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College of Nursing awarded RWJF scholarship grant for third year

CHARLESTON, SC (June 15, 2011) – The Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC) College of Nursing has been selected as a grant recipient for the third time from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) through the RWJF New Careers in Nursing Scholarship Program (NCIN). The MUSC College of Nursing has been awarded $100,000 to allocate among 10 second-degree, accelerated baccalaureate students during the academic year 2011-2012.

In 2008, the NCIN Scholarship Program was launched by RWJF and the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) to address the national nursing shortage. The NCIN program enables schools of nursing to expand student capacity in accelerated baccalaureate and master’s programs, and build a more diverse workforce ready to serve the needs of a changing patient population. Schools receiving grants through NCIN provide scholarships in the amount of $10,000 directly to students from groups underrepresented in nursing or from disadvantaged backgrounds. Grants also assist schools in leveraging faculty resources and creating mentoring and leadership development programs to ensure student success. The MUSC College of Nursing was one of the first institutions in the nation to receive this competitive grant.

“Through the NCIN program, we are challenging nursing schools across the country to expand nurse leadership and strengthen education, two clear goals of the landmark 2010 Institute of Medicine (IOM) report on The Future of Nursing,” said Denise A. Davis, Dr. P.H, RWJF program officer for NCIN. “By diversifying the nursing profession through these scholarships, we are also helping to create a health care workforce ready to meet the needs of the 21st century American patient.”

To date, the NCIN program has supported 30 MUSC College of Nursing students and continues to develop culturally competent health professionals and future leaders of the profession. Of the 20 students awarded NCIN scholarships in 2008-09, all completed the BSN program and 19 are currently working as nurses. Ten students were awarded scholarships in 2010-11 and all are progressing in the program with anticipated graduation in either December 2011 or May 2012. Since receiving the first NCIN scholarships in 2008, the College increased its diversity in admissions to the accelerated BSN program from 30 percent to 55 percent. The overall diversity of the BSN student enrollment is currently 41 percent, which includes 18 percent males.

“Our College of Nursing is truly proud of our efforts to educate future nurses who reflect the diverse nature of our country,” said Dean Gail Stuart, Ph.D, R.N. “This is one of our highest priorities and we could not have achieved these results without the NCIN program.”  

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation focuses on the pressing health and health care issues facing our country. As the nation’s largest philanthropy devoted exclusively to improving the health and health care of all Americans, the Foundation works with a diverse group of organizations and individuals to identify solutions and achieve comprehensive, meaningful and timely change. For more than 35 years, the Foundation has brought experience, commitment and a rigorous, balanced approach to the problems that affect the health and health care of those it serves. Helping Americans lead healthier lives and get the care they need, the Foundation expects to make a difference in our lifetime.

The American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) is the national voice for university and four-year college education programs in nursing. Representing more than 670 member schools of nursing at public and private institutions nationwide, AACN's educational, research, governmental advocacy, data collection, publications, and other programs work to establish quality standards for bachelor's- and graduate-degree nursing education, assist deans and directors to implement those standards, influence the nursing profession to improve health care, and promote public support of baccalaureate and graduate nursing education, research, and practice.

About MUSC

Founded in 1824 in Charleston, The Medical University of South Carolina is the oldest medical school in the south. Today, MUSC continues the tradition of excellence in education, research, and patient care.  MUSC is home to over 3,000 students and residents, as well as nearly 10,000 employees, including 1,300 faculty members. The MUSC College of Nursing educates over 350 students in baccalaureate, master’s and doctoral programs.