UofL's School of Nursing
UofL's School of Nursing

The University of Louisville School of Nursing has for the first time received a grant of $20,000 from the Jonas Center for Nursing and Veterans Healthcare. The funds, which will be matched by the university, will fund partial scholarships for two PhD nursing students beginning in 2016. As a recipient of the Jonas Center grant, UofL is part of a national effort to stem the faculty shortage and prepare the next generation of nurses, which will be critical in caring for an aging population.

The UofL Jonas Scholars will be among more than 1,000 future nurse educators and leaders at 140 universities across all 50 states supported by Jonas Center programs, the Jonas Nurse Leaders Scholars Program and Jonas Veterans Healthcare Program. These scholarships support nurses pursuing PhDs and DNPs, the terminal degrees in the field.

“Our school is honored to have support for two Jonas Scholars,” said Marcia Hern, EdD, CNS, RN, dean of the UofL School of Nursing. “The future of academic nursing relies heavily on developing talented nurse scientists through our PhD program who can help shape health policy, advance nursing science and meet the nursing faculty shortage needs of the next few years.”

The UofL Jonas Scholars will be supported for two years in their graduate careers beginning this fall.

In addition to the financial assistance provided by the award, Jonas Scholars also benefit from leadership training.

“The value of this award is not just financial assistance for the students, but the opportunity to receive mentoring related to leadership through the web-based leadership program and the opportunity to attend the leadership conference that is part of the Jonas Scholars program. That mentoring will be very important to their future success,” said Carla Hermann, PhD, RN, director of the PhD program at the UofL School of Nursing.

As the nation’s leading philanthropic funder of graduate nursing education, the Jonas Center is addressing the critical need for qualified nursing faculty. According to the American Association of Colleges of Nursing, U.S. nursing schools turned away nearly 70,000 qualified applicants from baccalaureate and graduate nursing programs in 2014 due in large part to an insufficient number of faculty. Further, an AMN Healthcare survey reveals that nearly two-thirds of registered nurses over age 54 say they are considering retirement.

“In 2008, we set an ambitious goal to support 1,000 Jonas Nurse Scholars. This year, on our Center’s 10th anniversary, we celebrate this achievement and we are amazed by the talent of this cohort of future nurse leaders,” said Donald Jonas, who co-founded the center with his wife, Barbara Jonas. “In the decade to come, we look forward to continuing to work with our partner nursing schools and to the great impact that the Jonas Scholars will have on improving health care around the world.”

Betty Coffman
Betty Coffman is a Communications Coordinator focused on research and innovation at UofL. A UofL alumna and Louisville native, she served as a writer and editor for local and national publications and as an account services coordinator and copywriter for marketing and design firms prior to joining UofL’s Office of Communications and Marketing.