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Grant Supports Underrepresented Students in Accelerated BSN Program

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    The University of Miami’s School of Nursing and Health Studies has announced that for the third time, it has been selected as a grant recipient of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation New Careers in Nursing Scholarship Program (NCIN).

    During the 2012-13 academic year, the school will receive $150,000 to support students in its Accelerated BSN program who are traditionally underrepresented in the field of nursing and are pursuing a second career in nursing.

    The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) and the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) launched the NCIN Scholarship Program in 2008 to expand enrollment in accelerated degree programs at schools of nursing and to help increase diversity in the nursing workforce.

    “We need a well educated, diverse nursing workforce to provide quality care for our changing patient population,” said David Krol, program officer for NCIN, RWJF senior program officer, and team director of the RWJF Human Capital portfolio. “NCIN is strengthening nursing education and helping to fill the pipeline with capable, culturally competent nurses.”

    Schools receiving grants through NCIN provide scholarships directly to students from groups underrepresented in nursing or from economically disadvantaged backgrounds. Students who receive the NCIN scholarships—in the amount of $10,000 each—have already earned a bachelor’s degree in another field and are making a career switch to nursing through accelerated nursing degree programs. These programs prepare students to pass the licensure exam required for all registered nurses in as little as 12 to 18 months and provide quicker routes to workforce eligibility than traditional programs.

    At UM’s School of Nursing and Health Studies, 15 students will be awarded NCIN scholarships. Since 2008, the NCIN program has distributed 2,717 scholarships to students at more than 100 unique schools of nursing. This year funding for 400 scholarships was granted to 55 schools of nursing.

    Students also receive other support to help them meet the demands of an accelerated degree program. All NCIN grantee schools are required to maintain a mentoring program for their scholars, and many offer a pre-entry immersion program to help scholars with study, test-taking, and other skills that will aid them in managing the challenges of the program.

    “One of the primary goals of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation is to promote the growth of nursing as a profession; this generous grant is designed not only to expand program capacity but also to increase diversity,” said Nilda Peragallo, dean of the nursing school.

    “AACN is proud to collaborate with RWJF on this unique effort. NCIN scholars bring life experience that makes them exceptional, mature nursing candidates, and they represent the diverse, culturally competent nursing workforce our nation needs,” said AACN President Jane Kirschling. “NCIN provides the scholarship and support these students need to succeed in school and thrive in the workforce.”

    The 2010 Institute of Medicine 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 the University of Miami School of Nursing and Health Studies’ accelerated program, visit To learn more about the NCIN program, visit


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