Jonas Center for Nursing Excellence Expands Flagship Scholars Program

New York, NY – July 5, 2011 – The Jonas Center for Nursing Excellence, in partnership with the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN), is expanding its Jonas Nurse Leaders Scholar Program nationally to support 150 doctoral nursing students by 2012 – a three-fold increase above the 50 scholars currently funded. The expansion, which will include 200 students by 2013 with a special focus on scholarships for military nurses, represents the Jonas Center’s ongoing effort to ease the nation’s continuing shortage of nursing faculty.

Recognizing that supporting the educational development of future nurse leaders is a critical way to positively affect patient care, the Jonas Center created its Scholars Program in 2008 with just six students. The program grew to 50 scholars by 2010 and the Jonas Center has provided more than $3 million to support this effort to date.

“Barbara and Donald Jonas showed true vision in addressing the nursing faculty shortage as a path to improving patient care. The rapid growth of our program and increased interest by potential partners is a testament to its effectiveness and the immense need to support our nursing schools,” said Darlene Curley, executive director of the Jonas Center. “This need was underscored by the Institute of Medicine’s 2010 report, The Future of Nursing: Leading Change, Advancing Health, which advocates for doubling the number of U.S. nurses with doctoral degrees. The Jonas Center will continue to play a significant and growing role in meeting this goal.”

The 2012 expansion will spread the program’s reach across all 50 states. In addition to traditional PhD scholars, the cohort will include nurses pursuing a Doctor of Nursing Practice degree as well as members of the military who have served in Iraq or Afghanistan.

“This vital program will increase the ranks of new nurses and prepare the future workforce to lead in ways that grow and advance the field. These nurses will sit at the health policy table, spearhead influential research and change nursing practice in ways to improve care and save even more lives,” said Donald Jonas. “We are grateful to and encouraged by our partners and we hope others join this vital cause so that we may support thousands of future nurses in the coming years.”

The First Jonas Nurse Leaders Scholars Graduate, Begin Teaching

This academic year marked a significant milestone as the first Jonas Scholars graduated from their respective doctoral programs and have entered the nurse faculty workforce.

Kristina Thomas Dreifuerst, PhD, RN, ACNS-BC, CWOCN, CNE, earned her doctorate at Indiana University School of Nursing, where she is currently an assistant professor.

Jennifer Gunberg Ross, PhD, MSN, RN, CNE, completed her doctorate as well as her master’s and baccalaureate degrees from Villanova University College of Nursing, where she is an Adjunct Professor.

Lisa Adams Wolf, PhD, MS, RN, CEN, earned her doctorate at Boston College’s William F. Connell School of Nursing. Currently an assistant professor at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, she will be inducted as a Fellow of the Academy of Emergency Nursing in September.

Four additional Jonas Scholars will graduate in September.


About the Jonas Center for Nursing Excellence

Founded in February of 2006, the Jonas Center for Nursing Excellence ( is supported by the Barbara and Donald Jonas Family Fund. Its mission is to advance professional nursing through grant making and programs that improve nurse recruitment and retention, increase ethnic and racial diversity among the nursing workforce, advance innovative practice models and improve practice settings in New York City.