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Wednesday, July 13, 2011

SU Nursing Department Earns $80,000 Scholarship Grant

SALISBURY, MD---Salisbury University’s Department of Nursing has announced that for the third year in a row, it has been selected as a grant recipient of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation New Careers in Nursing Scholarship Program (NCIN).

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During the 2011-2012 academic year, SU’s Department of Nursing will receive $80,000 to support students in the school’s Accelerated 2nd B.S. degree program who are traditionally underrepresented in the field of nursing. The NCIN Scholarship Program was launched in 2008 by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) and the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) to address the national nursing shortage, develop a diverse professional nursing workforce, and fuel the pipeline of nurse faculty and leaders.

“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 (IOM) 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.”

At Salisbury, scholarships in the amount of $10,000 each will be awarded to eight students entering the accelerated nursing program during the 2011-2012 academic year. To date, the NCIN program has supported 16 students over the past two years, and continues to develop culturally competent health professionals and future leaders of the profession.

As a result of this scholarship funding, SU has expanded enrollments in its accelerated 2nd BS program from 16 to 32 students. The nursing program at SU is the largest on the Eastern Shore and is recognized for its excellence (e.g. highest three-year average pass rate of all baccalaureate programs in Maryland on the NCLEX-RN). More than half of the graduates of SU’s 2nd B.S. program are employed as registered nurses in the region.

“We are honored to have been selected again for this prestigious award. This scholarship program is particularly important during these difficult economic times,” said Dr. Lisa Seldomridge, chair of the SU Nursing Department. “Through the RWJF NCIN scholarship program, we will again be able to facilitate program completion for eight career-change students. After only 3-semesters of study, these talented and highly motivated graduates join the local workforce quickly thereby adding to the pool of registered nurses in the region.”

The NCIN program was created to enable schools of nursing to expand student capacity in accelerated baccalaureate and master’s programs, and build a more diverse workforce ready to serve the needs of a changing patient population. Schools receiving grants through NCIN provide scholarships directly to students from groups underrepresented in nursing or from disadvantaged backgrounds.

In the 2011-2012 academic year, 400 students in accelerated baccalaureate and master’s programs will receive scholarship funding. 

The NCIN program addresses a number of the challenges confronting nursing education, professional development, and the national workforce shortage. Accelerated programs like the ones supported by NCIN provide scholars with the most efficient route to licensure as a registered nurse (RN) and create opportunities for adults who have already completed a baccalaureate or graduate degree in a field other than nursing. These programs prepare students to pass the licensure examine required for all RNs in as little as 12-18 months and provide quicker routes to workforce eligibility than traditional programs.

“AACN is proud to collaborate with RWJF on this unique effort. Through this partnership, the NCIN program continues to provide much needed scholarship support, mentoring and leadership development to students enrolled in accelerated nursing programs,” said AACN President Kathleen Potempa. “By focusing on students entering the profession at the baccalaureate and master’s level, NCIN aligns well with the recommendations for educational preparation of the nursing workforce advanced in the IOM Report on The Future of Nursing.”

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. Data from the U.S. Health Resources and Services Administration show that nurses entering the profession via baccalaureate programs are four times more likely than other nurses to pursue a graduate degree in nursing. This trend is reflected in the NCIN scholars, as 91 percent of the students receiving funding in the first three years of the program indicate a desire to advance their education to the master’s and doctoral levels.

For more information about the SU Nursing Department’s accelerated program, visit www.salisbury.edu/nursing. To learn more about the NCIN program, visit www.newcareersinnursing.org.

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The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation focuses on the pressing health and health care issues facing the country.  As the nation’s largest philanthropy devoted exclusively to improving the health and health care of all Americans, the Foundation works with a diverse group of organizations and individuals to identify solutions and achieve comprehensive, meaningful, and timely change. For more than 35 years the Foundation has brought experience, commitment, and a rigorous, balanced approach to the problems that affect the health and health care of those it serves. Helping Americans lead healthier lives and get the care they need, the Foundation expects to make a difference in our lifetime. www.rwjf.org

The American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) is the national voice for university and four-year college education programs in nursing. Representing more than 670 member schools of nursing at public and private institutions nationwide, AACN’s educational, research, governmental advocacy, data collection, publications, and other programs work to establish quality standards for bachelor’s- and graduate-degree nursing education, assist deans and directors to implement those standards, influence the nursing profession to improve health care, and promote public support of baccalaureate and graduate nursing education, research, and practice. http://www.aacn.nche.edu



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