Two University of Louisville School of Nursing PhD students have received a major boost in their endeavor to become academic leaders.
Adam Booth and Ander Flynn recently were awarded $20,000 scholarships from the Jonas Center for Nursing and Veterans Healthcare, the nation’s leading philanthropic funder of graduate nursing education. The Jonas Center created the Nurse Leaders Scholar Program in 2008 to abate nursing school faculty shortages by supporting the educational development of doctoral students who want to become faculty members.
Booth and Flynn are the first UofL School of Nursing students to receive the scholarships. The award will support their education over the next two years and they will receive leadership training through webinars and a development conference in Washington, DC, next year.
“This scholarship provides two of our doctoral students – as emerging nursing faculty – financial support, exposure to national issues in nursing and excellent networking opportunities,” said Marcia J. Hern, EdD, CNS, RN, UofL School of Nursing dean. “I am extremely confident that our two students will be greatly enriched as Jonas Scholars.”
The scholarship will give Booth the financial freedom to focus on research during the final two years of his PhD studies. His clinical experience over the past six years as an intensive care unit nurse shaped his research interest in moral distress experienced by nurses caring for end-of-life patients.
“My heart is in academia,” Booth said. “I want to teach and create a better nursing educational experience for beginning nurses, and I will be able to achieve these goals through an academic career in a tenure-track position.”
Flynn, a family nurse practitioner, will enter his second year of PhD studies this fall with a focus on researching health disparities in the deaf population.
“Receiving the Jonas scholarship is a tremendous honor,” Flynn said. “It represents many things, including the level of trust and support given to the University of Louisville by the Jonas Center.”
The UofL Jonas Scholars will be among more than 1,000 future nurse educators supported by the Jonas Center throughout the United States, where nursing school faculty shortages limit student enrollment amid a growing need for nurses.
U.S. nursing schools turned away nearly 70,000 qualified applicants from baccalaureate and graduate programs in 2014 due in large part to insufficient faculty numbers, according to the American Association of Colleges of Nursing.
Aging faculty, competition from clinical employers that offer higher salaries and graduate programs that do not produce enough nurse educators to meet demand have contributed to the shortage.