School of Nursing Receives Fifth Round of Scholarships from Robert Wood Johnson Foundation New Careers in Nursing Program

One of only three schools in country to receive this level of funding

June 19, 2012

"Today’s nursing students are our future practitioners, professors, researchers, strategists and leaders, and our role is to guide and nurture their potential. "

The University of Rochester School of Nursing announced today that for the fifth consecutive year, it has been selected as a grant recipient of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation New Careers in Nursing (NCIN) Scholarship Program. The School is one of only three in the entire country to receive all five rounds of funding for both its accelerated master’s and bachelor’s degree programs.

During the 2012-2013 academic year, the School will receive $120,000 to support students enrolled in its accelerated master’s and bachelor’s program for non-nurses (APNN). The APNN is designed for men and women who already have degrees in other fields, and are interested in pursuing a second career in nursing. It attracts individuals from a broad range of cultures and backgrounds who have traditionally been underrepresented in the nursing field.

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 the numbers of baccalaureate-prepared nurses and enrich the diversity of the nursing workforce -- two key recommendations of the 2010 Institute of Medicine (IOM) report, The Future of Nursing: Leading Change, Advancing Health.

“We need a well-educated, diverse nursing workforce to provide quality care for our changing patient population,” said David Krol, M.D., M.P.H., F.A.A.P., 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 of capable, culturally-competent nurses.”

The NCIN scholarships, which will be awarded to 12 School of Nursing students  in amounts of $10,000, are especially important to APNN students because students with degrees in other fields are often disqualified from receiving federal financial aid for entry-level programs.

At the UR School of Nursing, the APNN draws students from across the country and has grown from an enrollment of 22 students in 2002 to more than 168 students across three cohort admission cycles today. Building upon students’ existing degrees in other fields, the program  provides 12 months of academic and clinical preparation to qualify students for nursing licensing exams.

Meeting the intensive demands of an accelerated program is not easy, however, and all NCIN grantee schools are required to maintain a mentoring program for their scholars. The UR School of Nursing went a step further and formally created a Center for Academic and Professional Success (CAPS) in 2011 with partial support from the scholarship program. Patrick Hopkins, R.N., D.N.P., A.P.R.N., C-P.N.P., N.N.P., assistant professor of clinical nursing, is mentoring liaison for the new center and works specifically with RWJF scholars.

The CAPS helps students across all nursing programs at the School develop strong learning strategies, study habits, critical thinking, and career management skills that are pivotal to their success and professional advancement. The efforts have translated to high retention and graduation rates, as well as exceptionally high pass rates on licensing exams. Most recently, the entire January 2012 APNN graduating class (53 students) took and passed the RN licensing exam (NCLEX).  In addition, all of the RWJF scholars who have taken the exam since round one of the scholarship funding, have taken and passed their licensing exams.

“Ensuring student success is our number one priority,” said Interim Dean Kathy H. Rideout, Ed.D., P.N.P.-B.C., F.N.A.P. “Today’s nursing students are our future practitioners, professors, researchers, strategists and leaders, and our role is to guide and nurture their potential. Beyond the academic support we provide, we aim to spark in them a lifelong commitment to learning and an understanding for the positive, collaborative impact they can make on the future delivery of health care.”

For more information about the School of Nursing’s RWJF NCIN scholarships, visit www.son.rochester.edu. Prospective students can also call (585) 275-2375 for more information. To learn more about the NCIN program, visit www.newcareersinnursing.org.

About NCIN

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) joined with the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) to create New Careers in Nursing: an RWJF Scholarship Program to help alleviate the nursing shortage and increase the diversity of nursing professionals. Through annual grants to schools of nursing, NCIN provides $10,000 scholarships to college graduates with degrees in other fields who wish to transition into nursing through an accelerated baccalaureate or master’s nursing program. 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. For more information, visit www.newcareersinnursing.org.

About RWJF

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 health and health care, the Foundation works with a diverse group of organizations and individuals to identify solutions and achieve comprehensive, measurable and timely change. For 40 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. When it comes to helping Americans lead healthier lives and get the care they need, the Foundation expects to make a difference in your lifetime. For more information, visit www.rwjf.org.

About AACN

The American Association of Colleges of Nursing is the national voice for baccalaureate and graduate programs in nursing. Representing more than 690 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. For more information, visit www.aacn.nche.edu.

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