09/03/2013

WVU School of Nursing awarded scholarships for second-career nursing students

Prestigious RWJF New Careers in Nursing Program helps six students

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – The West Virginia University School of Nursing has for the sixth time been selected as a grant recipient of the prestigious Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) New Careers in Nursing Scholarship Program (NCIN). During the 2013-2014 academic year, the WVU School of Nursing will receive $60,000 to support students in the School’s accelerated baccalaureate nursing program who are traditionally underrepresented in the field of nursing and are pursuing second careers in the field. NCIN is a program of RWJF and the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN).

Six students from WVU’s spring 2014 cohort will be awarded NCIN scholarships of $10,000 each. To date, the School of Nursing has been able to award 21 NCIN scholarships totaling $310,000 in aid to students in the accelerated program.

Each NCIN Scholar has already earned a bachelor’s degree in another field and is making a career switch to nursing through an accelerated nursing degree program. The WVU School of Nursing’s B.S./B.A. to B.S.N. program prepares students to pass the licensure exam required for all registered nurses in 18 months.

The B.S./B.A. to B.S.N. program currently boasts 53 students with at least 24 more expected to begin this spring. The program launched in 2003 with 10 students. As of the August 2013 graduation, 250 prospective nurses will have graduated from the program.

“At this time, when the nation’s need for highly educated nurses is growing, we are delighted to be able to support nursing students who will bring diverse and valuable perspectives to the field and become capable, culturally-competent nurses,” David Krol, M.D., M.P.H., RWJF senior program officer, said. “NCIN is not only helping these students succeed in school, it is helping prepare the nursing workforce to meet the challenges that lie ahead.”

Since 2008, the NCIN program has distributed 3,117 scholarships to students at 125 unique schools of nursing. This year, funding for 400 scholarships was granted to 52 schools of nursing.

In addition to a $10,000 scholarship, NCIN scholars receive other support to help them meet the demands of an accelerated degree program. All NCIN grantee schools maintain a leadership program and a mentoring program for their scholars, as well as a pre-entry immersion program to help scholars learn study, test-taking and other skills that will help them manage the challenges of an accelerated program.

“NCIN is strengthening nursing education and creating a culture of change at schools of nursing across the country,” AACN President Jane Kirschling, Ph.D., R.N., said. “Our grantee schools are committed to enrolling students traditionally underrepresented in nursing, and students are benefiting from the emphasis on mentoring and leadership development that are hallmarks of the NCIN program. AACN is proud to collaborate with RWJF on this ground-breaking effort.”
 
The 2010 Institute of Medicine report, The Future of Nursing: Leading Change, Advancing Health, recommends increasing the proportion of nurses with a baccalaureate degree or higher and increasing the diversity of students to create a nursing workforce prepared to meet the healthcare demands of diverse populations across the lifespan. NCIN is helping to advance those recommendations, enabling schools to expand student capacity in higher education and encouraging more diversity.

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. 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.

For more information about WVU’s accelerated program, visit www.hsc.wvu.edu/son. To learn more about the NCIN program, visit www.NewCareersInNursing.org.
 
About NCIN
The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) joined with the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) to create New Careers in Nursing (NCIN): an RWJF Scholarship Program to help alleviate the nursing shortage and increase the diversity of nursing professionals. Through annual grants to schools of nursing, NCIN provides $10,000 scholarships to college graduates with degrees in other fields who wish to transition into nursing through an accelerated baccalaureate or master’s nursing program. For more information, visit www.newcareersinnursing.org.

About the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation
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 health and health care, the Foundation works with a diverse group of organizations and individuals to identify solutions and achieve comprehensive, measurable, and timely change. For more than 40 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. When it comes to helping Americans lead healthier lives and get the care they need, the Foundation expects to make a difference in your lifetime. Follow the Foundation on Twitter at www.rwjf.org/twitter or Facebook at www.rwjf.org/facebook.

About AACN
The American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) is the national voice for baccalaureate and graduate programs in nursing. Representing more than 720 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. For more information, visit www.aacn.nche.edu.

--WVU HEALTH--


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For more information:
Amy Johns, Director of Public Affairs, 304-293-7087
johnsa@wvuhealthcare.com
sf: 08-28-13

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