School of Nursing Receives Seventh Year of Scholarship Funding from RWJF New Careers in Nursing Program

May 28, 2014

2013-14 NCIN scholarship recipients included Andrea Holmes, Joanna Rivera, Seth Rosenblatt and David Byrd, pictured here with dean Kathy H. Rideout, assistant professor of clinical nursing Patrick Hopkins, and peer mentor (and 2nd round NCIN scholar) John Cleghorn. Thirteen more scholarships will be awarded in 2014-15.

 For the seventh consecutive year, the University of Rochester School of Nursing has been awarded a grant from the New Careers in Nursing (NCIN) program that will provide scholarships to students who are changing their career paths to pursue nursing. The NCIN program, a program of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN),  is aimed at expanding and diversifying the nursing workforce.

The School of Nursing will receive $130,000 to provide scholarships to 13 students in its accelerated bachelor’s degree program for non-nurses (APNN) during the 2014-15 academic year. Since 2008, the School has been able to give NCIN scholarships to 91 students from across the country and around the world.

New Careers in Nursing has made amazing strides in helping schools of nursing recruit and retain diverse students in these competitive and rigorous accelerated degree programs," said RWJF senior program officer David Krol, MD, MPH, FAAP. “Through supporting these institutions, NCIN is working to increase the diversity of our nursing workforce, while also assisting nursing schools in making their institutions more inclusive. The leadership, mentoring and other support these institutions provide are helping to prepare a diverse nursing workforce able to meet the challenges associated with building a culture of health in our nation.”

Each NCIN Scholar has already earned a bachelor’s degree in another field, and is making a transition to nursing through an accelerated degree program, which prepares students for licensing exams and to assume the role of a registered nurse in 12 to 18 months.

“Many of the top students who are selected to be RWJF/NCIN scholars would simply not be able to attend nursing school without these scholarships,” said School of Nursing dean and professor of clinical nursing Kathy H. Rideout, EdD, PNP-BC, FNAP. “Our past scholars have included men and women transitioning from career fields such as law, education, business, even music and the arts, and many are raising families at the same time. They have such a broad array of backgrounds and perspectives, but what unites them is a deep desire to help others through nursing.”

Rideout said the School supports and encourages its scholars to continually further their education and pursue roles as nurse practitioners, researchers, educators, innovators and leaders in shaping nursing policy.   

In addition to a $10,000 scholarship, NCIN scholars at the UR School of Nursing receive $10,000 in matching support from the School.  The School also maintains a leadership program, a mentoring program, and a pre-entry immersion program for all APNN students. The School’s Center for Academic and Professional Success (CAPS) was initially developed in 2011 with NCIN funding, and today offers comprehensive support and coaching to students across all programs, to optimally position them for advanced education and employment opportunities.

“Nursing and nursing education are at a critical juncture right now, and NCIN’s exemplary approach to supporting nursing schools is helping to strengthen both,” said AACN president Eileen Breslin, PhD, RN, FAAN. “NCIN’s creative, innovative and responsive approach to providing grantees with tools to ensure academic success will result in lasting changes at nursing schools nationwide. The NCIN program has truly raised the bar for recruitment, retention, mentoring and leadership development for nursing students from groups underrepresented in nursing.”

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 nursing workforce prepared to meet the healthcare demands of diverse populations across the lifespan. NCIN is helping to advance those recommendations by enabling schools to expand student capacity 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. This trend is reflected in the NCIN scholars, as 91 percent of the students receiving funding in the first three years of the program indicated a desire to advance their education to the master’s and doctoral levels.

For more information about the University of Rochester School of Nursing’s accelerated bachelor’s and master’s programs and the School’s NCIN scholarships, visit son.rochester.edu. Prospective students may also call 275-2375. To learn more about the NCIN program, visit www.NewCareersInNursing.org.

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Christine Roth
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