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Scholarships Help Provide Minority Nursing Students the Chance to Lead

February 26, 2018
Scholarships Help Provide Minority Nursing Students the Chance to Lead

Since 2007, the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) and the Johnson & Johnson Campaign for Nursing have partnered to sponsor the Johnson & Johnson/AACN Minority Nurse Faculty Scholars program. The program – which is currently accepting applications – aims to address faculty shortages in nursing schools and simultaneously expand the number and increase diversity among the nurse faculty population available to teach an increasingly diverse student body. 

Each year, five scholars are selected to each receive $18,000 in scholarship funds per year for up to two years of support as they complete a doctoral or master’s degree program in nursing. Since the program’s inception 11 years ago, 55 students have been supported and have contributed their diverse perspectives to nursing faculties across the country. Scholarships have been awarded to 23 African-American, 12 Hispanic, eight Asian, and three Native American nursing students, many of whom have pursued research-focused doctoral degrees.

In addition to pursuing advanced degrees and positions in nursing faculty, scholarship participants are also given the opportunity to establish mentoring relationships with seasoned faculty members and attend a leadership development program. Upon completion of their education, they commit to teaching in a United States nursing school for at least one year, per year of funding they received.

“This opportunity was like a springboard for my career,” said program alumni Jimmy Reyes, DNP, AGNP, RN, who is now a nurse educator and dean of nursing. “What I’ve learned is that being a nurse often means you’re a change agent – whether it’s in your own little village or you’re working to pass legislation at the state level.”

After graduating from the program in 2010, Jimmy received his BSN, MSN, Adult/Geriatric Nurse Practitioner and Doctor of Nursing Practice degrees and is now the associate director of practice and education for the Iowa Board of Nursing. His research focuses on developing a culturally-anchored, family-focused, educational partnership program to enhance diabetes self-management.

This year, the application deadline for the program is Wednesday, May 30. For more information, visit the Minority Nurse Faculty Scholars program page on the AACN website. 

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