New Funding To Help Stem Nursing Faculty Shortage

June 27th, 2011


By , BSN, RN

One of the most cited reasons for the nation's crippling nursing shortage is a lack of nursing school teachers. Thousands of nursing school applicants are denied entrance each year because there just aren't enough faculty available to handle a larger student population. Last week, the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) and the Jonas Center for Nursing Excellence announced they are combining forces to encourage more graduate level nurses to head for a career on campus.

This groundbreaking $2.5 million initiative will be managed by AACN as part of the Jonas Center’s larger effort to provide for 150 new doctoral students across all 50 states. Supported by the Jonas Family Fund at the Jewish Communal Fund, the program provides financial assistance, leadership development, and mentoring to expand the pipeline of future nurse faculty into research-focused (PhD, DNS) and practice-focused (DNP) doctoral nursing programs.

In 2006, the Barbara and Donald Jonas Family Fund established the Jonas Center for Nursing Excellence, a groundbreaking program that deploys philanthropy to advance the nursing profession through grants and programs designed to improve nurse recruitment and retention; increase ethnic and racial diversity among the nursing workforce; advance innovative practice models; and improve practice settings in New York City and beyond. The Jonas Center works closely with partners in nursing practice and education, public health, and philanthropy on innovative grant programs.

“The partnership represents a watershed moment in stemming the nursing faculty shortage, elevating this critical initiative to the national level,” said Donald Jonas, co-founder of the Jonas Center for Nursing Excellence. “We are thrilled to partner with AACN, the preeminent leader in nursing education, and we hope this collaboration spurs others to join our endeavor.”

A need for educators and training facilities

According to AACN’s report on 2010-2011 Enrollment and Graduations in Baccalaureate and Graduate Programs in Nursing, U.S. nursing schools turned away 67,563 qualified applicants from baccalaureate and graduate nursing programs in 2010 due to an insufficient number of faculty, clinical sites, classroom space, clinical preceptors, and budget constraints. Almost two-thirds of the nursing schools responding to the survey pointed to faculty shortages as a reason for not accepting all qualified applicants into entry-level baccalaureate programs.

Released in October 2010, the Institute of Medicine’s report on The Future of Nursing: Leading Change, Advancing Health advocates for a doubling of the number of nurses in the U.S. with doctoral degrees. The limited supply of nurses with doctorates has had a significant impact on the ability of nursing schools to educate sufficient numbers of professionals needed to engage in the highest level of practice, research, and scholarship. Less than one percent of the nation’s nurses hold the doctoral degree, and the majority of those with doctorates (53.7%) have acquired degrees in fields other than nursing.

Scholars Program expands

To address this great need, the Jonas Nurse Leaders Scholar Program was created in 2008 to support the educational development of new nursing faculty and stimulate models for joint faculty appointments between schools and clinical affiliates. To date, this program has provided more than $3 million in funding to support 54 PhD scholars at 22 nursing schools in 17 states.

Through its new partnership with AACN, the Jonas Center will expand its signature Scholars Program to prepare nurse researchers and faculty across the country. Looking ahead, AACN will manage 115 Jonas Scholars who will receive financial support in 2012, along with a systematic program of leadership development, health policy immersion, and mentoring support through 2014 as students complete their studies.

Through this collaborative effort, the Jonas Center will provide selected students in research-focused or practice-focused doctoral programs with $10,000 in financial support, which will be matched by the institution in which the student is enrolled. In addition, schools will provide support for scholars to attend an AACN leadership development conference in Washington, DC, which will focus on career planning, faculty role development, research planning, and federal policy advocacy.

At least one scholarship will be awarded for each state. Institutions in states without a doctoral program will be eligible to apply for support for individuals who will enroll in a program outside the state with the understanding that they will make a commitment to return to that state to engage in practice or scholarly leadership upon graduation.

Over the three-year period, Jonas Scholars will have access to an exclusive online community of practice that will facilitate networking, dialogue, and support from peer scholars in the program. A series of readings and policy updates will be available through this portal to facilitate career planning and leadership development.

Scholars will be required to complete a leadership project, which may include an online presentation, poster presentation at the leadership conference, journal article, or similar scholarly effort. More details about the Jonas Scholars program, including selection criteria and eligibility requirements, will be available later this summer on the AACN and Jonas Center websites.

3 Responses to “New Funding To Help Stem Nursing Faculty Shortage”

  1. Martha Baker Says:

    Hi there, Can you please send me the link to the scholarship for a PhD. I would like to pursue a PhD in Nursing but can not afford to do so. Thanks for your time.


  2. admin Says:

    Hi Martha,
    According to the AACN and the Jonas Center you should keep checking their websites, they will be releasing more info later this summer.

    Thanks for stopping by RNCentral,


  3. harris porter Says:

    I will survive nursing school – Great Video!

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