanding junior nursing faculty. The program aims to strengthen the academic productivity and overall excellence of nursing schools by providing mentorship, leadership training, salary and research support to young faculty.

Despite a rise in applicants, U.S. nursing schools turn away thousands of prospective students from baccalaureate and masters programs because of an acute shortage of faculty and clinical preceptors, training sites, space and funding constraints. Since the stature of nursing schools and the promotion of nursing faculty are dependent on the quality of the nursing faculty’s scholarly and/or research pursuits, the Nurse Faculty Scholars program seeks to strengthen the link between institutional reputation and faculty success by providing career development and other opportunities to junior faculty.

With a large number of faculty nurses set to retire soon, the Nurse Faculty Scholars program also aims to encourage junior nurse faculty to continue on in their roles as educators.

The program is run out of the Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing. Jacquelyn C. Campbell, Ph.D., R.N., F.A.A.N., Anna D. Wolf chair and professor in the Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing, directs the program. For more information, go to: www.nursefacultyscholars.org.

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Lori Barrette
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