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Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and AACN Announce First Round of Awards through the New Careers in Nursing Scholarship Program

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Press Release
For Immediate Release

Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and AACN Announce First Round of Awards
through the New Careers in Nursing Scholarship Program

58 Schools of Nursing in 31 States Awarded $7 Million
for Scholarships to Address the Shortage of Nurses and Nurse Faculty

WASHINGTON, D.C., September 4, 2008 – The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) and AACN today announced that 58 schools of nursing will receive funding through the RWJF New Careers in Nursing Scholarship Program, which aims to strengthen the nation’s pipeline of new nurses by providing financial aid to students who enroll in fast-track nursing degree programs. Scholarships of $10,000 each will be awarded to 706 nursing students in accelerated programs during the 2008-2009 academic year.

“This scholarship program is designed to ease the shortage of nurses and nurse faculty – an urgent national problem that potentially jeopardizes the health of all Americans,” said John Lumpkin, M.D., M.P.H., senior vice president and director for the Health Care Group at RWJF. “Fewer students will be turned away by schools of nursing, because of the availability of this support for accelerated nursing degree programs.”

“Schools of nursing nationwide are grateful for the exceedingly generous commitment the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation has made to help alleviate the U.S. nursing shortage by stimulating growth and innovation in baccalaureate and graduate nursing programs,” said AACN President Fay Raines, Ph.D., RN. “As the National Program Office for this groundbreaking initiative, AACN was pleased to see the high caliber of funding proposals submitted by schools of nursing and delighted that so many students who need financial assistance will receive support as they embark on their nursing careers.”

The RWJF New Careers in Nursing Scholarship Program was created to enable schools of nursing to expand entry-level accelerated programs at the baccalaureate and/or master’s level(s). Grant funding is disbursed to schools of nursing, and these institutions then award individual scholarships to students. Scholarship award preference is given to students from groups underrepresented in nursing or from disadvantaged backgrounds. Institutions receiving awards will use this funding to help secure new faculty resources and provide mentoring and leadership development resources to ensure successful program completion by scholarship recipients. A complete list of schools receiving funding is included below.

The RWJF New Careers in Nursing Scholarship Program targets many of the issues currently confronting professional nursing education, including providing support for students in accelerated nursing programs. The fast-track programs provide the most efficient route to licensure as a registered nurse for adults who have already completed a baccalaureate or graduate degree in a discipline other than nursing. Although enrollment in these programs has steadily increased over the past few years, many potential students are unable to apply since already having a college degree disqualifies them from most federal financial aid programs for entry-level students.

By bringing more nurses into the profession at the baccalaureate and master’s degree levels, the new scholarship program also helps to address the nation’s nurse faculty shortage. Data from the U.S. Health Resources and Services Administration show that nurses entering the profession at the baccalaureate level are four times more likely than other nurses to pursue a graduate degree in nursing, which is the required credential to teach.

“By strategically focusing on students in accelerated baccalaureate and master’s programs, RWJF is maximizing its investment by efficiently preparing a new cadre of well-educated nurses while also strengthening the pipeline of potential nurse faculty,” added Dr. Raines. In this first cycle of awards, 526 students in accelerated baccalaureate programs and 180 students in accelerated master’s programs will receive scholarship funding.

AACN will announce the timeline for the Call for Proposals for the second round of funding to schools of nursing through the RWJF New Careers in Nursing Scholarship Program in September 2008. For more information, see

Schools of Nursing Receiving Funding in August 2008 Through the RWJF
New Careers in Nursing Scholarship Program

(listed alphabetically by state)

University of Alabama at Birmingham
University of South Alabama
Northern Arizona University
Azusa Pacific University (CA)
California State University, Fresno
Mount St. Mary's College (CA)
University of California, Los Angeles
University of San Diego
Colorado State University, Pueblo
Yale University School of Nursing (CT)
Catholic University of America (DC)
Florida Atlantic University
University of Miami
University of South Florida
Medical College of Georgia
University of Iowa
DePaul University (IL)
Illinois State University
Rush University Medical Center (IL)
University of Illinois at Chicago
Louisiana State Univ. Health Sciences Center
Boston College
University of Massachusetts
University of Maryland
Oakland University (MI)
University of Detroit Mercy
College of St. Scholastica (MN)
University of Minnesota
Saint Louis University
University of Missouri-St. Louis

Duke University (NC)
University of Medicine & Dentistry of NJ
New York University
Pace University (NY)
State Univ. of New York at Stony Brook
University of Rochester (NY)
Cleveland State University
Kent State University (OH)
Ohio State University
Wright State University (OH)
Oklahoma City University
Linfield College (OR)
Drexel University (PA)
Duquesne University (PA)
Thomas Jefferson University (PA)
University of Pennsylvania
Medical University of South Carolina
South Dakota State University
Univ. of Tennessee Health Science Center
Texas Christian University
Texas Tech Univ. Health Sciences Center
University of Texas Health Science Center  
     at Houston
Norfolk State University (VA)
Shenandoah University (VA)
University of Virginia
University of Washington
West Virginia University
University of Wyoming

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 improving the health and health care of all Americans, the Foundation works with a diverse group of organizations and individuals to identify solutions and achieve comprehensive, meaningful, and timely change. For more than 35 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. Helping Americans lead healthier lives and get the care they need, the Foundation expects to make a difference in our lifetime.

The American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) 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.

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