School of Nursing Re-Awarded Scholarships through RWJF New Careers in Nursing Program
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MidAmerica Nazarene University School of Nursing and Health Science announced today that, for the third year in a row, it has been selected as a grant recipient of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation New Careers in Nursing Scholarship Program (NCIN). During the 2011-2012 academic year, MNU will receive $50,000 to support students in the school’s accelerated bachelor of science in nursing program who are traditionally underrepresented in the field of nursing. The NCIN Scholarship Program was launched in 2008 by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) and the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (NCIN) to address the national nursing shortage, develop a diverse professional nursing workforce, and fuel the pipeline of nurse faculty and leaders.
“Through the NCIN program, we are challenging nursing schools across the country to expand nurse leadership and strengthen education, two clear goals of the landmark 2010 Institute of Medicine (IOM) report on The Future of Nursing, “said Denise A. Davis, Dr. P.H, RWJF program officer for NCIN. “By diversifying the nursing profession through these scholarships, we are also helping to create a health care workforce ready to meet the needs of the 21st century American patient.”
At MNU, five scholarships in the amount of $10,000 each will be awarded to students entering the accelerated nursing program during the 2011-2012 academic year. With this grant the NCIN program will have supported 25 students in three years at MNU, and will continue to develop culturally competent health professionals and future leaders of the profession.
According to Gwen Wagner, assistant professor of nursing and NCIN coordinator, the grant has also assisted the School of Nursing in developing leadership and mentoring programs.
“With the support and tools provided by RWJF, we have developed programs for our students such as a pre-immersion 2-day orientation to the ABSN program, a year-long mentoring agreement for our scholars with local practicing nurses and monthly leadership training seminars,” Wagner says. “We look forward to another year of partnership with the RWJF and the NCIN program. It will not only make entering the ABSN program financially feasible for 5 students, but will also help us promote leadership and professionalism among our students who will eventually contribute to creating a culturally competent workplace. ”
The NCIN program 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 NCIN provide scholarships directly to students from groups underrepresented in nursing or from disadvantaged backgrounds.
The NCIN program addresses a number of the challenges confronting nursing education, professional development, and the national workforce shortage. Accelerated programs like the ones supported by NCIN provide scholars with the most efficient route to licensure as a registered nurse (RN) and create opportunities for adults who have already completed a baccalaureate or graduate degree in a field other than nursing. These programs prepare students to pass the licensure examine required for all RNs in as little as 12-18 months and provide quicker routes to workforce eligibility than traditional programs.
“AACN is proud to collaborate with RWJF on this unique effort. Through this partnership, the NCIN program continues to provide much needed scholarship support, mentoring and leadership development to students enrolled in accelerated nursing programs,” said AACN President Kathleen Potempa. “By focusing on students entering the profession at the baccalaureate and master’s level, NCIN aligns well with the recommendations for educational preparation of the nursing workforce advanced in the IOM Report on The Future of Nursing.”
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 91 percent of the students receiving funding in the first three years of the program indicate a desire to advance their education to the master’s and doctoral levels.