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AACN Selects 11 New Minority Nurse Faculty Scholars through Programs Funded by The California Endowment and the Johnson & Johnson Campaign for Nursing’s Future

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Press Release
For Immediate Release

AACN Selects 11 New Minority Nurse Faculty Scholars through Programs Funded by The California Endowment and the Johnson & Johnson Campaign for Nursing’s Future

Programs Address the Nurse Faculty Shortage and the Need to Enhance Diversity

WASHINGTON, D.C., September 18, 2008 – AACN is pleased to announce that eleven new Minority Nurse Faculty Scholars have been selected through two separate programs funded by The California Endowment and the Johnson & Johnson Campaign for Nursing’s Future. Launched to address the shortage of nurse faculty and enhance diversity within the population of nurse educators, these programs provide generous financial support and professional development to graduate students who agree to teach in a school of nursing after graduation.

“Nursing’s academic leaders recognize the need to accelerate faculty development strategies and facilitate academic careers among nurses from groups under-represented in nursing,” said AACN President Fay Raines. “AACN is grateful for the generous commitment made by The California Endowment and the Johnson & Johnson Campaign to preparing the next generation of nurse faculty from diverse backgrounds who will serve as mentors, role models, and leaders of the profession.”

The California Endowment-AACN Minority Nurse Faculty Scholarship

Launched in February 2006, this scholarship program supports graduate nursing students from under-represented racial and ethnic groups who agree to teach in a California nursing school after graduation. The program features mentorship and leadership development components to ensure successful completion of graduate studies and preparation for the faculty role. Program champions are committed to supporting well-qualified minority students with the long-term goal of improving the nation’s ability to provide culturally competent education to a diverse student population. With 17 Scholars already receiving support through this program, The California Endowment and AACN are pleased to announce that six new students have been awarded scholarships, including:

  • Margaret Avila, PhD candidate, University of San Diego
  • Jeneva Gularte, PhD candidate, University of California-San Francisco
  • Maria Matza, PhD candidate, University of San Diego
  • Soo Kyung Park, PhD candidate, University of California-San Francisco
  • Vanessa Parker, MSN candidate, California State University-Dominguez Hills
  • Maria Rodriguez, DNP candidate, University of San Diego

Johnson & Johnson Campaign for Nursing’s Future – AACN Minority Nurse Faculty Scholars Program

Modeled after The California Endowment program, this scholarship was launched in September 2007 to support full-time minority students enrolled in graduate nursing programs. This program invites applications from students in master’s and doctoral programs across all 50 states who will serve as nurse faculty after earning their graduate degree. Scholarship recipients were selected by a 10-member application review committee, and awards in the amount of $18,000 each will be disbursed this fall. Joining the five Scholars currently receiving funding through this program are the following individuals:

  • Julius Kehinde, PhD candidate, Medical University of South Carolina
  • Shevellanie Lott, PhD candidate, Hampton University (VA)
  • Melanie Phipps-Morgan, PhD candidate, University of New Mexico
  • Danita Potter, PhD candidate, Hampton University (VA)
  • Wanda Thompson, PhD candidate, University of North Carolina Greensboro

“AACN applauds this outstanding group of Nurse Faculty Scholars for the commitment they have made to advancing nursing education,” added Dr. Raines. “These exceptional students will make excellent faculty members able to educate and inspire future generations of registered nurses.”

Profiles of each Minority Nurse Faculty Scholar from both The California Endowment and the Johnson & Johnson Campaign programs is posted on the AACN Web site at and

Enhancing Diversity in the Nursing Workforce

All national nursing organizations, the federal Division of Nursing, the Institute of Medicine, nursing philanthropies, and other stakeholders recognize the importance of recruiting more individuals from under-represented groups into the health professions. Most see this as a national priority given the strong connection between a diverse healthcare workforce and the ability to provide quality, culturally competent patient care. Though nursing has made great strides in recruiting and graduating new nurses that mirror the patient population, more must be done before adequate representation becomes a reality.

The need to enhance diversity among nursing students is paralleled by the need to recruit more faculty from minority populations. Though nearly a quarter of all baccalaureate and graduate nursing students in this U.S. are members of underrepresented racial or ethnic minority groups, only 10.8% of full-time faculty teaching in these programs are from minority backgrounds according to the latest AACN data.

“A lack of minority nurse educators may send a signal to potential students that nursing does not value diversity or offer career ladder opportunities to advance through the profession,” said Dr. Raines. “AACN is addressing this imbalance by working collaboratively with stakeholders to identify minority faculty development strategies, encouraging leadership development for nurses from under-represented groups, and advocating for programs that remove barriers to faculty careers.”

For more details on the nurse faculty shortage and efforts to enhance diversity within the nursing profession, see and

The American Association of Colleges of Nursing is the national voice for university and four-year college education programs in nursing. Representing more than 630 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.

The California Endowment is a private, statewide health foundation established in 1996 to expand access to affordable, quality health care for underserved individuals and communities, and to promote fundamental improvements in the health status of all Californians. See

Johnson & Johnson is the world’s most comprehensive and broadly based manufacturer of health care products, as well as a provider of related services, for the consumer, pharmaceutical, and medical devices and diagnostic markets. The more than 200 Johnson & Johnson operating companies employ approximately 122,000 men and women and sell products throughout the world. For more information, see For details about the Campaign for Nursing’s Future, see and

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Robert Rosseter, 202-463-6930, ext. 231