American Academy of Nursing Announces Fourth Cohort of Nursing Students

Funded by the Jonas Center for Nursing and Veterans Healthcare, Program Connects Emerging Scholars with Nurse Leaders on Academy Expert Panels

Washington, DC (August 24, 2017) – The American Academy of Nursing today announced the fourth cohort of individuals selected to participate in its Academy Jonas Policy Scholars Program. Funded by the Jonas Center for Nursing and Veterans Healthcare, 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 exciting opportunity to team experienced student nurses with expert nurse leaders for collaboration on public policy challenges that are considered top priorities by Academy Fellows,” said Academy President, Bobbie Berkowitz, PhD, RN, NEA-BC, FAAN. “We want to express our appreciation to the Jonas Center for Nursing and Veterans Healthcare for making this collaboration possible, and look forward to the creative thoughts generated when these outstanding scholars and accomplished leaders work together on critical issues.”

“The Jonas Center is proud to sponsor Academy Policy Scholars at the American Academy of Nursing. It is more important than ever for nurses to lead policy discussions at the local, state, and national levels,” said Darlene J. Curley, MS, RN, FAAN, CEO Jonas Family Fund.

The new cohort of Academy Jonas Policy Scholars will serve from 2017-2019 and are listed with their university and corresponding Academy expert panel:

  • Ragnhildur Ingibjargardottir Bjarnadottir, PhD, MPH, RN; University of Florida; Informatics and Technology
  • Shannon Halloway, PhD, RN; Rush University; Women’s Health
  • Kirstin Manges, MSN, RN; The University of Iowa; Building Health Care System Excellence
  • Sarah Oerther, MSN, MEd, RN; Saint Louis University; Psychiatric, Mental Health & Substance Abuse
  • Liz Stokes, JD, MA, RN; Duquesne University; LGBTQ Health
  • Jasmine Travers, PhD, AGNP-C, RN, CCRN; University of Pennsylvania; Environmental & Public Health

Launched in 2014, the program selects Academy Jonas Policy Scholars based on evidence of scholarship, including publications, presentations, honors and awards; evidence of leader ship experience; and match between the applicant’s interest area and at least one healthcare issue addressed through the expert panels. The first cohort (2014-2016) consisted of six Academy Jonas Policy Scholars, the second cohort (2015-2017) had seven, and the third cohort (2016-2018) 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 of 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, and research. They have been recognized for their extraordinary contributions to nursing and health care. Follow the Academy on Twitter at @AAN_Nursing.

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 healthca re 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.