Jonas Center, Hunter-Bellevue School of Nursing Partner on Honors Program to Shape Future Leaders

Program will prepare undergraduates to enter pipeline to the profession’s highest degrees

NEW YORK, December 17, 2014 – The Jonas Center for Nursing and Veterans Healthcare(Jonas Center) today announced a partnership with Hunter-Bellevue School of Nursing to invest in promising nursing undergraduates at the beginning of their academic careers. The ultimate goal of the Jonas Nursing Honors Scholars program is to produce future nurse leaders able to improve the nation’s healthcare system through practice and policy and to serve as top faculty in schools of nursing.

A $100,000 grant from the Jonas Center will fund 18 students through 2016 in Hunter’s rigorous undergraduate nursing curriculum, with special seminars, community service, research opportunities, a summer internship, leadership experiences, and one-on-one mentoring from a faculty member through their four years at Hunter. These elite students, identified during their senior year of high school, will be encouraged to pursue advanced degree programs, such as the Doctorate in Nursing Practice (DNP), and leadership roles in the field.

“The opportunities afforded by this program will give Hunter students, many from the best public schools in New York, an experience that will enable them to take on the greatest academic goals and prepare them for roles in shaping care and policy over the coming decades,” says Hunter College President Jennifer J. Raab. “Importantly, the Jonas Nursing Honors Program devotes resources that can reduce demands that might otherwise distract from learning, such as debt and outside employment, helping these exceptional students excel.”

This initiative expands on the Jonas Nurse Leaders Scholars Program, launched in 2008 to resolve the shortage of nursing faculty by preparing nurses with doctoral degrees to step into this role. To date, the Jonas Center has supported 600 doctoral scholars nationwide, 100 of whom have graduated and gone on to assume leadership and faculty positions. The Jonas Center’s goal is to support 1,000 Scholars by 2016.

The Jonas Nursing Honors Scholars program answers a call to action from the Institute of Medicine’s seminal 2010 report, “The Future of Nursing,” to increase the number of nurses who hold bachelor’s degrees to 80 percent by 2020. Further, it advances an industry goal to grow the number of doctoral-prepared nurses. Efforts by schools of nursing, the American Association of Colleges of Nursing and nonprofits such as the Jonas Center in recent years have resulted in an increase of students enrolled in DNP programs from roughly 11,600 to 14,700 from 2012-2013. During that same period, the number of DNP graduates increased from nearly 1,900 to more than 2,400.1

“The Jonas Center is excited to support this program that will nurture the youngest nursing students and provide a collegial environment designed to put these early ‘stars’ on a track that will lead to the highest levels of accomplishment and leadership in the field,” says Darlene Curley, MS, RN, FAAN, executive director of the Jonas Center.


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, and graduated 100 nurse leaders. The Jonas Center’s goal is to support 1,000 Scholars by 2016.


1 American Association of Colleges of Nursing, DNP Fact Sheet, August 2014.