Category Archives: Nursing schools

Aug 19 2013
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New ADN-to-BSN Program the 'Key to a Successful Future'

Robyn Williams is a scholar in the new ADN-to-BSN bridge program at California State University, Los Angeles, which is funded by the California Action Coalition through a grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) Academic Progression in Nursing (APIN) initiative. The California Action Coalition is a part of the Future of Nursing: Campaign for Action, a collaborative effort backed by RWJF and AARP to transform nursing and improve health and health care.

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When I first heard about the accelerated ADN-to-BSN program at California State University, Los Angeles, my ears perked up and I was instantly very interested. Having the chance to pursue my bachelor’s degree in nursing (BSN) while finishing my associate degree in nursing (ADN) at Long Beach City College was ideal.

I had already planned to start working toward obtaining my bachelor’s soon after I graduated and had even looked into some programs. So, the option to join this accelerated program at Cal State LA, as we call it out here, was a no-brainer.

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Jul 8 2013
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Survey: Nursing Education Shortages Begin to Ease

In a hopeful sign, an annual survey from the National League for Nursing (NLN) finds that fewer qualified applicants were turned away from schools of nursing in the 2011-2012 school year than in recent years. The percentage of nursing programs that turned away qualified applicants dropped “substantially” for every program type except baccalaureate degree programs in the survey, and the percentage of students turned away also declined. The percentage of programs that could not fill available seats fell in 2012 as well.

In a news release, NLN President Judith Halstead, PhD, RN, FAAN, ANEF, called the trend “encouraging.” She noted that, “just two years ago the percentage of nursing programs that turned away qualified applicants was peaking across all types of nursing education programs, including almost two thirds of baccalaureate programs.”

The NLN Annual Survey of Schools of Nursing finds that the nurse faculty shortage continues to be the main obstacle to expansion for graduate programs, although that shortage is easing some as well. According to the new survey, 73 percent of responding schools reported hiring new nurse faculty in the past 12 months. More than two-thirds of those new hires have a master’s degree; 16 percent have PhDs; and 7 percent have DNPs.

Noting that doctoral nursing programs rejected 37 percent of qualified applicants in 2012, NLN CEO Beverly Malone, RN, PhD, FAAN, said in the news release: “With the importance of academic progression and a continuing need for doctorally prepared nurse faculty, we are pleased to note that this rejection rate has now dropped from 43 to 37 percent, though clearly we still have a long way to go.”

An increasing number of associate degree nurse and practical nurse programs cite a shortage of clinical sites as an obstacle to expansion, the survey reports.

Read a news release about the study.
See the study.
Read a 2012 blog post by Halstead on nurse education.

Jul 2 2013
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Academic Progression in Nursing: Wyoming Style

Mary E. Burman, PhD, FAANP, is dean and professor of nursing at the University of Wyoming (UW). She was a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) Executive Nurse Fellow from 2007 to 2010 and coordinates a nurse education and leadership project that is supported by Partners Investing in Nursing’s Future (PIN), an initiative of RWJF and the Northwest Health Foundation.

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Human Capital Blog: The Institute of Medicine (IOM) calls for a more highly educated nursing workforce and, in particular, for 80 percent of nurses to have bachelor’s degrees by 2020. What is the educational level of nurses in Wyoming? Do the state’s health care organizations prefer or require that nurses hold baccalaureate degrees?

Mary Burman: Wyoming, like many other states, and especially like many rural states, faces significant challenges in obtaining the IOM goal that 80 percent of nurses hold bachelor’s degrees by 2020. The Wyoming Center for Nursing and Health Care Partnerships (WCNHCP), home of the state’s nursing workforce center and Action Coalition, has developed estimates for the current number of nurses with baccalaureate degrees (BSN) and has made projections over the next four years.

We estimate that 36.9 percent of registered nurses (RNs) in Wyoming currently have baccalaureate or higher degrees. However, that percentage will not increase significantly over the next four years; in fact it may actually drop, given the number of new RNs with associate degrees in nursing (ADNs) and the number of nurses who are preparing to retire.

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Jun 26 2013
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NCIN Announces Support for 400 New Nurses

Vernell DeWitty, PhD, RN, is deputy program director for New Careers in Nursing, a program of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) and the American Association of Colleges of Nursing.

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Luis Sanchez has come a long way in life from his humble beginnings as the son of Mexican migrants. He was recently named New York University’s  (NYU) Distinguished Accelerated Nursing Student for the Class of 2013 and will soon be published in a respected nursing journal. Sanchez has been accepted into NYU’s adult primary care nurse practitioner dual-degree program, and plans to work in an acute care setting before returning to school to complete his master’s degree.

