Ahead of Schedule, Jonas Center Supports its 1,000th Doctoral Scholar

$25M Philanthropic Gift Prepares Healthcare Workforce for Today and Tomorrow

NEW YORK, September 26, 2016 – With today’s announcement that 440 new Jonas Scholars have begun their doctoral work, the Jonas Center for Nursing and Veterans Healthcare has achieved its ambitious goal to prepare more than 1,000 nurse faculty and clinical leaders nationwide.

“Nurses are the backbone of the American healthcare system and underappreciated by the public,” says Donald Jonas, who co-founded the Center with Barbara Jonas, his wife. “It is essential that we support nurses and the vital role they play in our hospitals, schools, clinics, nursing homes and on the battlefield”

The newest candidates for the Jonas Nurse Leaders Scholar Program and Jonas Veterans Healthcare Program  arrive amid a surge in aging adults with complex health needs and an increase in military veterans with unprecedented injuries. While 10,000 baby boomers turn 65 each day[1], 53 percent of working nurses[2] and 72 percent of full-time nursing faculty are over age 50.[3] Further, a faculty vacancy rate of 6.9 percent[4] resulted in nearly 69,000 qualified applicants turned away from nursing baccalaureate and graduate programs in 2014.[5]

In response, the Jonas Center planned to direct close to $14 million plus another $10.5 million in leveraged funds to prepare 1,000 nurse faculty and clinical leaders by 2020. Darlene Curley, MS, RN, and CEO of the Jonas Family Fund and Executive Director of the Jonas Center, confirms today that the just-announced group of 440 scholars brings that dream to fruition four years ahead of schedule and, appropriately, during the Center’s 10th anniversary year.

This newest group of Scholars represent 145 leading universities in all 50 states. The Scholars are supported by Jonas Center Foundation partners including the Morton K. and Jane Blaustein Foundation, The Ahmanson Foundation, the May & Stanley Smith Charitable Trust, and The Geneva Foundation.

“Over the last decade, we have brought together numerous foundations and organizations with a shared vision to support our nation’s nurses, and our work has always been based equally on head and heart – on what research and instinct told us was needed,” said Donald Jonas “The results of those collaborations – and dreams – have far exceeded what we ever thought possible.”


About the Jonas Center for Nursing and Veterans Healthcare
In 2006, Barbara and Donald Jonas established the Jonas Center for Nursing and Veterans Healthcare, the leading national philanthropic funder dedicated to improving healthcare by advancing nursing scholarship, leadership and innovation. Its two main programs are the Jonas Nurse Leaders Scholar Program, which aims to address the dire shortage of nursing faculty by preparing nurses with doctoral degrees to step into this critical role, and the Jonas Veterans Healthcare Program, which seeks to improve the health of veterans by supporting doctoral-level nursing candidates committed to advancing veterans’ healthcare. These programs currently support more than 1,000 doctoral Nurse Scholars nationwide.

[1] Pew Research Center, Baby Boomers Approach 65 – Glumly: Survey Findings about America’s Largest Generation, (December 2010)
[2] The National Council of State Boards of Nursing and The Forum of State Nursing Workforce Centers 2013 National Workforce Survey of RNs.
[3],[4] American Nurses Association, “FAST FACTS – The Nursing Workforce 2014: Growth, Salaries, Education, Demographics & Trends.”
[5] American Association of Colleges of Nursing