$28 Million Promised to Address Nursing Faculty Shortage

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) recently awarded the first round of grants to 15 junior faculty nurses from around the country to develop the next generation of academic nurse leaders and strengthen the academic productivity and overall excellence of schools of nursing. The RWJF Nurse Faculty Scholars program will provide $28 million over the next five years to outstanding junior nurse faculty to promote academic careers and thereby address the nursing faculty shortage that contributes to the national nursing shortage.

Although there has been a rise in applicants in recent years, nursing schools have turned away thousands of prospective students because of an acute shortage of faculty and clinical preceptors, training sites, space, and funding constraints. RWJF's Nurse Faculty Scholars program is working to strengthen the link between institutional reputation and faculty success by providing research funds and career development opportunities for junior faculty.

"If we want to address the serious shortage of nurses in this country, we must focus on recruiting more nurse educators to the classroom and retaining them in the academic setting," said RWJF President Risa Lavizzo-Mourey, M.D., M.B.A. "This program fits squarely into the foundation's goal to build a new generation of nurse leaders among academic faculty so we can stop turning away nursing school applicants who are sorely needed to meet an increasing patient demand."

Each of the 15 nursing faculty selected for this inaugural round for the program will receive a three-year grant of up to $350,000 to help him or her advance as an educator and scholar by providing mentorship, leadership training, salary, and research support. This year's scholars will examine a diverse range of health care-related topics, from health disparities in high-poverty urban neighborhoods to vitamin D deficiency among pregnant women in the rural northern plains. Scholars will have opportunities to advance their research and teaching skills; work with institutional and national mentors; participate in a variety of leadership activities; and network with other scholars and experts in their own and related fields. Most importantly, scholars will receive the essential protected time they need to conduct their own research and acquire the critical skills necessary to pursue a career in academic nursing.

The 2008 RWJF Nurse Faculty Scholars and their research projects are:

  1. Dr. Angela Amar, Boston College, An Ecological Approach to Help Seeking Behavior;
  2. Dr. Cindy Anderson, University of North Dakota, Vitamin D Status during Preeclampsia: Mechanisms Underlying Placental Vascular Alterations;
  3. Dr. Robert Atkins, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, Adolescents as Healthy Agents and Consumers; the Knowledge, Behavior, Attitudes, and Experiences of Youth living in High-Poverty Urban Neighborhoods;
  4. Dr. Nancy Hanrahan, University of Pennsylvania, Organizational Quality of Patient Care Environments, Nurse Staffing, and Nurse Outcomes in Psychiatric Hospital Settings;
  5. Dr. Kathryn Laughon, University of Virginia, A Test of an Innovative Computerized Safety Planning Aid for Survivors of Intimate Partner Violence;
  6. Dr. Jennifer Runquist, University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee, Relationship of Postpartum Sleep Deprivation to Later Mental Health in Lower Income Urban Women;
  7. Dr. Teresa Sakraida, University of Colorado Denver, Self Management of Type II Diabetes and Chronic Kidney Disease;
  8. Dr. AkkeNeel Talsma, Regents of the University of Michigan, Evaluation of the Relationship Between Microsystems Aimed at Understanding Nursing Care Processes and Patient Safety;
  9. Dr. Jacquelyn Taylor, Yale University, Early Gene-Environment Risks for High Blood Pressure Among African American Children;
  10. Dr. Diane Von Ah, Indiana University, Memory Training Intervention for Breast Cancer Survivors;
  11. Dr. Kynna Wright - Volel, Regents of the University of California, Reducing Health Disparities Among Overweight Latino Youth Using a Community Based Participatory Research Model;
  12. Dr. Ying Xue, University of Rochester, Studies of Supplemental Nurse Staffing;
  13. Dr. Devon Berry, University of Cincinnati, Religiosity, Risk, and Emerging Adulthood;
  14. Dr. Joachim Voss, University of Washington, Biomarker Development for Fatigue in HIV; and
  15. Dr. Jennifer Wenzel, Johns Hopkins University, Building Support for Older Rural African Americans with Cancer.

For more information, visit www.rwjf.org.

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