The University of South Alabama College of Nursing has been awarded a grant from the
prestigious Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s New Careers in Nursing Scholarship
Program for the fifth time.
USA is one of 52 schools of nursing that will comprise the final cohort of the program.
For the 2014-2015 academic year, the University’s College of Nursing will receive
$100,000 to support traditionally underrepresented students who are making a career
switch to nursing through an accelerated baccalaureate or master’s degree program.
NCIN is a program of RWJF and the American Association of Colleges of Nursing
“New Careers in Nursing has made amazing strides in helping schools of nursing
recruit and retain diverse students in these competitive and rigorous accelerated degree
programs,” said Dr. David Krol, RWJF senior program officer. “Through supporting
these institutions, NCIN is working to increase the diversity of our nursing workforce,
while also assisting schools of nursing in making their institutions more inclusive. The
leadership, mentoring and other support these institutions provide are helping to prepare
a diverse nursing workforce able to meet the challenges associated with building a culture
of health in our nation.”
Each NCIN Scholar has already earned a bachelor’s degree in another field, and is
making a transition to nursing through an accelerated nursing degree program, which
prepares students to assume the role of registered nurse in as little as 12 to 18 months.
At the USA College of Nursing, 10 students will be awarded NCIN scholarships. Since
2008, the NCIN program has distributed 3,517 scholarships to students at 130 unique
schools of nursing. This year, funding for 400 scholarships was granted to 52 schools of
Dr. Sheila Whitworth, USA coordinator for the New Careers In Nursing scholarship
program, stated, “The University of South Alabama and the College of Nursing has
a long-standing history of addressing diversity and publically commits to providing
support to students of all races, ethnicities, faiths, and cultures. To support these efforts,
the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation New Careers in Nursing Scholarship program
had been instrumental in making the difference between being able to continue their
education or having to abandon their personal and professional goals. The role of this
scholarship program cannot be overestimated in how much it helps our second degree
In addition to a $10,000 scholarship, NCIN scholars receive other support to help them
meet the demands of an accelerated degree program. All NCIN grantee schools maintain
a leadership program and a mentoring program for their scholars, as well as a pre-entry
immersion program to assist scholars in learning essential study, test-taking, and other
skills needed to succeed in their program of study.
“Nursing and nursing education are at a critical juncture right now, and NCIN’s
exemplary approach to supporting nursing schools is helping to strengthen both,” said
AACN President Dr. Eileen Breslin. “NCIN’s creative, innovative and responsive
approach to providing grantees with tools to ensure academic success will result in
lasting changes at nursing schools nationwide. The NCIN program has truly raised the
bar for recruitment, retention, mentoring and leadership development for nursing students
from groups underrepresented in nursing.”
The 2010 Institute of Medicine (IOM) report, “The Future of Nursing: Leading Change,
Advancing Health,” recommends increasing the proportion of nurses with a baccalaureate
degree or higher, and increasing the diversity of students to create a nursing workforce
prepared to meet the healthcare demands of diverse populations across the lifespan.
NCIN is helping to advance those recommendations by enabling schools to expand
student capacity and by encouraging more diversity.
By bringing more nurses into the profession at the baccalaureate and master’s degree
levels, the NCIN program also helps to address the nation’s nurse faculty shortage. This
trend is reflected in the NCIN scholars, as 91 percent of the students receiving funding
in the first three years of the program indicated a desire to advance their education to the
master’s and doctoral levels.
For more information about University of South Alabama College of Nursing accelerated
program, visit http://www.southalabama.edu/nursing/accbsn.html. To learn more about
the NCIN program, visit www.NewCareersInNursing.org.