He is just one of more than 3,000 nursing students who have been supported by New Careers in Nursing (NCIN), and a program of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the American Association of Colleges of Nursing.

Luis and his peers are exactly what we hope the future of the nursing workforce will look like: capable, culturally-competent nurses who bring diverse and valuable perspectives to the field, and are prepared to meet the challenges of a changing health care system and patient population.

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Jun 25 2013
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Sharing Nursing’s Knowledge: The June 2013 Issue

Have you signed up to receive Sharing Nursing’s Knowledge? The monthly Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) e-newsletter will keep you up to date on the work of RWJF’s nursing programs, and the latest news, research, and trends relating to academic progression, leadership, and other critically important nursing issues.  These are some of the stories in the June issue:

Treating Depression in Single Black Mothers
After seeing firsthand the impact of depression on single Black mothers, New Jersey Nursing Scholar Rahshida Atkins, PhD, FNP-BC, wanted to know more about the cultural and psychosocial factors that contribute to this problem. Her research led her to conclude that anger, stress, perceived racism, and low self-esteem are linked to the development of depressive symptoms among participants in her study. Atkins used the findings to develop a theory to guide nursing research and practice in the area. Health care providers, she hopes, will be able to use her theory to better understand the causes of depression in this population and make more informed recommendations for treatment and prevention.

Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Announces $20 Million Grant to Support Nurse PhD Scientists
RWJF recently announced an ambitious new program designed to dramatically increase the number of PhD-prepared nurses in the United States. The Foundation is investing $20 million in the new Future of Nursing Scholars program to support some of the country’s best and brightest nurses as they pursue their PhDs and become scientists, leaders, and faculty. RWJF is also working to identify and cultivate other philanthropies to join the effort, and the Independence Blue Cross Foundation announced that it is the first to sign on.

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Jun 17 2013
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Life-Changing Fellowship Spurred Me to Pursue Advanced Nursing Degree

Imani Baker is an alumna of Project L/EARN, a graduate education preparation program supported by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF). She recently earned her bachelor’s degree in public health from Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey, and plans to become a nurse practitioner.

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The two words that I can use to describe my journey through Project L/EARN are: life changing. 

I learned about the RWJF-funded program from an advisor who referred me to its faculty program director, Jane Miller, PhD. Dr. Miller warned me that the program would be “intense” and “much more work than you are used to.”

However, there are no words that could have ever prepared me for what I was about to experience that summer. Before I was admitted to Project L/EARN, I was not confident in my abilities to compete outside of my comfort zone, which included subjects specifically related to the health sciences.

This program forced me to face many of my weaknesses and confront my worst fears head on. Each day, I was overwhelmed with self-doubt. I was not the best public speaker; I struggled in statistics; and there were times when I questioned why I was picked for the program.

I said to myself, “I want to be a nurse. I don’t want to sit behind a computer and look at numbers all day. What did I get myself into?” However, my mentor, Dr. Judith Lucas, EdD, RN, GCNS-BC, taught me why it was so important for nurses to be involved in research and to have advanced graduate degrees.

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Jun 5 2013
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In the Media: New Books for Nurses’ Summer Reading Lists

This is part of the June 2013 issue of Sharing Nursing's Knowledge.

Summer’s here, and so is murder and mayhem—at least in the pages of a trio of newly released books about nurses.

In Death Without Cause: A Health Care Mystery, a young critical care nurse explores a series of unexplained deaths at the hospital where she works. Written by Pamela Klauer Triolo, PhD, RN, FAAN, the book was released in May to coincide with National Nurses Week.

Another nurse-centered mystery also hit the shelves in May. Bone Pit, featuring lead character Gina Mazzio, a registered nurse (RN), was written by RN Bette Golden Lamb and J.J. Lamb. It follows Sin & Bone and Bone Dry, the first two books in the series.

In the nonfiction department, investigative journalist Charles Graeber tells the haunting story of hospital nurse Charles Cullen. The Good Nurse: A True Story of Medicine, Madness, and Murder documents Cullen’s crimes against patients and the health care system’s failure to prevent them.

Also in the non-fiction department is a new collection of essays about nursing called I Wasn’t Strong Like This When I Started Out: True Stories of Becoming a Nurse. Edited by Lee Gutkind, the book will be featured in the July edition of Sharing Nursing’s Knowledge.

