Jonas Philanthropies Establishes New Home Base for its Nursing Division at AACN

NEW YORK, January 19, 2023Jonas Philanthropies, one of the nation’s leading sources of support for doctoral nursing education and other critical healthcare priorities, is pleased to announce the establishment of a new home base for its nursing programs at the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) in Washington, DC. This strategic move will position Jonas Philanthropies to amplify its work to address inequities in health care and support nursing, including the development of a diverse cadre of nurse faculty, advanced practice registered nurses, and nurse leaders.

“Preparing a well-educated, representative nursing workforce is essential to ensuring access to quality health care and keeping communities safe,” said John Jonas, Co-President of Jonas Philanthropies. “By expanding our long-term partnership with AACN, we are looking forward to sustaining the next phase of our work to develop nurse leaders who are able to transform today’s healthcare system into one that is rooted in equity, and reshapes the future of nursing education, practice, and research.”

“In collaboration with AACN, and with this new chapter of our nursing program, we will continue to invest in the legacy of reformative healthcare practices, setting quality standards for education and servicing in the healthcare field. Playing a major role in impacting the nursing community has been the foundation of the Jonas Scholars program since its inception,” said Lendri Purcell, Co-President of Jonas Philanthropies.

Founded by Donald and Barbara Jonas in 2006 to address the shortage of professional nurses, Jonas Philanthropies has thrived and expanded its reach to support solutions to address a range of high-need issues, including investments in low vision and blindness, children’s environmental health, and climate health. The Jonas legacy of innovation and action continues under the leadership of family members John Jonas, founder and CEO of the Jonas Group and Co-President of Jonas Philanthropies, and Lendri Purcell, Co-President of Jonas Philanthropies, founder of Trees for Climate Health, and co-founder of Families Advocating for Chemical and Toxics Safety (FACTS).

For more than 50 years, the American Association of Colleges of Nursing has played a major role in preparing nurse leaders at all levels. One of AACN’s signature initiatives has been its partnership with Jonas Philanthropies to administer the Jonas Scholars program. Through this groundbreaking initiative, Jonas Philanthropies has invested more than $25 million over the last 15 years to prepare more than 1,400 doctoral nursing program graduates for leadership roles in academia, practice, research, and policy. Program leaders were intentional about funding students in all 50 states and ensuring that at least half of all Jonas Scholars were from communities of color. 

“AACN applauds the Jonas family for their steadfast commitment to supporting nurses and addressing significant unmet needs in health care,” said Dr. Deborah Trautman, AACN President and Chief Executive Officer. “We look forward to strengthening AACN’s connection with our trusted colleagues and providing a higher level of service to the Jonas Scholars and the larger academic nursing community.”

Since 2012, AACN has worked closely with the leaders and staff at Jonas Philanthropies to administer the Jonas Scholars program, which has resulted in scholarship funding and leadership development for doctoral students from 157 schools of nursing, the hosting of five national conferences for Scholars, and the development of an alumni program. AACN will continue to administer the Jonas Scholars program, which includes providing services to the current cohort of Scholars through August 2023 and launching a new student cohort in 2024. Under the new partnership agreement, AACN will offer additional services to Scholars, including arranging subject matter experts to provide a tailored mentoring experience to Scholars, developing leadership-focused programming for current and alumni Scholars, and amplifying communication efforts.