The University of Pittsburgh is one of only 31 schools of nursing selected to receive a grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation to increase the number of nurses holding PhDs. The selected schools comprise the fifth cohort of grantees of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Future of Nursing Scholars program, which will provide financial support, mentoring, and leadership development to nurses who commit to earn their PhDs in three years. The University of Pittsburgh will select two nursing students to receive this prestigious scholarship.
“Pitt is in the unique position of having highly qualified nurse scientists who are experienced mentors, and the resources and structure to support PhD students who are the future of nursing,” said Susan M. Cohen, PhD, CRNP, FAAN, associate professor, and program director. “The School of Nursing’s history of preparing and mentoring students for an academic research career is evidenced by the success of the three previous RWJF Future of Nursing cohorts.”
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, PhD enrollment has seen less growth. The Future of Nursing Scholars program was designed to increase PhD-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 PhDs in an expedited three year time frame,” said Julie Fairman, PhD, RN, 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. The University of Pittsburgh is receiving its grant from RWJF. It will select scholars in March and those students will attend a boot camp with the Future of Nursing Scholars program this summer and begin their PhD studies this fall.
“When this program concludes, we will have graduated more than 200 PhD 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, PhD, RN, FAAN, co-director of the program and RWJF’s senior adviser for nursing.