AUGUSTA, Ga. – For the fifth consecutive year, MSN Clinical Nurse Leader students at Georgia Health Sciences University have received scholarships from the New Careers in Nursing Scholarship Program (NCIN).
The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF), in collaboration with the American Association of Colleges of Nursing, launched the program in 2008 to alleviate the national nursing shortage and fuel the pipeline of diverse nurses. GHSU is the only school in Georgia to receive this funding and has received $430,000 in scholarship funding over the past five years.
“We need a well-educated, diverse nursing workforce to provide quality care for our changing patient population,” said David Krol, MD, MPH, FAAP, program officer for NCIN, RWJF senior program officer and team director of the RWJF Human Capital portfolio. “The News Careers in Nursing Program is strengthening nursing education and helping to fill the pipeline with capable, culturally competent nurses.”
The program has supported 43 GHSU students since 2008, including 10 students receiving $10,000 scholarships for 2012-13:
• Kim Alexander, Warner Robins, Ga.
• James Barry, Atlanta, Ga.
• Cristina Basulescu, Suwanee, Ga.
• Alana Burnett, Sandersville, Ga.
• Philip Kong, Nicolson, Ga.
• Chi Nguyen, Savannah, Ga.
• Malissa Taylor-Thomas, Fort Pope AFB, NC
• Stephanie Varon, North Augusta, SC
• Xuon Vuong, Lawrenceville, Ga.
• Michael (Ty) Wright, Montrose, Ga.
Schools receiving awards through the program provide scholarships directly to students from groups under-represented in nursing or from economically disadvantaged backgrounds. Recipients of the scholarships have already earned a bachelor’s degree in another field and are making a professional transition to nursing through accelerated nursing degree programs. These programs prepare students to pass the licensure examine required for all registered nurses in as little as 12-18 months and provide quicker routes to workforce eligibility than traditional programs.
GHSU’s clinical nurse leader program addresses the nursing shortage by allowing students with a degree in a non-nursing field to earn a master’s degree in nursing at an accelerated pace. The 16-month program is the first and only pre-licensure Clinical Nurse Leader program in Georgia.
The scholarship program features a pre-entry immersion program that addresses time management, adult learning, writing and study skills and test-taking techniques.
Dr. Annette Bourgault, Program Director, and Dr. Lovoria Williams, Program Co-Director, work closely with recipients to enhance professional development through monthly professional development sessions, reflective journaling, mentoring and recruitment.
The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation is dedicated to national public health and health care issues. The independent philanthropy collaborates with diverse organizations to identify solutions and enact comprehensive and timely change.
The 2010 Institute of Medicine (IOM) report, The Future of Nursing: Leading Change, Advancing Health, recommends increasing the proportion of nurses with a baccalaureate degree or higher, and increasing the diversity of students to create a workforce prepared to meet the demands of diverse populations across the lifespan. The mission of the NCIN program is helping to advance those recommendations, enabling schools to expand student capacity in higher education, and encouraging more diversity.
By bringing more nurses into the profession at the baccalaureate and master’s degree levels, the NCIN program also helps to address the nation’s nurse faculty shortage. Data from the U.S. Health Resources and Services Administration show that nurses entering the profession via baccalaureate programs are four times more likely than other nurses to pursue a graduate degree in nursing. This trend is reflected in the NCIN scholars, as 91 percent of the students receiving funding in the first three years of the program indicate a desire to advance their education to the master’s and doctoral levels.
For more information about GHSU’s Clinical Nurse Leader program, visit www.georgiahealth.edu/son/cnl.
To learn more about the New Careers in Nursing Scholarship Program, visit www.newcareersinnursing.org.