PITTSBURGH, Jan. 4, 2018 – The University of Pittsburgh School of Nursing is one of only 31 schools of nursing selected to receive a grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) to increase the number of nurses holding doctorate degrees.
The selected schools comprise the fifth group of grantees of the RWJF Future of Nursing Scholars program, which will provide financial support, mentoring and leadership development to nurses who commit to earning a doctorate degree in three years. Pitt will select two nursing students to receive this prestigious scholarship.
“Pitt is in the unique position of having highly qualified nurse scientists who are experienced mentors, and the resources and structure to support doctorate students who are the future of nursing,” said Susan M. Cohen, Ph.D., C.R.N.P., F.A.A.N., associate professor and program director in Pitt’s School of Nursing. “The School of Nursing’s history of preparing and mentoring students for an academic research career is evidenced by the success of the three previous RWJF Future of Nursing groups.” Pitt Nursing has supported doctorate students through the Future of Nursing Scholars program since 2015.
In a landmark nursing report, the National Academy of Medicine recommended in 2010 that the country double the number of nurses with doctorates. While enrollment in doctorate of nursing practice programs has increased exponentially, enrollment in doctor of philosophy programs has seen less growth. The Future of Nursing Scholars program was designed to increase doctorate-prepared nurses. Doing so will ensure that more nurses are conducting vital research as well as help address the nurse faculty shortage.
“Our fifth cohort of Scholars will join an impressive group of nurse researchers who already are making significant contributions to the field. This program is designed to empower nurse leaders to progress efficiently. The selected Scholars will complete their doctorate’s in an expedited three-year time frame,” said Julie Fairman, Ph.D., R.N., F.A.A.N., Future of Nursing Scholars program co-director and the Nightingale professor of nursing and the chair of the Department of Biobehavioral Health Sciences at the University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing.
The Future of Nursing Scholars program is a multi-funder initiative. In addition to RWJF, Johnson & Johnson, Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, Sharp HealthCare and Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center are supporting the Future of Nursing Scholars grants to schools of nursing this year. Pitt is receiving its grant from RWJF. It will select scholars in March and those students will attend a boot camp with the Future of Nursing Scholars program this summer and begin their doctorate studies this fall.
“When this program concludes, we will have graduated more than 200 doctorate-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, Ph.D., R.N., F.A.A.N., co-director of the program and RWJF’s senior adviser for nursing.