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School of Nursing Receives Grant to Support Second Career Nurses

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    CORAL GABLES, Fla. (May 27, 2014) — For the fifth time, the School of Nursing and Health Studies has been awarded a grant from the prestigious Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s (RWJF) New Careers in Nursing Scholarship Program (NCIN).

    One of 52 schools of nursing that will comprise the final cohort of the program, the School of Nursing and Health Studies (SONHS) will receive $120,000 in the 2014-2015 academic year to support a dozen traditionally underrepresented students who are switching careers to nursing through the school’s accelerated baccalaureate degree program. NCIN is a program of the RWJF and the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN).

    “New Careers in Nursing has made amazing strides in helping schools of nursing recruit and retain diverse students in these competitive and rigorous accelerated degree programs,” said David Krol, the foundation’s senior program officer. “Through supporting these institutions, NCIN is working to increase the diversity of our nursing workforce, while also assisting schools of nursing in making their institutions more inclusive. The leadership, mentoring and other support these institutions provide are helping to prepare a diverse nursing workforce able to meet the challenges associated with building a culture of health in our nation.”

    Each NCIN scholar already has earned a bachelor’s degree in another field, and is making a transition to nursing through an accelerated nursing degree program, which prepares students to assume the role of registered nurse in as little as 12 to 18 months.

    Since 2008, the NCIN program has distributed 3,517 scholarships to students at 130 unique schools of nursing. This year, funding for 400 scholarships was granted to 52 schools of nursing. To date, the RWJF has provided SONHS a total of $720,000, enabling the institution to award $10,000 scholarships to students in its accelerated B.S.N. program. In addition to the scholarship funds, the SONHS provides its NCIN scholars with a pre-immersion curriculum, mentoring, tutoring, and leadership training to help them succeed in the program.

    “NCIN scholarship funds represent a remarkable contribution to our school and to the nursing profession,” said Dean Nilda (Nena) Montalvo Peragallo. “The vision behind these scholarships has transformed not only the experience of our students and the nursing workforce, but also the lives of all the patients, families and communities who will be impacted by our scholars’ future accomplishments.” 

    “Nursing and nursing education are at a critical juncture right now, and NCIN’s exemplary approach to supporting nursing schools is helping to strengthen both,” said Eileen Breslin, president of the AACN. “NCIN’s creative, innovative, and responsive approach to providing grantees with tools to ensure academic success will result in lasting changes at nursing schools nationwide. The NCIN program has truly raised the bar for recruitment, retention, mentoring and leadership development for nursing students from groups underrepresented in nursing.”

    Led by UM President Donna E. Shalala, the Institute of Medicine’s 2010 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 nursing workforce prepared to meet the healthcare demands of diverse populations across the lifespan. NCIN is helping to advance those recommendations by enabling schools to expand student capacity and by 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. This trend is reflected in the NCIN scholars, as 91 percent of the students receiving funding in the first three years of the program indicated a desire to advance their education to the master’s and doctoral levels.

    For more information about the UM SOHNS accelerated program, visit To learn more about the NCIN program, visit


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