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William F. Connell School of Nursing

Robert Wood Johnson Foundation awards funds for master's entry scholarships

The Connell School is among the first institutions in the nation to receive funding through the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) New Careers in Nursing Scholarship Program.

The Connell School is among the first institutions in the nation to receive funding through the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) New Careers in Nursing Scholarship Program. Grants provided through this competitive program will be used for scholarships to increase the number of students enrolled in the Connell School’s accelerated master'sentry program. This groundbreaking national initiative, launched by RWJF and the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN), aims to help alleviate the nation's nursing shortage by dramatically expanding the pipeline of students in accelerated nursing programs.


Boston College has already awarded seven $10,000 scholarships to incoming master's entry students, and will award an additional seven scholarships to incoming students in the spring semester. Award preference is given to students from groups underrepresented in nursing or from disadvantaged backgrounds. The Connell School will also use grant funding to help leverage new faculty resources and provide mentoring and leadership development resources to ensure successful program completion by scholarship recipients. "This program aims to safeguard the health of the nation by helping to ease the nurse and nurse faculty shortage," said RWJF President Risa Lavizzo-Mourey, MD, MBA.  "This new initiative also will advance [RWJF's] strategic goal of promoting leadership in the health professions."


The RWJF New Careers in Nursing Scholarship Program supports accelerated programs, which offer the most efficient route to a nursing career for adults who have already completed a baccalaureate degree in a discipline other than nursing. Although enrollment in these programs has steadily increased over the past few years, many potential students are unable to enroll since already having a college degree disqualifies them for receiving most federal financial aid programs for entry-level students. The New Careers in Nursing scholarships address this problem, and will also address the overall nursing shortage, by enabling hundreds of students to launch their nursing careers through accelerated education.


Additionally, the program targets the need to recruit students from groups underrepresented in nursing or disadvantaged backgrounds. According to the National Advisory Council on Nurse Education and Practice, diversifying the nursing profession is essential to meeting the health care needs of the nation and reducing health disparities that exist among many underserved populations.