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Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and AACN Award New Scholarship Funding to Schools through the New Careers in Nursing Program

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For Immediate Release

Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and AACN Award New Scholarship Funding to Schools through the New Careers in Nursing Program (NCIN)

63 Schools of Nursing to Receive Scholarship Monies to Support Accelerated Nursing Students from Communities Underrepresented in Nursing

WASHINGTON, D.C., June 8, 2010 – The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) and the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) today announced that 63 schools of nursing will receive funding through the RWJF New Careers in Nursing Scholarship Program (NCIN). NCIN was launched in 2008 to address the national nursing shortage and fuel the pipeline of diverse nurse faculty. In this third year of awards, scholarships in the amount of $10,000 each will be provided to 511 students entering accelerated programs during the 2010-2011 academic year. To date, the NCIN program has supported 1,917 nursing students at 101 schools of nursing, and continues to develop culturally competent health professionals and future leaders of the profession.

“As health reform expands coverage to 32 million Americans and new patients enter the healthcare system, many more nurses will be needed to meet the demands of our nation’s diverse patient population,” said AACN President Kathleen Potempa, PhD, RN, FAAN. “AACN applauds the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation for their commitment to continuing the New Careers in Nursing program, which is helping to expand and diversify the nursing workforce while developing a highly educated cadre of entry-level nurses.”

NCIN was created to enable schools of nursing to expand student capacity in accelerated baccalaureate and master’s programs, and build a more diverse workforce ready to serve the needs of a changing patient population. Schools receiving grants through the NCIN program disburse these funds directly to students from groups underrepresented in nursing or from disadvantaged backgrounds. In the next academic year, 397 students in accelerated baccalaureate programs and 114 students in accelerated master’s programs will receive scholarship funding. A complete list of schools receiving the NCIN scholarships is included below.

The NCIN program addresses a number of the challenges confronting professional nursing education. Accelerated programs provide the most efficient route to licensure as a registered nurse (RN) for adults who have already completed a baccalaureate or graduate degree in a field other than nursing. Students enrolled in these intense programs are prepared to pass the licensure examination required for all RNs in as little as 12-18 months, and are eligible to enter the workforce more quickly than through traditional routes. Although enrollment in these programs has steadily increased, many prospective students are unable to apply since already having a college degree disqualifies them from most federal financial aid programs.

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. Data from the U.S. Health Resources and Services Administration show that nurses entering the profession via baccalaureate programs are four times more likely than other nurses to pursue a graduate degree in nursing. This trend is reflected in the NCIN scholars, as 95% of the students receiving funding in the first two years of the program indicate a desire to advance their education to the master’s and doctoral levels.

NCIN Changes the Face of Nursing

NCIN is helping to diversify the student population and bring more underrepresented groups into nursing. A recent survey of second year scholarship recipients found that 58% of NCIN students come from diverse racial/ethnic groups, including students from African American (25%), Hispanic (13%), and Asian (11%) backgrounds. Thirty seven percent (37%) of NCIN scholars are male. In contrast, the national nursing population is 83.2% Caucasian (non-Hispanic) and 6.6% male.

The NCIN program is also helping to broaden the skill mix within the overall nursing workforce. A 2004 survey reported that a majority (52%) of working nurses had previous experience in a health-related occupation before investing in nursing education. While most NCIN scholarship recipients are moving into nursing with degrees in the physical or behavioral sciences (48%), a sizable number are entering with degrees in business, liberal arts and health sciences.

The survey data also show that the NCIN program is succeeding in removing financial barriers to nursing careers. Second-year scholarship recipients cite the NCIN scholarship as a major funding source for their education, with most relying on educational loans (90.6%), personal savings (35.1%), and family support (22.0%) to finance the remainder of their expenses. Since most students are not working while enrolled in a program (66.6%), many students indicate that this career transition would not be possible without the NCIN funding.

Finally, the RWJF New Careers in Nursing Scholarship Program is clearly having a positive effect on our nation’s nursing schools. Many programs that received awards have used the NCIN funding to help leverage resources to add new faculty, secure matching funding from state programs, develop mentoring and leadership development programs, strengthen outreach efforts, and establish new partnerships with community and practice leaders. These efforts will enable schools to sustain their program expansion while further positioning them for future growth.

Schools of Nursing Receiving 2010 Funding Through the
RWJF News Careers in Nursing Scholarship Program

Arkansas State University
Azusa Pacific University (CA)
Bellarmine University (KY)
Belmont University (TN)
Boston College (MA)
California State University, Fullerton
College of St. Scholastica (MN)
CUNY, Lehman College (NY)
DePaul University (IL)
Drexel University (PA)
Duke University (NC)
East Tennessee State University
Fairfield University (CT)
Fairleigh Dickinson University (NJ)
Felician College (NJ)
Jacksonville University (FL)
Johns Hopkins University (MD)
Kent State University (OH)
Medical College of Georgia
Medical University of South Carolina
MGH Institute of Health Professions (MA)
MidAmerica Nazarene University (KS)
Mount St. Mary's College (CA)
Nebraska Methodist College
Norfolk State University (VA)
Northern Arizona University
Pace University (NY)
Quinnipiac University (CT)
Rush University (IL)
Saint Louis University (MO)
Salisbury University (MD)
Samford University (AL)
Samuel Merritt University (CA)
Shenandoah University (VA)
Simmons College (MA)
Southern Connecticut State University
SUNY Buffalo (NY)
SUNY Research Foundation (downstate) (NY)
SUNY Stony Brook (NY)
Texas Tech University Health Science Center
Thomas Jefferson University (PA)
University of Alabama at Birmingham
University of California, Los Angeles
University of Hawaii, Manoa
University of Maryland, Baltimore
University of Medicine and Dentistry New Jersey
University of Mississippi
University of Missouri, Columbia
University of Missouri, St. Louis
University of New Mexico Health Sciences Center
University of Pennsylvania
University of Pittsburgh (PA)
University of Rochester (NY)
University of South Alabama
University of South Florida
University of Tennessee Health Science Center
University of Texas at El Paso
University of Virginia
University of Wyoming
Ursuline College (OH)
Wayne State University (MI)
West Virginia University
Winston-Salem State University (NC)

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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. Website:

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 640 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. Website:



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