New Grant for Nursing Doctoral Studies

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New Grant for Nursing Doctoral Studies

We need more nurse scientists and educators

By Elizabeth Hanink, RN, BSN, PHN
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The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF), long a champion of nurses, has announced a new initiative to support some of the nation’s brightest nurses as they pursue higher education at the doctoral level. Through a $20 million grant to the new Future of Nursing Scholars program, RWJF will help fulfill some of the recommendations of the Institute of Medicine report of several years ago: more nurse leaders, more nurse-led science and more nurse educators.

One Tenth of One Percent
The University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing hosted the announcement and will serve as the national office for the new program. Schools will be able to apply for the program, which will support 100 candidates over its first two years, starting in 2014.

Currently, fewer than 3,000 of the nation’s 3 million nurses have doctoral degrees and most of those nurses hold DNPs rather than the Ph.D. that prepares one for teaching and research. On average, nurses with doctoral degrees also earned those degrees a full 13 years later than the average Ph.D. candidate in other fields.

Problem Solvers
“We cannot achieve our mission to improve health and healthcare without a robust, well-educated nursing workforce and many more highly educated nurse leaders,” says John Lumpkin, M.D., MPH, the foundation’s senior vice president and director of the RWJF Health Care Group.

The Ph.D.-prepared nurses that the Future of Nursing Scholars program supports will help “identify solutions to the country’s most pressing health problems,” Lumpkin says. “They will be positioned to lead change and inspire the next generation of nurses.”

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