The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) today announced the names of the 12 outstanding nursing faculty from across the country who were selected to participate in its prestigious Nurse Faculty Scholars program this year. The RWJF Nurse Faculty Scholars program is strengthening the academic productivity and overall excellence of nursing schools by developing the next generation of leaders in academic nursing. It is providing $28 million over five years to outstanding junior nursing faculty to promote their academic careers, support their research and reduce the nation’s severe nurse faculty shortage. This is the fourth cohort of RWJF Nurse Faculty Scholars.
Each Nurse Faculty Scholar receives a three-year $350,000 grant to pursue research, as well as mentoring from senior faculty at his or her institution. The award is given to junior faculty who show outstanding promise as future leaders in academic nursing. The Scholars chosen this year are conducting a range of health studies, from using story-telling to encourage Native American women to get mammograms, to using simulation to help reduce medical errors in hospitals caused by interruptions, to examining the impact of family strength and parenting on reducing risky behavior among teens, to investigating whether home improvements can realize health benefits for disabled, low-income seniors.
“Several Scholars in earlier cohorts have published their research and are already helping to improve health care and advance nursing and nursing education,” said Jacquelyn Campbell, Ph.D., R.N, F.A.A.N., national program director for the RWJF Nurse Faculty Scholars Program. Campbell is Anna D. Wolf Chair and professor at the Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing, which provides technical direction to the program. “It’s exciting to begin the work with this newest group of Scholars and I look forward to seeing where their work, their enthusiasm and their skills take them.”
This year’s selection comes as the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation is embarking on a collaborative campaign to transform the nursing profession to improve health and health care. Based on the recommendations from a groundbreaking Institute of Medicine nursing report released last year—The Future of Nursing: Leading Change, Advancing Health, RWJF is spearheading the Future of Nursing: Campaign for Action to engage nurses and non-nurses in a nationwide effort to overhaul the nursing profession. The campaign is working to implement solutions to the challenges facing the nursing profession and to build upon nurse-based approaches to improving quality and transforming the way Americans receive health care.
Supporting junior nurse faculty will help curb a shortage of nurse educators that could undermine the health and health care of all Americans. The Affordable Care Act will vastly increase the number of people who can access health care in the United States. As the number of patients increases, there will be greater demand for skilled nurses and faculty to educate them. Right now, many schools of nursing are turning away qualified applicants because they lack the faculty to teach them.
The RWJF Nurse Faculty Scholars program is helping to curb the shortage by helping more junior faculty succeed in, and commit to, academic careers. The program provides talented junior faculty with salary and research support as well as the chance to participate in institutional and national mentoring activities, leadership training, and networking events with colleagues in nursing and other fields, while continuing to teach and provide institutional, professional and community service at their universities.
“We are particularly pleased that several of our scholars are reaching a level of achievement recognized by the American Academy of Nursing,” said Campbell. “Three scholars were inducted as fellows of the American Academy of Nursing last year, and this year six more will receive that honor.”
The RWJF Nurse Faculty Scholars Program strives to increase the racial, ethnic and gender diversity of nursing by fostering leadership skills among scholars to recruit and retain diverse faculties and student bodies at their schools of nursing. To that end, the program encourages applicants with diverse backgrounds.
The program will also enhance the stature of the scholars’ academic institutions, which will benefit fellow nurse educators seeking professional development opportunities.
To receive the award, scholars must be registered nurses who have completed a research doctorate in nursing or a related discipline and who have held a tenure-eligible faculty position at an accredited nursing school for at least two and no more than five years.
This year’s Nurse Faculty Scholar award recipients and their research projects are:
The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation focuses on the pressing health and health care issues facing our country. As the nation's largest philanthropy devoted exclusively to health and health care, the Foundation works with a diverse group of organizations and individuals to identify solutions and achieve comprehensive, measurable and timely change. For nearly 40 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. When it comes to helping Americans lead healthier lives and get the care they need, the Foundation expects to make a difference in your lifetime.