NYUCN Receives Robert Wood Johnson Scholarship Grant for Underrepresented Students

RWJF New Careers in Nursing Scholarship Program

New York University College of Nursing (NYUCN) is among the first institutions in the nation to receive funding from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) through the RWJF New Careers in Nursing Scholarship Program. Grants provided through this competitive program will be used for scholarships to increase the number of students enrolled in NYU College of Nursing accelerated baccalaureate nursing program.

This groundbreaking national initiative, launched by RWJF and the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN), aims to help alleviate the nation’s nursing shortage by dramatically expanding the pipeline of students in accelerated nursing programs. NYU College of Nursing was granted $150,000 to assist underrepresented second-career nursing students.

In the 2009 spring semester, NYU College of Nursing will grant $10,000 scholarships to 15 accelerated program baccalaureate students. In accordance with the RWJ award selection criteria, these students will be chosen from five underrepresented groups: African-American males or females, Hispanic/Latino males or females, Native American males or females, Caucasian males, and individuals from financially disadvantaged backgrounds.

For more information about these scholarships, please contact Christen Sturkie, Scholarship and Recruitment Officer, at the Office of Student Affairs and Admissions at NYU College of Nursing at 212-998-5149.

Background Information on RWJF New Careers in Nursing Scholarship Program

Through the RWJF New Careers in Nursing Scholarship Program, scholarships in the amount of $10,000 each will be distributed to entry-level nursing students in accelerated programs during the 2008-2009 academic year. Award preference is given to students from groups underrepresented in nursing or from disadvantaged backgrounds. Grant funding also will be used by the school of nursing to help leverage new faculty resources and provide mentoring and leadership development resources to ensure successful program completion by scholarship recipients. “This program aims to safeguard the health of the nation by helping to ease the nurse and nurse faculty shortage,” said RWJF President Risa Lavizzo-Mourey, M.D., M.B.A. “This new initiative also will advance our strategic goal of promoting leadership in the health professions.”

The RWJF New Careers in Nursing Scholarship Program supports accelerated programs, which offer 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 enroll since already having a college degree disqualifies them for receiving most federal financial aid programs for entry-level students. The New Careers in Nursing scholarships address this problem, and will also address the overall nursing shortage, by enabling hundreds of students to launch their nursing careers through accelerated education.

NYU College of Nursing established the 15-Month Accelerated BS Program in 1990. Applicants to the Accelerated BS Program represent the nation’s best and brightest students. With an average GPA o f 3.5, incoming students bring experience from a wide variety of professions such as journalism, law, and education. A few students have enrolled after successful careers on Wall Street. Members of the 15-Month Accelerated BS Program find that their real-world experiences serve them well, both in the classroom and at the bedside, as they undertake their new profession with vigor.

By bringing more nurses into the profession at the baccalaureate degree level, 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.

Additionally, the program targets the need to recruit students from groups underrepresented in nursing or disadvantaged backgrounds. According to the National Advisory Council on Nurse Education and Practice, diversifying the nursing profession is essential to meeting the health care needs of the nation and reducing health disparities that exist among many underserved populations.

AACN serves as the National Program Office for this RWJF initiative and oversees the grant application submission and review processes. For more information about this program, see http://www.newcareersinnursing.org.

Press Contact

Christopher James
Christopher James
(212) 998-6876