Jonas Nurse Leaders – 7.15.10

Jonas Center for Nursing Excellence Expands Funding for Doctoral Nursing Students, Addressing Nurse Faculty Shortage

Program to fund students at nation’s leading institutions; partnerships with the John A. Hartford Foundation and the National League for Nursing will address specific needs in geriatrics and education


New York, July 15, 2010 – While the nation’s shortage of clinical nurses has eased temporarily, the persistent shortage of nursing faculty forces nursing schools to turn away thousands of qualified applicants and limits the education of future generations of nurses. This situation will profoundly affect the quality and cost of patient care in the coming decades – just when an aging population will need care most. In response, the Jonas Center for Nursing Excellence is expanding its Jonas Nurse Leaders Scholar Program to fund 50 doctoral nursing students at nearly two dozen of the nation’s leading academic institutions.

As part of the expansion, The John A. Hartford Foundation and the National League for Nursing(NLN) will support doctoral students who will help meet needs in the areas of geriatrics and the science of nursing education, respectively.

The Jonas Nurse Leaders Scholar Program was created in 2008 as a novel initiative to support educational development of new nursing faculty and stimulate models for joint faculty appointments between schools of nursing and clinical affiliates. The grants, made through institutional awards, also prepare doctoral candidates to help students address the needs of future patients – from dealing with co-morbidities and chronic illnesses to providing culturally competent care. The Jonas Center has provided nearly $3 million to the program to date.

“Our goal is not only to increase the number of nursing faculty, but to develop educators who lead efforts to improve the quality of patient care and reduce costs – efforts that will be carried on further by their students,” says Darlene Curley, Executive Director of the Jonas Center for Nursing Excellence. “Expanding the Scholar Program and partnering with prestigious schools and like-minded funders to achieve this goal are natural extensions of our original mission and will benefit countless patients nationwide.”


Increasing Geriatric Nursing Faculty

Nurses play a critical role in promoting healthy aging and caring for sick and frail older adults, yet of the 2.5 million registered nurses in the U.S., fewer than 15,000 are certified gerontological nurses.[1] Thus, it is essential to train faculty specializing in geriatric nursing. To that end, a two-year partnership with the Hartford Foundation will support the preparation of nine faculty members to specialize in geriatrics at each of the Hartford Centers of Geriatric Nursing Excellence (CGNE): Arizona State University; Oregon Health & Science University; Pennsylvania State University; the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences College of Nursing; the University of California San Francisco School of Nursing; the University of Iowa College of Nursing; the University of Minnesota; the University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing; and the University of Utah.


Advancing Evidence-based Science of Nursing Education

As part of the National League for Nursing’s (NLN) goal to advance the science of nursing education, it will support ten Jonas Nursing Scholars over two years as they complete dissertation research related to the NLN’s Priorities for Research in Nursing Education, such as curriculum design, education reform and clinical teaching models.

Two cohorts of five scholars each will be funded by the partnership. The University of Washington; the Indiana University School of Nursing; Boston College; the Case Western Reserve College of Nursing; and Villanova University College of Nursing have been chosen to participate.


Jonas Scholars in Every Region

In addition to the institutions supported by the Hartford and NLN partnerships, the Jonas Center has selected nine leading centers of nursing education to participate in the Jonas Nurse Leaders Scholar Program. This group, which will educate 25 Jonas Scholars, includes:

  • Columbia University School of Nursing
  • Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing
  • New York University College of Nursing
  • Rutgers College of Nursing
  • The Betty Irene Moore School of Nursing at UC Davis
  • The City University of New York (CUNY) Graduate Center
  • The University of Miami School of Nursing and Health Studies
  • University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing
  • Yale School of Nursing


Grantee institutions will select Jonas Scholars from a competitive applicant pool, with special consideration for applicants’ interest in high demand areas for nurse educators, such as geriatrics, mental health and community health; and potential for productive academic work and commitment to education; capacity to represent racial and ethnic diversity; and financial need.

“Regardless of policy changes, nurses will always be on the front lines of patient care,” said Donald Jonas, co-founder of the Jonas Center for Nursing Excellence.  “The national expansion of the Jonas Nurse Leaders Scholar Program helps fulfill our collective responsibility to prepare nurses to care for the needs of a changing patient population and shape the future of health care.”




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.