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Penn Nursing Receives Prestigious Future of Nursing Scholars Grant

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation announces the fifth and final cohort for innovative program, and Penn Nursing is one of only 31 schools of nursing selected to receive a grant to increase the number of nurses holding PhDs.

The selected schools comprise the fifth cohort of grantees of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Future of Nursing Scholars program, which will provide financial support, mentoring, and leadership development to nurses who commit to earn their PhDs in three years. Penn Nursing will select two nursing students to receive this prestigious scholarship for the 2018-21 cohort.

“Our fifth cohort of Scholars will join an impressive group of nurse researchers who are already making significant contributions to the field. This program is designed to empower nurse leaders to progress efficiently. The selected scholars will complete their PhDs in an expedited three year time frame,” said Future of Nursing Scholars Program Co-director Julie Fairman, PhD, RN, FAAN, the Nightingale Professor of Nursing, and the chair of the Department of Biobehavioral Health Sciences at Penn Nursing.

In its landmark nursing report, the Institute of Medicine recommended that the country double the number of nurses with doctorates. While enrollment in doctorate of nursing practice programs has increased exponentially, PhD enrollment has seen less growth. The Future of Nursing Scholars program was designed to increase PhD-prepared nurses. Doing so will ensure that more nurses are conducting vital research and will also help address the nurse faculty shortage.

“Penn Nursing has received Future of Nursing Scholars funding each year since RWJF’s launch of the program,” said Julie Sochalski, PhD, RN, FAAN, Associate Dean for Academic Programs. “One of our first two graduates went on to a prestigious, highly-competitive CDC-funded post-doctoral fellowship, and this is but one of many such success stories. This is exactly what the program was designed to do, and Penn Nursing is proud to be helping it meet its goals.”

“When this program concludes, we will have graduated more than 200 PhD prepared nurses. RWJF is thrilled to see the program succeed so well, and we are very thankful for the other funders who have joined us in support of this work,” said Susan Hassmiller, PhD, RN, FAAN, co-director of the program and RWJF’s senior adviser for nursing.