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"Future of Nursing Scholars" grant will help Emory prepare more PhD nurses

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Emory University's Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing is one of 25 nursing schools nationwide to receive a grant to increase the number of nurses holding PhDs. The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation's (RWJF) Future of Nursing Scholars program will provide financial support, mentoring, and leadership development to nurses who commit to earn their PhDs in three years.

Doctoral students Mary Carter and Udia-Oghenetega Outguor are the inaugural recipients of this special scholarship. They will begin the Future of Nursing Scholars program this summer, which is funded by RWJF, Johnson & Johnson, Inc., Independence Blue Cross Foundation, Ascension Health, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center,and the Rhode Island Foundation.

"The Future of Nursing Scholars program will help Emory's School of Nursing continue to be a leader in producing doctoral nurses who can prepare the next generation of nurses in Georgia and beyond." says Ann Rogers, PhD, RN, director of graduate nursing programs at Emory. "We are extremely proud of Mary and Udia for being selected as scholars. We know this program will be vital to helping these young scholars launch their careers in academic nursing."

In its landmark nursing report, the Institute of Medicine recommended that the country double the number of nurses with doctorates; doing so will support more nurse leaders, promote nurse-led science and discovery, and put more educators in place to prepare the next generation of nurses. The Future of Nursing Scholars program is intended to help address that recommendation.

"At RWJF, we are working to build a Culture of Health that enables everyone in the United States to live the healthiest lives possible," says Susan Hassmiller, PhD, RN, co-director of the program and RWJF's senior adviser for nursing. "This program will create the transformative nurse leaders who can make that vision a reality by driving crucial changes in health care and inspiring future generations of nurses to achieve even more."

Less than one percent of the nation's more than three million nurses have PhDs in nursing or a related field.  In addition, the average age at which nurses get their PhDs in the United States is 46, which is 13 years older than PhD earners in other fields. This program will provide an incentive for nurses to start PhD programs earlier, so that they can have long leadership careers after earning their PhDs.

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