CWRU receives Future of Nursing Scholars grant to prepare PhD nurses

Case Western Reserve University’s Frances Payne Bolton School of Nursing is one of 32 schools of nursing nationwide to receive a grant to increase the number of nurses holding PhDs. The Future of Nursing Scholars program from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) will provide financial support, mentoring, and leadership development to nurses who commit to earn their PhDs in three years.

Two Case Western Reserve nursing students will receive the scholarship and will begin the Future of Nursing Scholars program this summer and their PhD studies this fall.

Jaclene A. Zauszniewski“We are committed to selecting two RWJF scholars from our diverse pool of new PhD applicants who are from underrepresented minorities in nursing based on race, ethnicity and gender,” said Jaclene A. Zauszniewski, director of the university’s PhD in nursing program and the Kate Hanna Harvey Professor in Community Health Nursing. “We believe that these funds will increase our overall PhD nursing student body.”

The Institute of Medicine (IOM) has recommended doubling the number of nurses with doctorates in the United States, which will prepare and enable nurses to advance health, promote nurse-led science and discovery, and put more educators in place to prepare the next generation of nurses. The Future of Nursing Scholars program is intended to address the IOM recommendation.

The number of nurses enrolled in PhD programs is not the only issue addressed by this program. The average age at which nurses get their PhDs in the United States is 46, which is 13 years older than PhD earners in other fields. This program will provide an incentive for nurses to start PhD programs earlier, so they can have long leadership careers after earning their PhDs.

The Future of Nursing Scholars program is a multi-funder initiative. In addition to RWJF, Johnson & Johnson, Inc., Independence Blue Cross Foundation, Northwell Health (formerly North Shore Long Island Jewish Health System), Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, Sharp HealthCare, Rush University Medical Center and a collaboration of funders from Michigan are supporting the Future of Nursing Scholars grants to schools of nursing this year.

The Michigan funders collaborative includes: Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan Foundation, Metro Health Foundation, Ethel and James Flinn Foundation, DMC Foundation and the Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan.