The Johnson & Johnson Campaign for Nursing, now celebrating its 15th year, has been an unwavering national effort widely recognized by many as tremendously successful in its drive to recruit, retain and support the nursing profession. Although the success of this initiative is encouraging, it is important to acknowledge that there is still more work to be done, especially to help support the next generation of nurses.
In October 2010, the Institute of Medicine released its landmark report on The Future of Nursing, which called for increasing the number of baccalaureate-prepared nurses in the workforce to 80 percent and doubling the population of nurses with doctoral degrees. According to the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) report on 2015-2016 Enrollment and Graduations in Baccalaureate and Graduate Programs in Nursing, nursing schools turned away 47,341 qualified applicants from baccalaureate nursing programs in 2015 due to an insufficient number of faculty, clinical sites, classroom space, clinical preceptors and budget constraints.
The Foundation of the National Student Nurses' Association (FNSNA) has made it their mission to combat that shortage through education. Though passionate and dedicated, many of today’s nursing students struggle to complete their education because of limited availability of financial aid and the rising cost of tuition, books, and fees. Each year, the FNSNA helps alleviate that financial burden by awarding scholarships to students enrolled in domestic nursing schools or pre-nursing programs.
“Scholarships are given based on academic achievement, financial need, and involvement in leadership and community activities related to healthcare,” said Diane J. Mancino, EdD, RN, CAE, FAAN, Executive Director of the National Student Nurses’ Association (NSNA). “With a little help, these students can worry less about finances and focus more on gaining the knowledge and education they need to succeed as a nurse.”
Scholarships have helped nursing students like Marcus Henderson, a 2017 graduate of the University of Pennsylvania School Of Nursing in Philadelphia, Penn., who acknowledges the impact that scholarships have had on his ability to succeed both in the classroom and in leadership positions, including serving as president of the Student Nurses’ Association of Pennsylvania (SNAP) and as Council of State Presidents (COSP) Chair and Ex-Officio Director for the NSNA Board of Directors.
“I would not be where I am today, nor the leader I am today without the help of scholarships,” said Henderson. “They have allowed me to capitalize on endless opportunities, such as enroll in active membership across various professional nursing organizations, serve on various governing boards, and travel to nursing and healthcare conferences across the United States. Students should know that scholarships can expand their horizons and provide opportunities to experience things that they may not otherwise be able to do.”
The Johnson & Johnson Campaign for Nursing is proud to continue its commitment to this essential profession by supporting current nurses and opening the door to the next generation of nurses with nursing school scholarship funding through the FNSNA via the Johnson & Johnson Donate a Photo app and Charity Miles partner app. By downloading these apps today, you can lend your support to ensuring a robust and well-educated nursing workforce for the future. Learn more about how to get involved by reading this month's Nurse Perspective article.
Henderson encourages prospective and current nursing students to research available scholarships by contacting their university or school of nursing’s financial aid offices, and visiting the FNSNA website to learn more about current opportunities for students enrolled in state-approved nursing programs.
Additionally, students can use the DiscoverNursing.com scholarship portal to find information about hundreds of scholarship opportunities at the national and state levels for undergraduate, graduate and doctoral programs.
To celebrate the Campaign’s 15th anniversary, we interviewed Henderson and other nursing students during the National Student Nurses’ Association annual meeting in April. For the students, the next 15 years is full of hope for their personal careers, the advancement of their profession and the future of healthcare in the U.S. After speaking with them, we can’t help but feel a sense of optimism as well. Watch their interviews below and learn more about how to get involved with supporting nursing scholarships by visiting www.discovernursing.com.