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School of Nursing Earns Sixth Round of Scholarships From Robert Wood Johnson Foundation New Careers in Nursing Program

Only School in Country to Earn All Six Years of Funding for Master's and Bachelor's Accelerated Programs

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

RWJF/NCIN Program Deputy Director Vernell P. DeWitty, Ph.D., R.N., M.B.A., center, visited the School of Nursing in May to meet with some of the School's past and present scholarship recipients.

For the sixth consecutive year, the University of Rochester School of Nursing has been selected as a grant recipient of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) New Careers in Nursing (NCIN) Scholarship Program, which is co-sponsored by the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN).

The University of Rochester is the only nursing school in the country to receive all six rounds of funding for both its bachelor’s and master’s accelerated programs.

During the 2013-2014 academic year, the School will receive $130,000 to support 13 students in the accelerated bachelor’s and master’s programs for non-nurses (APNN). The APNN is designed for students who already have degrees in other fields, and are interested in pursuing a second career in nursing. It attracts men and women from a broad range of cultures and backgrounds who have been traditionally underrepresented in the field of nursing.

Victor Hernandez and Kristian Vitu are two of the 65 UR nursing students who have received support from RWJF/NCIN scholarships since 2008. Thirteen more will get support this academic year.

“At this time when the nation’s need for highly educated nurses is growing, we are delighted to be able to support nursing students who will bring diverse and valuable perspectives to the field, and become capable, culturally-competent nurses,” said David Krol, M.D., M.P.H., F.A.A.P., RWJF senior program officer. “NCIN is not only helping these students succeed in school, it is helping prepare the nursing workforce to meet the challenges that lie ahead.”

Since 2008, the NCIN program has distributed 3,117 scholarships to students enrolled in accelerated nursing degree programs at 125 schools of nursing. This year alone, funding for 400 scholarships was granted to 52 schools.

The University of Rochester School of Nursing’s APNN, which began in 2002, provides 12 months of intensive academic and clinical preparation to qualify and prepare students for nursing licensure exams. 

“For the last six years, these scholarships have made it possible for men and women from a variety of careers, backgrounds and experiences to follow their dreams of helping others by entering the nursing profession,” said School of Nursing Dean Kathy H. Rideout, Ed.D., P.N.P.-B.C., F.N.A.P.  “It’s been a joy and inspiration to be a part of their journeys. Our continued goal is to nurture every student’s unique strengths and interests, and encourage their continual progression as nurse clinicians, collaborators, leaders, scientists, educators and policy-makers.”

In addition to a $10,000 scholarship, NCIN scholars receive other support to help them meet the demands of an accelerated degree program. Like other NCIN grantee schools, the University of Rochester School of Nursing maintains a leadership program and a mentoring program for its scholars. With NCIN support, the School has integrated a pre-entry immersion program for all APNN students and developed a Center for Academic and Professional Success, which helps  all students strengthen their study and writing skills, and provides test-taking support. The Center also supports students’ ongoing success through career and professional development offerings and promotes a commitment to lifelong learning and the pursuit of advanced degrees.

“NCIN is strengthening nursing education and creating a culture of change at schools of nursing across the country,” said AACN President Jane Kirschling, Ph.D., R.N., F.A.A.N. “Our grantee schools are committed to enrolling students traditionally underrepresented in nursing, and students are benefiting from the emphasis on mentoring and leadership development that are hallmarks of the NCIN program. AACN is proud to collaborate with RWJF on this ground-breaking effort.”

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 health care demands of diverse populations across the lifespan. NCIN 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. 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 Rochester’s accelerated bachelor’s and master’s programs and the School’s RWJF/NCIN scholarships, visit Prospective students may call 275-2375. To learn more about the NCIN program, visit

About NCIN

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) joined with the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) to create New Careers in Nursing (NCIN): 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. For more information, visit

About the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation
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 more than 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. Follow the Foundation on Twitter at or Facebook at

About AACN

The American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) is the national voice for baccalaureate and graduate programs in nursing. Representing more than 720 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

Media Contact

Christine Roth

(585) 275-1309

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