The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) has awarded the College of Nursing at Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, a four-year, $3 million grant to prepare future nurse faculty members. The grant is part of RWJF’s $22 million, five-year “New Jersey Nursing Initiative” (NJNI), which will increase the number of nurse faculty available to educate the next generation of nurses in the state.
The Initiative’s central component is a Faculty Preparation Program that includes grants to schools of nursing around the state, and support for 46 Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) New Jersey Nursing Scholars.
Rutgers College of Nursing will lead a collaborative effort with Seton Hall University College of Nursing as part of this Faculty Preparation Program. Four other nursing schools or collaboratives received similar grants in New Jersey.
“Right now we have students who cannot be accommodated for nursing studies because of the lack of faculty resources. Rutgers is eager to work with Seton Hall in addressing the critical need for nurse faculty members. The generous support of The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation will be indispensable in achieving our goals.” Richard L. McCormick, President, Rutgers University
“…without nursing faculty prepared to educate and groom future generations, we will find ourselves in the middle of an insoluble dilemma given the aging population. This is a particularly critical problem in New Jersey.” A. Gabriel Esteban, Provost, Seton Hall University
“New Jersey nursing education programs face many problems which make it difficult to prepare enough nurses for the future needs of this state. One serious obstacle is the lack of faculty candidates who are qualified to teach. This situation has developed over the years as graduate education in nursing has become overwhelmingly oriented to direct care, and insensitive to the need for teachers and managers. Much of this was due to thegrowth of the science, and the assumption that if you could do it, you could teach it or manage it. Let us hope that we have not become too smart, too late. We now see the need for skilled nurses as teachers of professionals, and for a corps of nurses ready to lay their roots in the academe.” Steven J. Diner, Chancellor, Rutgers University, Newark
“This grant is the beginning of a new era in education and partnerships for the College. We will be sharing resources much more readily and liberally across university structures. This can only result in the most enriched relationships for our students, and the desire to vest their careers in New Jersey higher education.” Lucille A. Joel, Interim Dean & Project Director-NJNI, Rutgers College of Nursing
The RWJF Scholars will each receive a $50,000 annual stipend, enabling them to study full time for the four years needed to earn their Ph.D. degrees, in exchange for a commitment to teach in the state for three years after graduation. The grant will also pay for scholars’ tuition, fees, laptops, books, and other direct costs of the program.
The RWJF grant is the largest grant ever made to Rutgers College of Nursing. In addition to training future nurse faculty members, the project will promote a collaborative partnership with the only other New Jersey based Ph.D. program in nursing, Seton Hall University College of Nursing.
The Rutgers College of Nursing operates under the auspices of Rutgers University in Newark, consistently ranked by U.S. News & World Report as the most diverse national university in the United States. Half the students admitted to the Rutgers Ph.D. program in nursing under the RWJF “New Jersey Nursing Initiative” come from minority backgrounds.
In addition to supporting the RWJF New Jersey Nursing Scholars, the Faculty Preparation Program is working to develop, implement, and evaluate new curricula for students at the master’s and doctoral levels. The “New Jersey Nursing Initiative” is also working to create innovative approaches to increase faculty capacity; make academe a preferred career; lead focused policy initiatives; increase sustainable funding; build local, regional and statewide collaboration; and develop creative strategies to increase nurse education capacity.
More information about the “New Jersey Nursing Initiative” and nursing in New Jersey is available at www.njni.org.
About the College of Nursing at Rutgers University
Rutgers University has been involved in the education of nurses since the early 1940s when the Newark and Camden campuses offered courses in public health nursing. The nursing program at the Newark campus was established in 1952. In 1955, the School of Nursing became the College of Nursing. In that same year, the graduate program in psychiatric/mental health nursing was initiated, becoming the first master’s program in clinical nursing in the United States, and probably in the world. This was followed in the late 1970s by an array of additional clinical options for advanced practice nurses. In 1989, the Ph.D. program in nursing began, the first in the state of New Jersey, followed by the Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) in 2007. The College’s educational programs are fully accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE).