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Mount Saint Mary’s awarded national grant for innovative nursing education program

Los Angeles, Feb. 17, 2015 - Mount Saint Mary's University is one of nine higher-education institutions in the United States to receive new grants that share and build upon the lessons learned through a highly successful scholarship program for second-career nurses, New Careers in Nursing (NCIN).

The grant program, Innovations in Accelerated Nursing Education, funds teams of nursing schools that have received NCIN grants. Each team received $10,000 to develop and enhance an educational project to implement innovative approaches to accelerated nursing education that can be scaled and replicated in a variety of educational settings.

Mount Saint Mary's academic partner for this grant is the Yale University School of Nursing. The Mount's community partner is the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. Thanks to the grant, Mount Saint Mary's nursing students receive specific art and music training. The curriculum was developed by an interdisciplinary team at Yale, led by: Linda Pellico, a nursing professor; Linda Friedlaender, an art historian and senior curator of education at the Yale Center for British Art; and Thomas C. Duffy, a music professor and renowned composer.

Yale nursing students have received this curricular approach since 2008 and it has been shown to  improve students' clinical observation skills. With this grant, accelerated nursing students at Mount Saint Mary's will now study the same curriculum.

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the American Association of Colleges of Nursing created NCIN eight years ago. One goal of the program was to increase the diversity of the national nursing workforce by providing scholarships to people from groups underrepresented in the field. A full list of 2014 "Innovations in Accelerated Nursing Education" grantees includes:

Replicating an Innovative Educational Pedagogy for Physical Examination and Problem-Setting Skills
Mount Saint Mary's University
Yale University

NCIN Alumni Toolkit
New York University
SUNY Downstate Medical Center College of Nursing
Stony Brook University

Gaming the System
Quinnipiac University
Southern Connecticut State University

Strengthening Cultural Competence in Prenatal Care with a Virtual Community: Building Capacity through Collaboration
Ashland University College of Nursing and Health Sciences
Duquesne University School of Nursing

"We are so proud of all that NCIN has accomplished over the last seven years," said AACN President Eileen T. Breslin, PhD, RN, FAAN. "Our grantees have dramatically increased their recruitment, retention and graduation of students from groups underrepresented in nursing. They have truly changed the culture of their institutions, which are now more diverse and inclusive. There is much to learn from them."

"It's our great hope that by gathering the ideas and stories of our grantees, we can sustain and encourage replication of NCIN's successful efforts and expand them to more institutions," said David Krol, MD, MPH, FAAP, RWJF senior program officer. "These grants are intended to provide information that will help schools of nursing continue to do the important work of increasing the diversity of the nursing workforce, including nurse faculty, and increasing the number of nurses holding BSN degrees or higher."

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 nursing workforce prepared to meet the health care 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. Since 2008, the NCIN program has distributed 3,517 scholarships to students at 130 unique schools of nursing.

About Mount Saint Mary's University
Mount Saint Mary's is the only women's university in Los Angeles. Since 1925, we've helped students discover what it takes to be unstoppable. We also offer year-round, flexible, and online programs for co-ed undergraduate and graduate students. The Mount experience extends beyond the classroom, empowering students to build leadership skills and develop a passion for service. Each day, our alums are using their knowledge and skills to better themselves, their communities and the world.

About NCIN
The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation joined with the American Association of Colleges of Nursing to create New Careers in Nursing, an RWJF Scholarship Program to help alleviate the nursing shortage and increase the diversity of nursing professionals. Through annual grants to schools of nursing, NCIN provides $10,000 scholarships to college graduates with degrees in other fields who wish to transition into nursing through an accelerated baccalaureate or master's nursing program. For more information, visit

About the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation
For more than 40 years, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation has worked to improve health and health care. We are striving to build a national Culture of Health that will enable all to live longer, healthier lives now and for generations to come. For more information, visit  

About AACN
The American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) is the national voice for baccalaureate and graduate programs in nursing. Representing more than 750 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

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