Other new titles—also published in 2013—take an academic approach to hot nursing topics.

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Jun 4 2013
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Diversity in Nursing Education Helps Students Learn Respect and Appreciation for Differences

Mable Smith, PhD, JD, MSN, BSN, RN, is founding dean of the College of Nursing at Roseman University of Health Sciences (formerly the University of Southern Nevada) and an alumna of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Executive Nurse Fellows program. This is part of a series of posts looking at diversity in the health care workforce.

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A diverse nursing student body builds the foundation for a diverse workforce that can become effective in the provision of culturally competent care to patients. Our student body at Roseman University of Health Sciences is reflective of the diversity seen in the population that consists of Caucasians, African Americans, Hispanics, Asians, Native Hawaiian and other Pacific Islanders, to name a few.  This diversity is reflected in the health care system among workers and patients. Students bring a wealth of information that is shared with each other and with faculty.

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For example, in a class discussion on nutrition, students from various cultures shared how and what types of foods are used to treat certain illnesses. There were discussions on how food should be presented, such as hot versus cold, raw versus cooked.  Some students shared the significance of family presence during meals even for hospitalized patients. These discussions quickly incorporated religious practices and certain etiquettes to promote “religious correctness” when interacting with various cultural and religious groups. Students also provided insight into generational differences and changes with emphasis on the fact that many in the younger generation have not adopted the strict traditions of their parents and grandparents.

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May 24 2013
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“It’s a Lil’ Colored Girl to See You.”

Angela Amar, PhD, RN, FAAN, is an associate professor at the Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing at Emory University and a Robert Wood Johnson (RWJF) Nurse Faculty Scholar. Her research focuses on traumatic experiences, especially violence, mental health responses to trauma, and aspects of forensic nursing. This is part of a series of posts looking at diversity in the health care workforce.

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As a new nurse, I had just entered a patient’s room when he called out from the bathroom to ask his wife who was there. She replied, “it’s a lil’ colored girl to see you.” Luckily, I have a pretty good poker face and was able to not show outwardly how flustered I was inwardly. I was able to introduce myself and conduct my assessment in a professional manner. Over the next three days, I took care of this patient and as we built a relationship, he marveled and told his visitors what a great and smart nurse I was.

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While I’d like to think that I am great and smart, I happen to know that I worked on a floor full of great and smart nurses, all of whom were Caucasian. The patient commented on attributes in me that he felt were remarkable and exceptional. He didn’t conceive that ‘a lil’ colored girl’ could be great or smart until we interacted.

"We often see the benefits of diversity as being for minorities. We seldom see that the majority benefits as well."

Fast forwarding to my role as a faculty member, I’ve worked in majority serving institutions where I’m often one of two or three African American faculty members and the numbers of African American students is also small. Frequent comments on my student evaluations are: “She’s so smart. She’s really intelligent.”

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May 23 2013
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Human Capital News Roundup: New Jersey nurses, increasing diversity in dentistry, taxes on alcohol, and more.

Around the country, print, broadcast and online media outlets are covering the groundbreaking work of Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) leaders, scholars, fellows, alumni and grantees. Some recent examples:

The New Jersey Nursing Initiative (NJNI), a project of RWJF and the New Jersey Chamber of Commerce Foundation, has graduated its first cohort of doctorally prepared nurses, NJ Spotlight reports. The new graduates are on track to become nursing professors, to help address New Jersey’s staggering 10.5 percent nurse faculty vacancy rate. Read more about the New Jersey Nursing Scholars who graduate this month.

In an op-ed for the Daily Journal, New Jersey Nursing Scholar Marlin Gross, MSN, APN, NP-C, writes, “I’m able to combine my love of nursing practice and education because NJNI put me on a fast track to a master’s degree in nursing… I also benefited from the program’s professional and personal development activities and its many mentoring and networking opportunities. But most importantly, NJNI helped me re-imagine my future. I now see myself as an emerging nurse leader and plan to enroll in a doctorate program in the fall to realize that vision.” Robert P. Wise, FACHE, a member of NJNI’s Leadership Council, also wrote about NJNI in an op-ed for The Times of Trenton.

Insight Into Diversity reports on the Dental Pipeline National Learning Institute, an RWJF-funded project led by the American Dental Education Association and the University of the Pacific Arthur A. Dugoni School of Dentistry. It is funding dental schools to create new recruitment projects that will help increase the number of underrepresented students at their institutions. Read a post on the RWJF Human Capital Blog by National Learning Institute Director Paul Glassman.

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