The goal of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation 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 is part of the Foundation’s Leadership for Better Health theme, which aims to ensure that the nation has a diverse, well-trained leadership and workforce to build a Culture of Health across this country. This is a culture in which good health flourishes across all demographics; where being as healthy as possible and staying that way are esteemed social values; and where everyone has access to affordable, quality health care. Building a well-prepared cadre of researchers, innovators, policymakers, nurse leaders, and faculty is key to meeting these goals. The program advances the recommendation in the Institute of Medicine (IOM) report, the Future of Nursing: Leading Change, Advancing Health, to double the number of nurses in the United States with doctoral degrees. This is the final cohort of the program.
Schools with research-focused PhD programs in nursing are eligible to apply for the program. Program funds are used to increase the number of PhD students in nursing that are admitted to the selected schools. 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 student’s completion of the PhD in three years.
- The scholars selected by the school must also be committed to completing their PhD program in three years.
- Program alumni who plan to enter faculty roles after graduation will be eligible to apply for a post-doctoral award selected on a competitive basis.
The Future of Nursing Scholars will form long-lasting relationships and networks with other scholars in the program and with scholars and fellows in other RWJF programs; these relationships and networks will situate them as a formidable group of health care leaders.