First Jonas Center Nursing Scholars Grants Fund Doctoral Students to Address Nursing Faculty Shortage

New York – The Jonas Center for Nursing Excellence today announced the first four grants in its groundbreaking $2.5 million Jonas Nursing Scholars Program, designed to address the nation’s accelerating shortage of nursing faculty. The Scholars Program supports educational development of new nursing faculty and stimulates models for joint faculty appointments between schools of nursing and clinical affiliates.

The Jonas Scholars grants include six leading academic institutions with graduate nursing programs; three are located in the New York metropolitan area and three are outside the region but are partnering with New York institutions. These grants, made through institutional awards, will fund six doctoral students above the number that schools had planned to admit.

The grantees are:

  • Columbia University School of Nursing and Columbia University’s Irving Institute of Translational Science (Two Scholars)
  • The City University of New York (CUNY) Graduate Center and Yale School of Nursing (One Scholar)
  • University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing and New York University College of Nursing (Two Scholars)
  • Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing and Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health and Columbia University School of Nursing (One Scholar)

The program forms the base for a nationwide Nursing Scholars Collaborative led by the Jonas Center. The Collaborative will engage other donors to increase funding for nursing faculty and expand the number of supported doctoral students in the Fall 2008 cohort and fund future cohorts. The Jonas Center’s aim for the Collaborative is to collectively support 25 doctoral nursing students over the next six years and evaluate the progress and impacts of the Scholars Program.

The Jonas Center Nursing Scholars will each receive four years of funding for tuition and living stipends up to a maximum of $70,000 per year per scholar through forgivable loans. Jonas Center Nursing Scholars agree to complete a doctoral degree in four years; limit salaried employment during the course of study; begin teaching nursing full-time in the New York City metropolitan area within four months of degree completion and remain teaching in the area for a minimum of four years.

“Much of the attention paid to the nation’s nursing crisis focuses on clinical practice, where the shortfall is most visible to the public. However, faculty development is crucial to ensure we can train the next generation of nurses who will provide individuals and communities access to quality healthcare and services,” said Marilyn A. DeLuca, Ph.D, RN, Executive Director of the Jonas Center for Nursing Excellence.

The Jonas Center is committed to the New York-based Scholars Program as a means of creating academic tracks that are professionally appealing and financially manageable, and to involve new private and government funders in the Scholars Collaborative to effect long term nationwide change, DeLuca continued.


Applicant Base Extended Beyond New York; Students Selected Competitively

According to the National League for Nursing, the shortage of nurse educators caused more than 88,000 qualified applicants nationwide to be denied admission to nursing programs in 2005-2006 alone. In order to address and draw attention to the national crisis while still making a local impact, the Jonas Center extended eligibility for the Nursing Scholars program to academic institutions outside of the New York area, provided they would partner with New York-based academic and clinical affiliates.

Grantee institutions will select Jonas Scholars from competitive pools of qualified applicants, while considering the applicants’ interest in areas in high demand for nurse educators, such as oncology; geriatrics; mental health; public health and integrative/holistic care; potential for productive academic work and commitment to education; capacity to represent racial and ethnic diversity and financial need.

The Jonas Nursing Scholars will have access to collaborate on multi-disciplinary translational clinical research teams and to a variety of clinical programs for dissertation research. Further, during their first semester all Jonas Nursing Scholars will participate in a new Interdisciplinary Research Seminar offered by Columbia University’s Irving Institute of Translational Research.

The Jonas Scholars Program was announced in November 2007. In addition to DeLuca, the Jonas Scholars Review Committee included Patricia A. Grady, National Institutes of Health; Barbara Parker, The University of Virginia School of Nursing; Marybeth Sharpe, The Betty Irene Moore Nursing Initiative, Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation; and Rachael A. Watman, The John Hartford Foundation.