Nursing School Receives Funding Once Again to Support Enrollment

Jun. 30, 2010

For the third year in a row, the University of Rochester School of Nursing received funding from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s (RWJF) New Careers in Nursing (NCIN) Scholarship Program. Grants provided will be used for scholarships to increase the number of students enrolled in the School’s accelerated baccalaureate and master’s programs for non-nurses, which build upon students’ existing degrees by providing generalist nursing studies that qualify students for their nursing licensing exams.

Since this competitive program began in 2008, only 19 institutions in the country have received some level of funding for all three years, and only three – the University of Rochester included – have been funded at both the bachelor’s and master’s levels for each of the three rounds.

The School received $100,000, which will provide $10,000 scholarships for 10 entry-level nursing students during the 2010-2011 academic year. This brings the total awarded to the School through the NCIN program since 2008 to $380,000 with 38 scholarships given.

Launched by RWJF and the American Association of Colleges of Nursing, the initiative aims to help alleviate the nation’s nursing shortage by dramatically expanding the pipeline of students in accelerated nursing programs, the most efficient route to licensure as a registered nurse for adults who have already completed an undergraduate degree in a discipline other than nursing. Although enrollment in these programs has steadily increased over the past few years, particularly at the University of Rochester, many potential students are unable to enroll since already having a college degree disqualifies them for receiving most federal financial aid programs for entry-level students. The RWJF New Careers in Nursing initiative addresses this problem. It also targets the need to recruit students from groups traditionally underrepresented in nursing and from disadvantaged backgrounds by giving award preference to those students.

“Through the NCIN program, we are challenging the nation’s nursing schools to be innovative and resourceful in how they grow their nursing programs, diversify student populations and contribute to the nursing leadership of tomorrow,” said Denise A. Davis, Dr.P.H., RWJF program officer for NCIN. “We are very pleased to support this unique approach, particularly at a time when growing numbers of Americans are gaining insurance and entering our health care system.”

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 strengthen the tailored mentoring program that was started for awardees, provide them with enriched leadership opportunities and expand academic services, making its impact widespread.

“We have taken the leadership content developed as a result of previous years’ awards and incorporated it into our current program. So in that way, all of our accelerated students have benefited from the support of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation,” 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 and remain committed to expanding and diversifying the nursing workforce.”

The University of Rochester School of Nursing’s accelerated programs for non-nurses started in May 2002 with a class of 22 full-time students. It has grown significantly to a total of 161 students split across two cohorts.

Scholarship details and application procedures are available on the School of Nursing website: . Prospective students can also call (585) 275-2375 for more information. The application deadline for the class entering May 2011 is Nov.1, 2010.

AACN serves as the National Program Office for this RWJF initiative and oversees the grant application submission and review processes.