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Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Awards $160,000 to MSMU Nursing Students

Sept. 10, 2008 -- The nation's largest philanthropy dedicated to improving the health and health care of Americans has awarded Mount Saint Mary’s University (MSMU) in Los Angeles $160,000 in scholarships to increase the number of students in the College's Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing program (ABSN). MSMU is among the first institutions in the nation to receive the funds through the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation's New Careers in Nursing Scholarship Program.

The Foundation (RWJF), in partnership with the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN), announced Sept. 5 that 58 schools of nursing will receive the funding. The project aims to strengthen the nation's pipeline of new nurses by providing financial aid to students who enroll in fast-track nursing degree programs. Scholarships of $10,000 each will be awarded to 706 nursing students in accelerated programs nationwide during the 2008-2009 academic year.

"This scholarship program is designed to ease the shortage of nurses and nurse faculty – an urgent national problem that potentially jeopardizes the health of all Americans," said John Lumpkin, senior vice president and director for the Health Care Group at RWJF. "Fewer students will be turned away by schools of nursing, because of the availability of this support for accelerated nursing degree programs."

MSMU's accelerated nursing program offers bachelor degrees in nursing to students who already hold four-year degrees in other disciplines. ABSN students complete three semesters of study. After the final semester, graduates are eligible to take the Registered Nurse licensure examination and to qualify for the California Public Health Nursing Certificate.

"The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation grant enables us to address the nursing workforce shortage in California by helping our accelerated BSN students meet their financial commitments," said Rosanne Curtis, dean of the Nursing Department at MSMU. "The grant also allows our students to focus on what is most important: their studies. We are so pleased to know our students can take advantage of these funds and excel in the Mount tradition to become superior nurses in our communities."

"The scholarship funds will help more graduates realize careers in diverse health-care institutions throughout Southern California," added MSMU President Jacqueline Powers Doud. "The College is committed to preparing nurses who have both the skills and the compassion to be exceptional professionals."

For more information on the Mount's Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing program, click here.

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