American Academy of Nursing Announces Fifth Cohort of Jonas Policy Scholars


Funded by the Jonas Philanthropies, Program Connects Emerging Scholars with Nurse Leaders on Academy Expert Panels


WASHINGTON, DC (August 29, 2018) – The American Academy of Nursing today announced the fifth cohort of individuals selected to participate in its Academy Jonas Policy Scholars Program.

Funded by a generous grant from Jonas Philanthropies (, the program recruits highly qualified doctoral and post-doctoral nursing students for a two-year fellowship experience. Each scholar is matched with an Academy expert panel where they have the opportunity to learn about major health policy issues from leading nursing experts.

“The Academy Jonas Policy Scholar program is an excellent opportunity for emerging nurse scholars to connect and collaborate with expert nurse leaders on the Academy’s health policy priorities being addressed by the Academy’s Expert Panels,” said Academy President Karen Cox, PhD, RN, FAAN. “Our sincerest thanks and appreciation goes out to Jonas Philanthropies for making this collaboration possible. We are excited to have these excellent Scholars working closely with our Academy fellows on solving some tough health issues through policy development.

“It is more important than ever for the nursing profession to have a strong voice in healthcare policy at the local, state, and national level,” said Darlene Curley, MS, RN, FAAN, the CEO of Jonas Philanthropies. We are proud of our partnership with the American Academy of Nursing and congratulate the new Academy Jonas Policy Scholars”.

The new cohort of six Academy Jonas Policy Scholars will serve from 2018-2020 and are listed with their university and corresponding Academy expert panel:

  • Kelli DePriest, BSN, RN, Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing; Environmental & Public Health Expert Panel
  • Kristen Choi, PhD, RN, University of California, Los Angeles, National Clinician Scholars Program; Maternal & Infant Health Expert Panel
  • Nicholas Giordano, PhD, RN, Defense & Veterans Center for Integrative Pain Management; Military & Veterans Health Expert Panel
  • Elizabeth Henderson, MSN, MS, RN, AFN-BC, NREMT-P, Northeastern University, Bouve College of Health Sciences; Psychiatric/Mental Health/Substance Abuse Expert Panel
  • Anna Dermenchyan, MSN, RN, CCRN-K, UCLA School of Nursing; Violence Expert Panel
  • Laura Britton, BSN, RN, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, School of Nursing; Women’s Health Expert Panel

Launched in 2014, the program selects Academy Jonas Policy Scholars based on evidence of scholarship, including publications, presentations, honors and awards; evidence of leadership experience; and match between the applicant’s interest area and the Academy’s policy priorities. The first cohort (2014-2016) consisted of six Academy Jonas Policy Scholars; the second cohort (2015- 2017) had seven; the third cohort (2016-2018) had six; and the fourth cohort (2017-2019) had six.

Expert panels are one of the major forces within the Academy for developing new knowledge, promoting collaboration, and shaping policy. Each of the Academy’s 24 experts panels are comprised of experts with a policy focus on specific healthcare topics, providing the Academy the ability to identify and address current and emerging issues within the nursing profession and public health sphere. The expert panels advance evidence-based innovations in healthcare delivery to address the health needs of populations, including diverse, at-risk, and disenfranchised populations.


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About the American Academy or Nursing

The American Academy of Nursing ( serves the public and the nursing profession by advancing health policy and practice through the generation, synthesis, and dissemination of nursing knowledge. The Academy’s more than 2,500 Fellows are nursing’s most accomplished leaders in education, management, practice, policy, and research. They have been recognized for their extraordinary contributions to nursing and healthcare.

About Jonas Philanthropies

Jonas Philanthropies is transforming healthcare for the better by investing where it matters most, in solutions that can be scaled for the greatest impact. Its programs address high-need issues and audiences with high- impact solutions: promoting leadership in nursing and Veterans health care, preventing and treating low vision and blindness, and protecting our children’s environmental health.