Media Relations

AACN and Jonas Center Collaborate to Address Nurse Faculty Shortage

Share |

Press Release  
For Immediate Release

WASHINGTON, D.C., June 13, 2011 – The American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) announces a new collaboration with the Jonas Center for Nursing Excellence to enhance ongoing efforts to increase the number of doctorally prepared faculty available to teach in nursing schools nationwide. This groundbreaking $2.5 million initiative will be managed by AACN as part of the Jonas Center’s larger effort to support 150 new doctoral students across all 50 states. Supported by the Jonas Family Fund at the Jewish Communal Fund, the program provides financial assistance, leadership development, and mentoring support to expand the pipeline of future nurse faculty into research-focused (PhD, DNS) and practice-focused (DNP) doctoral nursing programs.

“The partnership represents a watershed moment in stemming the nursing faculty shortage, elevating this critical initiative to the national level,” said Donald Jonas, co-founder of the Jonas Center for Nursing Excellence. “We are thrilled to partner with AACN, the preeminent leader in nursing education, and we hope this collaboration spurs others to join our endeavor.”

“Nursing’s academic leaders applaud the Jonas Center for their innovative and visionary work to address the critical need for nurse educators prepared at the doctoral level,” said AACN President Kathleen Potempa. “As the national voice for baccalaureate and graduate nursing education, AACN is pleased to support the Jonas Center’s work, which serves as a successful model for other philanthropies looking to make a significant impact on the future of nursing education and patient care.”

Released in October 2010, the Institute of Medicine’s report on The Future of Nursing: Leading Change, Advancing Health advocates for a doubling of the number of nurses in the U.S. with doctoral degrees. The limited supply of nurses with doctorates has had a significant impact on the ability of nursing schools to educate sufficient numbers of professionals needed to engage in the highest level of practice, research, and scholarship. Less than one percent of the nation’s nurses hold the doctoral degree, and the majority of those with doctorates (53.7%) have acquired degrees in fields other than nursing.

To address this great need, the Jonas Nurse Leaders Scholar Program was created in 2008 to support the educational development of new nursing faculty and stimulate models for joint faculty appointments between schools and clinical affiliates. To date, this program has provided more than $3 million in funding to support 54 PhD scholars at 22 nursing schools in 17 states. Through its new partnership with AACN, the Jonas Center will expand its signature Scholars Program to prepare nurse researchers and faculty across the country. Looking ahead, AACN will manage a cohort of 115 Jonas Scholars who will receive financial support in 2012 along with a systematic program of leadership development, a health policy immersion, and mentoring support through 2014 as students complete their studies.

Through this collaborative effort, the Jonas Center will provide selected students in research-focused or practice-focused doctoral programs with $10,000 in financial support, which will be matched by the institution in which the student is enrolled. In addition, schools will provide support for scholars to attend an AACN leadership development conference in Washington, DC, which will focus on career planning, faculty role development, research planning, and federal policy advocacy. At least one scholarship will be awarded for each state. Institutions in states without a doctoral program will be eligible to apply for support for individuals who will enroll in a program outside the state with the understanding that they will make a commitment to return to that state to engage in practice or scholarly leadership upon graduation.

Over the 3-year period, Jonas Scholars will have access to an exclusive online community of practice that will facilitate networking, dialogue, and support from peer scholars in the program. A series of readings and policy updates will be available through this portal to facilitate career planning and leadership development. Additionally, scholars will be required to complete a leadership project, which may include an online presentation, poster presentation at the leadership conference, journal article, or similar scholarly effort. More details about the Jonas Scholars program, including selection criteria and eligibility requirements, will be available later this summer on the AACN and Jonas Center Web sites.

“Doctorally educated nursing professionals are a vital resource for the nation’s healthcare system and for the future of the discipline,” added Dr. Potempa. “AACN welcomes the opportunity to partner with the Jonas Center for Nursing Excellence to launch this groundbreaking national initiative that will prepare a new cadre of nurses to thrive as research, practice, academic, and policy leaders.”

AACN has administered four different leadership development programs with similar structures in the past, including successful joint programs with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the Johnson & Johnson Campaign for Nursing’s Future, The California Endowment, and the John A. Hartford Foundation. For more information on AACN’s extensive faculty programming, see

In 2006, the Barbara and Donald Jonas Family Fund established the Jonas Center for Nursing Excellence, a groundbreaking program that deploys philanthropy to advance the nursing profession through grants and programs designed to improve nurse recruitment and retention; increase ethnic and racial diversity among the nursing workforce; advance innovative practice models; and improve practice settings in New York City and beyond. The Jonas Center works closely with powerful partners in nursing practice and education, public health, and philanthropy on innovative grant programs.

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 670 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.

# # #


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