The goal of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s (RWJF) Future of Nursing Scholars program is to develop the next generation of PhD-prepared nurse leaders who are committed to long-term careers that advance science and discovery, strengthen nursing education, and bring transformational change to nursing and health care.
The Future of Nursing Scholars program aims to ensure that the nation has a diverse and well-trained leadership and workforce to build a Culture of Health across this country in which good health flourishes across all demographics, where being healthy and staying that way are esteemed social values and where everyone has access to affordable, quality health care. In order to achieve these goals, we need to prepare a cadre of researchers, innovators, policymakers, nurse leaders and faculty. In addition, the Future of Nursing Scholars program advances the Institute of Medicine’s (IOM) recommendation—from the Future of Nursing: Leading Change, Advancing Health report—to double the number of nurses in the United States with doctoral degrees. Program funds should be used to increase the number of PhD students in nursing that are admitted to the selected schools.
Schools with research-focused PhD programs in nursing are eligible to apply for the program. As described by the American Association of Colleges of Nursing and the U.S. Council of Graduate Schools, “the purposes of the research-focused doctoral degree are to prepare for a lifetime of intellectual inquiry, creative scholarship, and research; provide preparation that leads to careers in government, business, and industry as well as academia; and result in extension of knowledge.”
Selected schools will choose the PhD students to be designated as Future of Nursing Scholars. The school must be committed to facilitating the scholar’s completion of the PhD in three academic years. The scholars selected by the school must also be committed to completing their PhD program in three academic years. Program alumni who plan to enter faculty roles after graduation will be eligible to apply for a one-year postdoctoral award selected on a competitive basis. The Future of Nursing Scholars will form long-lasting relationships and networks with other scholars in this program, as well as with scholars and fellows in other RWJF programs—situating them as a formidable group of health care leaders.