American Academy of Nursing Announces Second Cohort of Students in Program Connecting Nurse Leaders With Emerging Scholars

Jonas Center Funds Policy Scholars to Work With Academy Expert Panels

WASHINGTON, DC (August 11, 2015) – The American Academy of Nursing today announced the second cohort of individuals selected to participate in its Jonas Policy Scholars Program, funded by the Jonas Center for Nursing and Veterans Healthcare. The program, which began in 2014, 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 from leading nursing experts about major health policy issues.

“The Jonas Policy Scholar program allows for seasoned scholars to collaborate with the next generation of nurse leaders by working together on important policy issues that have been collectively established as priorities by Academy fellows,” said Academy President, Diana Mason, PhD, RN, FAAN. “The Academy is grateful to the Jonas Center for Nursing and Veterans Healthcare for making it possible to connect promising individuals with accomplished nurse leaders who are driving innovation and pioneering positive change within their fields.”

“Preparing nurses to make health policy decisions and recommendations is a core tenet of the Jonas Center’s initiatives. The Jonas Policy Scholars will serve at the highest levels of leadership in ensuring quality, cost-effective and accessible healthcare,” said Darlene Curley, MS, RN, Executive Director of the Jonas Center and former state representative of Maine. “Policy leadership is a natural extension of nurses’ critical roles in the healthcare system, from both clinical and advocacy positions, and the Jonas Center is pleased to welcome seven new scholars to this exceptional cohort.”

Jonas Policy Scholars are selected based on evidence of scholarship, including publications, presentations, honors and awards; evidence of leadership experience; and match between the applicant’s interest area and at least one healthcare issue addressed through the expert panels.

The new cohort of seven Jonas Policy Scholars will serve from 2015-2017 and are listed with their corresponding Academy expert panel:

  • Toby Bressler, MPA, RN, OCN; Molloy College; Acute and Critical Care expert panel
  • Billy A. Caceres, MSN, RN-BC, AGPCNP-BC; New York University; Aging expert panel
  • Kari Mastro, MSN, RN, NEA-BC; University of Colorado; Emerging Infectious Diseases expert panel
  • Sarah Miner, MS, RN; University of Rochester; Environmental and Public Health expert panel
  • Jiayun Xu, PhD, RN; University of Utah; Health Behavior expert panel
  • Christopher VanFosson, MSN/MHA, RN; The University of Texas at Austin School of Nursing; Quality Health Care expert panel
  • Teresa Hagan, BSN, BA, RN; University of Pittsburgh School of Nursing; Women’s Health expert panel

Expert panels are a flagship initiative of the Academy, used as a vehicle for driving health policy recommendations and changes, and for sharing knowledge and promoting collaboration among nurse leaders across the country and internationally. 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 concerns.

The first cohort of six Jonas Policy Scholars (2014-2016) and their expert panels were announced in 2014.

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About the Jonas Center for Nursing and Veterans Healthcare

The Jonas Center for Nursing and Veterans Healthcare, established in 2006 by Barbara and Donald Jonas, is 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 have supported 600 doctoral scholars nationwide. The Jonas Center’s goal is to support 1,000 Scholars by 2016.


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 2,300 Fellows are nursing’s most accomplished leaders in education, management, practice, and research. They have been recognized for their extraordinary contributions to nursing and the promotion of the health of the public through evidence-based health policies.