The University of Cincinnati (UC) College of Nursing is one of 52 schools to receive a grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) New Careers in Nursing Scholarship Program (NCIN).
For the 2014–15 academic year, the college will receive $50,000 to support traditionally underrepresented students who are making a career switch to nursing through an accelerated baccalaureate or master’s degree program. NCIN is a program of RWJF and the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN).
Each NCIN Scholar has already earned a bachelor’s degree in another field, and is making a transition to nursing through an accelerated nursing degree program, which prepares students to assume the role of registered nurse in as little as 12 to 18 months.
At the UC College of Nursing, five students will be awarded NCIN scholarships. Since 2008, the NCIN program has distributed 3,517 scholarships to students at 130 unique schools of nursing. This year, funding for 400 scholarships was granted to 52 schools of nursing.
"We understand that the financial commitment to attend our college is difficult for many of our students, so we are very pleased to be able to provide assistance to make it easier for them,” said UC College of Nursing Dean Greer Glazer, PhD. "We are equally pleased that this money will be used to increase the diversity of our program, which is important to our college, and to health care in Cincinnati and the nation.”
In addition to a $10,000 scholarship, NCIN scholars receive other support to help them meet the demands of an accelerated degree program. All NCIN grantee schools maintain a leadership program and a mentoring program for their scholars, as well as a pre-entry immersion program to assist scholars in learning essential study, test-taking and other skills needed to succeed in their program of study.
"Nursing and nursing education are at a critical juncture right now, and NCIN’s exemplary approach to supporting nursing schools is helping to strengthen both,” said AACN President Eileen Breslin, PhD. "NCIN’s creative, innovative and responsive approach to providing grantees with tools to ensure academic success will result in lasting changes at nursing schools nationwide. The NCIN program has truly raised the bar for recruitment, retention, mentoring and leadership development for nursing students from groups underrepresented in nursing.”
The 2010 Institute of Medicine (IOM) report, The Future of Nursing: Leading Change, Advancing Health, recommends increasing the proportion of nurses with a baccalaureate degree or higher, and increasing the diversity of students to create a nursing workforce prepared to meet the health care demands of diverse populations across the lifespan. NCIN is helping to advance those recommendations by enabling schools to expand student capacity and by encouraging more diversity.
By bringing more nurses into the profession at the baccalaureate and master’s degree levels, the NCIN program also helps to address the nation’s nurse faculty shortage. This trend is reflected in the NCIN scholars, as 91 percent of the students receiving funding in the first three years of the program indicated a desire to advance their education to the master’s and doctoral levels.
"New Careers in Nursing has made amazing strides in helping schools of nursing recruit and retain diverse students in these competitive and rigorous accelerated degree programs,” said David Krol, MD, RWJF senior program officer. "Through supporting these institutions, NCIN is working to increase the diversity of our nursing workforce, while also assisting schools of nursing in making their institutions more inclusive. The leadership, mentoring and other support these institutions provide are helping to prepare a diverse nursing workforce able to meet the challenges associated with building a culture of health in our nation.”
For more information about the UC College of Nursing’s accelerated program, visit http://nursing.uc.edu/academic_programs/accelerated_programs.html.