Pace University’s Lienhard School of Nursing Wins Third Grant for Scholarships to Increase Nursing Diversity

Pace University’s Lienhard School of Nursing will again award scholarships to students from groups traditionally underrepresented in nursing, including men and people from disadvantaged backgrounds, thanks to a grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) and the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN).

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact:

Cara Cea, ccea@pace.edu; 914-906-9680

Sharon Lewis, slewis2@pace.edu; 914-773-3973

Posted in partnership with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the American Association of Colleges of Nursing.

Scholarships funded through the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and American Association of Colleges of Nursing to go to students underrepresented in the profession

NEW YORK, NY, July30, 2010 – Pace University’s Lienhard School of Nursing will again award scholarships to students from groups traditionally underrepresented in nursing, including men and people from disadvantaged backgrounds, thanks to a grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) and the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN).

Eight scholarships of $10,000 each will be awarded to students entering Lienhard’s accelerated Combined Degree Program (CDP)during the 2010-2011 academic year. This is Lienhard’s second award in three rounds of funding, which comes through the foundation’s RWJF New Careers in Nursing (NCIN) scholarship program.

The program was launched in 2008 to address the national nursing shortage and fuel the pipeline of diverse nursing faculty members, developing culturally competent health professionals and future leaders of the profession.

Pace University was among the first institutions in the nation to receive funding through the RWJF New Careers in Nursing Scholarship Programin 2008; the programhas already supported 12 Lienhard students.One of them, John Ringhisen, was recently awarded a Fulbright scholarship to conduct research on access to health care in Bangladesh.

“We are challenging the nation’s nursing schools to be innovative and resourceful in how they grow their nursing programs, diversify student populations and contribute to the nursing leadership of tomorrow,” said Denise A. Davis, Dr. P.H., the RWJFprogram officer for NCIN. “We are very pleased to support this unique approach, particularly at a time when growing numbers of Americans are gaining insurance and entering our health care system.”

Pace’s Combined Degree Program is an accelerated curriculum for college graduates who are not nurses and want to study nursing in a program that leads to a first professional nursing degree (the BS in nursing),combinedwith the optionof an advanced professional degree (the MS). Lienhard has long been a leader in education leading to second degrees for non-nursing college graduates and has offered the CDP since 1984. The school is known for preparing culturally competent leaders.

The NCIN program was created through RWJF and AACN to help enable schools of nursing expand their student capacity in accelerated baccalaureate and master’s programs. At the same time it aims to build a more diverse workforce to serve the needs of a changing population of patients. Schools receiving NCIN grantsprovide scholarships directly to students from groups underrepresented in nursing or from disadvantaged backgrounds. In its second year, 58 percent of scholarships went to students from diverse racial and ethnic groups and 37 percent went to men, who currently account for only 6.6 percent of the nation’s nurses.

Of the 63 institutions receiving funding, Pace is one of six in New York.In the 2010 – 2011 academic year, a total of 397 students in accelerated baccalaureate programs and 114 students in accelerated master’s programs will receive NICN scholarship funding.

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

By bringing more nurses into the profession at the baccalaureate and master’s levels, the NCIN program also helps to address the nation’s continuing shortage of nursing faculty members. 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 95% of the students receiving funding in the first two years of the program indicate a desire to advance their education to the master’s and doctoral levels.

The RWJF New Careers in Nursing Scholarship Program is clearly having a positive effect on the nation’s nursing schools. Many programs that received awards have used the NCIN funding to help leverage additional resources to add new faculty members, secure matching funding from state programs, develop mentoring and leadership development programs, strengthen outreach efforts, and establish new partnerships with community and practice leaders.

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation focuses on the pressing health and health care issues facing our country.  As the nation’s largest philanthropy devoted exclusively to improving the health and health care of all Americans, the Foundation works with a diverse group of organizations and individuals to identify solutions and achieve comprehensive, meaningful, and timely change. For more than 35 years the Foundation has brought experience, commitment, and a rigorous, balanced approach to the problems that affect the health and health care of those it serves.Helping Americans lead healthier lives and get the care they need,the Foundation expects to make a difference in our lifetime.www.rwjf.org

The American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) is the national voice for university and four-year college education programs in nursing. Representing more than 640 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. www.aacn.nche.edu

About the Lienhard School of Nursing: Pace University’s Lienhard School of Nursing has nearly doubled in size over the last five years, and now has more than 800 students enrolled in baccalaureate and master’s degree programs, all approved by the New York State Education Department and accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education. With classrooms and laboratories in culturally diverse urban and suburban settings, the school is committed to innovation and excellence in education, research, and practice in primary health care. Lienhard partners with communities to foster human growth and dignity and provide primary care, and prepares individuals, families, and communities at local, national, and international levels to meet health care demands now and in the future.

About Pace: For 104 years Pace University has produced thinking professionals by providing high quality education for the professions on a firm base of liberal learning amid the advantages of the New York metropolitan area. A private university, Pace has campuses in New York City and Westchester County, New York, enrolling nearly 13,000 students in bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral programs in its Lubin School of Business, Dyson College of Arts and Sciences, Lienhard School of Nursing, School of Education, School of Law, and Seidenberg School of Computer Science and Information Systems. www.pace.edu

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