School of Nursing Receives Fourth Round of RWJF Scholarship Funding

June 03, 2011

The UR School of Nursing’s 2011 graduating class included RWJF scholarship recipients Sharon Lawson-Davis, Sean Goonan, Ngoc Diep, Timothy Munier, Arnice Jackson, Cyrus Marcy and Nana Nuamah.

For the fourth year in a row, the University of Rochester School of Nursing has received funding from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) New Careers in Nursing (NCIN) Scholarship Program to support the enrollment of students who are traditionally under-represented in the field of nursing.

 During the 2011-12 academic year, the School will receive $150,000 which will provide $10,000 scholarships for 15 students entering the School’s Accelerated Program for Non-Nurses (A.P.N.N.). Since 2008, NCIN has provided $530,000 in scholarship funds to the School, which has supported 53 A.P.N.N. scholars. The UR School of Nursing is one of only 19 nursing schools in the country to receive this level of funding for all four years.

The NCIN Scholarship Program was launched in 2008 by RWJF and the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) to address the national nursing shortage, develop a diverse professional nursing workforce reflective of the U.S. population, 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) Future of Nursing report," 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.”

The UR School of Nursing’s A.P.N.N. builds upon students’ existing degrees in other fields by providing generalist nursing studies that qualify students for their nursing licensing exams. It provides an efficient route to licensure as a registered nurse for adults who have already completed an undergraduate degree in another field. The program began in May 2002 with 22 students and today enrolls more than 168 students. To accommodate this interest, the School expanded this year to include three cohort admission cycles.

Although the number of applicants to the A.P.N.N. has increased dramatically over the years, students who already hold degrees in other fields are often disqualified from receiving federal financial aid for entry-level programs. The RWJF NCIN initiative not only addresses this issue but specifically supports the enrollment of students from diverse socioeconomic backgrounds.

“The men and women entering this program from across the country bring rich life experiences and valuable cultural perspectives to our profession,” said Kathy Rideout, Ed.D., P.N.P.-B.C., F.N.A.P., associate dean for academic affairs at the School of Nursing. “We are thrilled to once again receive this award which makes it possible for our most deserving students to attend, and for our School to play a role in preparing a diverse national nursing workforce for the future. “

Rideout says that NCIN funding has been used by the School to help leverage new faculty resources and ensure successful program completion by scholarship recipients. This year’s grant will also strengthen the tailored mentoring program that was started for awardees, enrich students’ leadership  opportunities, and expand the program’s academic services.

“We have taken the leadership content developed as a result of previous year’s awards and incorporated it into our current program so that all of our students benefit from the support of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation,” she said.

Scholarship details and application procedures and deadlines are available on the UR School of Nursing website: www.son.rochester.edu. Prospective students can also call (585) 275-2375 for more information.

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation focuses on the pressing health and health care issues facing our country.  As the nation's largest philanthropy devoted exclusively to improving the health and health care of all Americans, the Foundation works with a diverse group of organizations and individuals to identify solutions and achieve comprehensive, meaningful, and timely change. For more than 35 years the Foundation has brought experience, commitment, and a rigorous, balanced approach to the problems that affect the health and health care of those it serves. Helping Americans lead healthier lives and get the care they need, the Foundation expects to make a difference in our lifetime. www.rwjf.org

The American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) is the national voice for university and four-year college education programs in nursing. Representing more than 670 member schools of nursing at public and private institutions nationwide, AACN's educational, research, governmental advocacy, data collection, publications, and other programs work to establish quality standards for bachelor's- and graduate-degree nursing education, assist deans and directors to implement those standards, influence the nursing profession to improve health care, and promote public support of baccalaureate and graduate nursing education, research, and practice. http://www.aacn.nche.edu

For Media Inquiries:
Christine Roth
(585) 273-4494
Email Christine Roth