The Linfield-Good Samaritan School of Nursing won its third major grant award from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) through the RWJF New Careers in Nursing Scholarship Program (NCIN).The NCIN Scholarship program was launched in 2008 by the RWJF and the American Association of Colleges of Nursing to address the national nursing shortage, develop a diverse professional nursing workforce, and fuel the pipeline for nurse faculty and leaders. In the 2011-12 academic year, 400 students in accelerated baccalaureate and master’s programs will receive NCIN scholarship funding.
The Linfield-Good Samaritan School of Nursing received $50,000 from the NCIN to provide $10,000 scholarships to five students from groups who are underrepresented in the nursing field, including men and minority students. The scholarships will be awarded to students who enroll in Linfield’s 18-month accelerated program. To date, the NCIN program has supported 24 students in two years at Linfield.
Grant funding will also be used to help leverage new faculty resources and provide mentoring and leadership development resources to ensure successful program completion by scholarship recipients.
“Through the NCIN program, we are challenging nursing schools across the country to expand nurse leadership and strengthen education, two clear goals of the landmark 2010 Institute of Medicine report on The Future of Nursing,” said Denise A. Davis, Dr. P.H., RWJF program officer for NCIN. “By diversifying the nursing profession through these scholarships, we are also helping to create a health care workforce ready to meet the needs of the 21st century American patient.”
NCIN supports accelerated programs like the one at Linfield, which offers the most efficient route to licensure as a registered nurse for adults who have already completed a baccalaureate or graduate degree in a discipline other than nursing. Although enrollment in these programs has steadily increased over the past few years, many potential students are unable to enroll since already having a college degree disqualifies them for receiving most federal financial aid programs for entry-level students. NCIN scholarships will address this problem by enabling hundreds of students to launch their nursing careers through accelerated education.
By bringing more nurses into the profession at the baccalaureate and master’s degree levels, the new scholarship program also helps to address the nation’s nurse faculty shortage. Data from the U.S. Health Resources and Services Administration show that nurses entering the profession at the baccalaureate level are four times more likely than other nurses to pursue a graduate degree in nursing, which is the required credential to teach.
Additionally, the program targets the need to recruit students from groups underrepresented in nursing or disadvantaged backgrounds. According to the National Advisory Council on Nurse Education and Practice, diversifying the nursing profession is essential to meeting the health care needs of the nation and reducing health disparities that exist among many underserved populations.
At Linfield College, eligible students must:
- Be from a group underrepresented in nursing
- Have a 3.0 transferable course GPA
- Have a BA/BS by Jan. 30, 2012
- Be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident
- Be accepted to the nursing program
Applications will be available in the spring of 2012.
AACN serves as the National Program Office for this RWJF initiative and oversees the grant application submission and review processes. For more information about this program, see http://www.newcareersinnursing.org.