The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) are working together to expand enrollment in schools of nursing while enhancing diversity in the nursing workforce through the New Careers in Nursing (NCIN) scholarship program. Through grants to schools of nursing, the program provides scholarships to college graduates without nursing degrees who are looking to complete an accelerated baccalaureate or master's nursing programs.
Recently, representatives from 57 of the 58 NCIN program sites gathered in San Antonio to attend the first Liaisons’ Summit. Keynote speaker, Christine Kovner, Ph.D., R.N., a professor of nursing at New York University, presented her ongoing research findings comparing second-degree nursing students to traditional baccalaureate students and analyzed the policy implications between the two groups. Other featured speakers included Geralyn Meyer, Ph.D., R.N., professor of nursing at St. Louis University, Deborah Raines, Ph.D., R.N.C., professor of nursing at Florida Atlantic University, and Marilyn Weitzel, Ph.D., assistant professor at Cleveland State University, who outlined the characteristics of accelerated students pursuing a bachelor of science in nursing, and identified key stressor and support factors for students completing accelerated programs. This summit also allowed the attendees to begin to explore best practices and examine key success factors for these accelerated students.
Attendees also participated in one of four roundtable discussions that focused on the core elements of the New Careers program: leadership development, mentoring, recruitment and retention, and the use of technology in curriculum design.
“The Liaisons’ Summit presented our funded schools of nursing the opportunity to hear firsthand from researchers engaged with accelerated nurses,” said Geraldine (Polly) Bednash, Ph.D., R.N., F.A.A.N., chief executive officer and executive director for the AACN. “We are well on our way to creating an open dialogue with our funded schools about creative approaches to mentoring and leadership development for these nursing students in accelerated programs.”
Besides scholarship funding, the NCIN program also provides valuable support to students as they transition from other fields into nursing. To date, 58 schools of nursing in 31 states have been awarded $7.06 million for scholarships. The second round of funding will be announced in 2009.
To hear audio highlights, view presentations or learn more about the NCIN scholarship program, please visit www.newcareersinnursing.org.