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For the fourth year in a row, the Mount has been awarded funds from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation's New Careers in Nursing scholarship program.

Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Again Awards Mount Nursing Scholarships

June 15, 2011 -- Mount Saint Mary’s University announced that for the fourth year in a row, it has been selected as a grant recipient of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation New Careers in Nursing scholarship program(NCIN).

During the 2011-2012 academic year, Mount Saint Mary’s University will receive $50,000 to support students in the school’s accelerated bachelor of science in nursing program. The NCIN scholarship program was launched in 2008 by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) and the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) to address the national nursing shortage, develop a diverse professional nursing workforce and fuel the pipeline of nursing faculty and leaders.

“Through the NCIN program, we are challenging nursing schools across the country to expand nurse leadership and strengthen education, two clear goals of the landmark 2010 Institute of Medicine (IOM) report, ‘The Future of Nursing,’” says Denise A. Davis, program officer for NCIN. “By diversifying the nursing profession through these scholarships, we are also helping to create a health care workforce ready to meet the needs of the 21st century American patient.”

At Mount St. Mary’s, scholarships in the amount of $10,000 each will be awarded to five students entering the accelerated nursing program during the 2011-2012 academic year. To date, the NCIN program has supported 45 Mount students in four years, and continues to develop culturally-competent health professionals and future leaders of the profession.

“The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation funding enables us to address the shortage of bachelor’s degree-holding nurses,” said Sarah Shealy, director of the accelerated BSN program at MSMU. “The scholarships allow 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 NCIN program was created to enable schools of nursing to expand student capacity in accelerated baccalaureate and master’s programs, and build a more diverse workforce ready to serve the needs of a changing patient population. Schools receiving grants through NCIN provide scholarships directly to students from groups underrepresented in nursing or from disadvantaged backgrounds. In the 2011-2012 academic year, 320 students in accelerated baccalaureate programs and 80 students in accelerated master’s programs will receive scholarship funding.

The NCIN program addresses a number of the challenges confronting nursing education, professional development, and the national workforce shortage. Accelerated programs like the ones supported by NCIN provide scholars with the most efficient route to licensure as a registered nurse (RN) and create opportunities for adults who have already completed a baccalaureate or graduate degree in a field other than nursing. These programs prepare students to pass the licensure examine required for all RNs in as little as 12 to 18 months and provide quicker routes to workforce eligibility than traditional programs.

“AACN is proud to collaborate with RWJF on this unique effort. Through this partnership, the NCIN program continues to provide much needed scholarship support, mentoring and leadership development to students enrolled in accelerated nursing programs,” said AACN President Kathleen Potempa. “By focusing on students entering the profession at the baccalaureate and master’s level, NCIN aligns well with the recommendations for educational preparation of the nursing workforce advanced in the IOM Report on 'The Future of Nursing.'”

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 Mount St. Mary’s accelerated nursing program, visit www.msmc.la.edu. To find learn more about the NCIN program, visit www.newcareersinnursing.org.

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