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College of Nursing at
The University of Tennessee Health Science Center
Awarded Scholarships from RWJF ‘New Careers in Nursing’ Program
for Third Consecutive Year
Scholarships funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the
American Association of Colleges of Nursing
Memphis, Tenn. (December 3, 2010) – The College of Nursing at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center (UTHSC) is pleased to announce that, for the third consecutive year, the college has received funds to award academic scholarships. The funds originate from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) and the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) for the RWJF New Careers in Nursing Scholarship Program (NCIN). This year, grants that total $100,000 are being given to underrepresented minority and male students seeking careers in nursing. The program was launched in 2008 to address the nation’s nursing shortage and create a diverse pool of nursing professionals. NCIN allows students to enter an accelerated bachelor’s degree in nursing program or an accelerated master’s-level nursing program for students holding bachelor’s degrees in other fields.
The UT College of Nursing is awarding $10,000 each to 10 students entering the accelerated master’s in nursing program for the 2010-2011 academic year. The students are: James Beasley, Jason Casey, DeAnza Chaffin, Derrick Meadow, Justus Mogaka, John Ogles, Aaron Oswaks, Brittney Smith, Yesha Weeks and Andrea Williams. During the past three years, NCIN has supported 40 students at UTHSC.
“Our career-changing students eagerly enter our Clinical Nurse Leader Program to make the dream of becoming a nurse a reality in about two years,” said Donna Hathaway, PhD, FAAN, professor and dean of the UT College of Nursing. “They begin their nursing careers at the master’s level instead of having to start by earning another bachelor’s degree in the nursing field.”
The retention rate for students in the accelerated program at the UT College of Nursing is 100 percent. The students participate in weekly mentoring, leadership and academic support activities to ensure the success of the program.
"We are challenging the nation’s nursing schools to be innovative and resourceful in how they grow their programs, diversify student populations, and contribute to the nursing leadership of tomorrow,” said Denise A. Davis, DPH, RWJF program officer for NCIN. “We are pleased to support this unique approach, particularly when growing numbers of Americans are gaining insurance and entering our health care system.”
NCIN enables colleges and universities to build a more diverse nursing workforce ready to serve a changing patient population. Schools receiving the grants provide scholarships to students from underrepresented groups or to individuals from disadvantaged backgrounds. In its second year, 58 percent of scholarships went to students from diverse racial and ethnic groups, and 37 percent went to male nursing students. Men currently account for only 6.6 percent of the national nursing population.
In the 2010-2011 academic year, there are 397 students in accelerated baccalaureate nursing programs nationwide, and 114 students in accelerated master’s nursing programs are receiving scholarship funding. A list of U.S. schools receiving NCIN scholarships can be found at http://www.newcareersinnursing.org/current-programs.
Accelerated programs like the ones supported by NCIN provide the most efficient route to licensure as a registered nurse (RN) and create nursing opportunities for adults who already hold a baccalaureate or graduate degree in a field other than nursing. The programs prepare students to pass the licensure examination required for all RNs in as little as 12 to 18 months and provide quicker routes to workforce eligibility than traditional programs. By bringing more nurses into the profession, the NCIN program also addresses 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 95 percent of the students receiving funding in the first two years of the program indicate a desire to advance their education to the master’s and doctoral levels.
The RWJF New Careers in Nursing Scholarship Program has a positive impact on the nation’s nursing schools. Many programs that received awards use NCIN funding to leverage additional resources to add new faculty, secure matching funding from state programs, develop mentoring and leadership programs, strengthen outreach efforts, and establish new partnerships with community and practice leaders. These efforts allow schools to sustain their programs and position them for growth.
As the flagship statewide academic health system, the mission of the University of Tennessee Health Science Center is to bring the benefits of the health sciences to the achievement and maintenance of human health, with a focus on the citizens of Tennessee and the region, by pursuing an integrated program of education, research, clinical care, and public service. In 2011, UT Health Science Center celebrates its centennial: 100 years advancing the future of health care. Offering a broad range of postgraduate training opportunities, the main UTHSC campus is located in Memphis and includes six colleges: Allied Health Sciences, Dentistry, Graduate Health Sciences, Medicine, Nursing and Pharmacy. UTHSC has additional colleges of Medicine and Pharmacy plus an Allied Health Sciences unit in Knoxville, as well as a College of Medicine campus in Chattanooga. Since its founding in 1911, UTHSC has educated and trained more than 53,000 health care professionals on campuses and in health care facilities across the state. For more information, visit www.uthsc.edu.
The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation focuses on the pressing health and health care issues facing our country. As the nation's largest philanthropy devoted exclusively to improving the health and health care of all Americans, the Foundation works with a diverse group of organizations and individuals to identify solutions and achieve comprehensive, meaningful, and timely change. For more than 35 years the Foundation has brought experience, commitment, and a rigorous, balanced approach to the problems that affect the health and health care of those it serves. Helping Americans lead healthier lives and get the care they need, the Foundation expects to make a difference in our lifetime. For more information, visit www.rwjf.org.
The American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) is the national voice for university and four-year college education programs in nursing. Representing more than 640 member schools of nursing at public and private institutions nationwide, AACN's educational, research, governmental advocacy, data collection, publications, and other programs work to establish quality standards for bachelor's- and graduate-degree nursing education, assist deans and directors to implement those standards, influence the nursing profession to improve health care, and promote public support of baccalaureate and graduate nursing education, research, and practice. For more information, visit www.aacn.nche.edu
This study quantifies the economic impact of the UTHSC on the economy of the state of Tennessee for FY2010.
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