UF College of Nursing Receives Prestigious Future of Nursing Scholars Grant

The University of Florida College of Nursing is one of only 31 schools of nursing selected to receive a grant to increase the number of nurses holding doctorates. The selected schools comprise the fifth cohort of grantees of the innovative Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, or RWJF, Future of Nursing Scholars program, which will provide financial support, mentoring, and leadership development to nurses who commit to earning their Ph.D. in three years. Florida will select two nursing students to receive this prestigious scholarship.

Jennifer Elder, Ph.D., R.N., FAAN
Jennifer Elder, Ph.D., R.N., FAAN

“We are very thrilled that the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation has awarded the University of Florida College of Nursing a Future Nursing Scholars grant,” College of Nursing professor and Ph.D. Program Director Jennifer Harrison Elder, Ph.D, R.N., FAAN, said. “We know that we have some of the best and brightest students in the nation, and welcome the opportunity to support rising stars who will be our future nursing leaders.”

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, Ph.D. enrollment has seen less growth. The Future of Nursing Scholars program was designed to increase Ph.D.-prepared nurses. Doing so will ensure that more nurses are conducting vital research and will also help address the nurse faculty shortage.

“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 Ph.D.s in an expedited three year time frame,” said Julie Fairman, Ph.D., R.N., FAAN, 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. Selected scholars will attend a boot camp with the Future of Nursing Scholars program this summer and begin their Ph.D. studies in the fall.

“When this program concludes, we will have graduated more than 200 Ph.D. 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., FAAN, co-director of the program and RWJF’s senior adviser for nursing.

For more than 40 years the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation has worked to improve the health and health care of all Americans. We are striving to build a national Culture of Health that will enable all to live longer, healthier lives now and for generations to come. For more information, visit www.rwjf.org. Follow the Foundation on Twitter or on Facebook.