New Careers in Nursing Program Evaluation

The Program Being Evaluated

The New Careers in Nursing (NCIN) Program provides $10,000 scholarships to help college graduates return to school for accelerated baccalaureate or master's nursing programs. As of the 2012–2013 school year, 2,717 scholarships have been awarded to students in accelerated nursing programs.

Eligible students include those from underrepresented groups in nursing or from disadvantaged backgrounds. The scholarship money is unrestricted, so students may use the scholarship funds for different associated costs, including tuition, academic fees, and living expenses.

Program support includes student recruitment and enrollment from underrepresented groups in nursing or from disadvantaged backgrounds, mentoring, and leadership development.

About the Evaluation

Participants completed surveys before beginning the NCIN program, midway through the program, and after graduating. Data on participating students and schools were collected from schools of nursing. Deans of participating nursing schools and program liaisons were interviewed about the impact of the NCIN program, and site visits were conducted for each location.

Knowledge and Impact

  • Ninety-four percent of NCIN students have graduated or are on schedule to graduate on time from their accelerated program compared to a 76 percent graduation rate for nursing students nationwide.
  • The proportion of men enrolled in participating nursing programs increased from 36 percent in Year 1 of the program to 41 percent in Year 3.
  • White students represented 40 percent of the NCIN population in Year 1 of the program, yet only 35 percent in Year 3. The opposite pattern is happening for Asian American students, who increased in representation from 11 percent to 14 percent; African American students, who increased from 26 percent to 29 percent; and Hispanic students, who increased from 12 percent to 13 percent.
  • Students reported that time is a scarce commodity in an accelerated program. This is reflected in the participation rate in student associations (33%) and specialty nursing associations (5%), as well as participation rates in health care groups on campus (29%) and in the community (37%).
  • Several factors created barriers for participating nursing schools to increase class sizes:
    • RWJF scholarship support changed over the course of the four years of the program.
    • The recession limited participating nursing schools’ ability to hire additional faculty, build new classrooms, or secure clinical sites for additional students.