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About the American Association of Colleges of Nursing
The American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) is the national voice for academic nursing representing more than 840 schools of nursing nationwide. AACN establishes quality standards for nursing education, influences the nursing profession to improve health care, and promotes public support of baccalaureate and graduate nursing education, research, and practice. 

About the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation
For more than 40 years the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation has worked to improve health and health care. We are working with others to build a national Culture of Health, enabling everyone in America to live longer, healthier lives. For more information, visit www.rwjf.org

Nurse Researchers Receive Funding to Study Impact of the NCIN Program

Published December 15, 2016

Eighteen Nurse Researchers Receive Funding to Study Impact
of the New Careers in Nursing Program

WASHINGTON, D.C., December 15, 2016 – Today, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) and the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) announced that 18 nurse researchers from four schools of nursing will receive funding to assess the impact of the New Careers in Nursing (NCIN) Scholarship Program. NCIN was launched in 2008 to address the national nursing shortage, develop a demographically representative nursing workforce, and fuel the pipeline of nurse faculty and leaders. Over its eight years of operation, the NCIN program amassed a large data set related to accelerated nursing programs and students underrepresented in the profession, which will be used by research teams from Augusta University, Fairfield University, Widener University, and Washington State University to advance our understanding of students in accelerated nursing programs and the challenges they face.

“The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation is pleased to support this important research effort, which promises to enhance our understanding of how to generate the best student outcomes from accelerated learning in nursing,“ said David Krol, MD, MPH, FAAP, senior program officer, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. “Findings from these studies will help guide nursing schools interested in launching high quality, sustainable programs while enhancing the learning experience of those transitioning into nursing from other fields.”

NCIN Data Legacy Research Project

In early September, NCIN's Program Office released a call for research application proposals to utilize a data set collected over the last eight years. The response was overwhelming with more than 40 competitive submissions received. After weeks of thoughtful review and consideration, NCIN is pleased to announce the four grant winners: 

Augusta University College of Nursing
Grant recipients will review psychological, social, and cultural factors that influence NCIN scholar success. Their work also will analyze institutional climates at predominantly white programs to understand perceptions of mirco-aggressions and social isolation of minority students. Investigators include:

  • Lovoria B. Williams, PhD, APRN-BC, FAANP (Principal Investigator)
  • Annette Bourgault, PhD, RN, CNL
  • Melissa Howie
  • Stephen R. Marrone, EdD, RN-BC, NEA-BC, CTN-A
  • Sunil Mathur, PhD
  • Michael Valenti, PhD, RN

Fairfield University School of Nursing
Grant recipients will examine the impact of racial/ethnic backgrounds, language, and perceptions of campus climate on overall program satisfaction and NCLEX pass rates. Investigators include:

  • Jessica Alicia-Planas, PhD, RN, MPH, CHES (Principal Investigator)
  • Meredith Wallace-Kazer, PhD, APRN, FAAN (Principal Investigator)

Washington State University College of Nursing
Grant recipients will explore to what degree gender and perceived satisfaction with support systems are associated with student academic outcomes in accelerated nursing programs. Investigators include:

  • Demetrius Abshire, PhD, RN (Principal Investigator)
  • Janessa Graves, PhD, MPH (Principal Investigator)
  • Celestina Barbosa-Leiker, PhD, RN
  • Cynthia Corbett, PhD, RN
  • Janet Katz, PhD, RN
  • Mary Lee Roberts, PhD, RN
  • Jamie Simanson, BSN

Widener University School of Nursing
Grant recipients will analyze the profile and characteristics of male students in accelerated nursing programs and consider relationships between predictor variables and outcome variables. Investigators include:

  • Darrell Spurlock, Jr., PhD, RN, NEA-BC, ANEF (Principal Investigator)
  • Normajean Colby, PhD, RN
  • Barbara Patterson, PhD, RN, ANEF

Each grant recipient will be awarded $3,000 to support their research projects. As a part of their grant, winners also must seek publication of their studies in a peer-reviewed journal with targeted timing for Spring 2017.

“Uncovering best practices related to accelerated nursing degrees will help to ensure the success of students entering these important pipeline programs,” said AACN Board Chair Juliann Sebastian, PhD, RN, FAAN.  “AACN applauds the nurse researchers who were selected to leverage the NCIN data set to help identify predictors of student success in accelerated programs as well as identify essential support systems that promote student engagement and inclusive learning environments.”  

About the NCIN Program

In 2008, the United States was ill-equipped to meet the rapidly growing demands of an aging and diverse patient population. Experts projected a shortage of 340,000 nurses by 2020, and a nurse faculty shortage limited schools’ capacity to educate and graduate future nurses. The writing was on the wall: failure to address the shortage would have dire consequences on healthcare delivery. The Robert Wood Johnson New Careers in Nursing (NCIN) Program was launched to address these concerns by helping to alleviate the national nursing shortage, increase the diversity of nursing professionals, expand capacity in baccalaureate and graduate nursing programs, and enhance the pipeline of potential nurse faculty

To meet these objectives, NCIN provided annual grants to schools of nursing between 2008 and 2015. Scholarships of $10,000 each were then awarded to more than 3,500 students—many from diverse or non-traditional backgrounds—in accelerated baccalaureate and master’s programs. Funding agreements required schools to recruit, enroll, and offer mentorship and leadership development activities for their scholars.

As the program grew, so did NCIN’s support for nursing education. Collaborations with grantees, policymakers, and leaders produced a suite of resources to help nontraditional students succeed academically and professionally. Over the years, NCIN developed faculty and mentor toolkits and identified best practices in the areas of recruitment and retention, orientation, academic support, mentoring, and leadership development. These resources grew to be valuable not just for NCIN grantees but their broader university systems and other non-funded schools of nursing.

NCIN’s impact far surpassed expectations. With an investment of $44 million, RWJF helped 130 schools of nursing support 3,571 scholars in their dreams to become nurses. The guidance and skills NCIN scholars received will help to transform the nursing profession and contribute to a culture of health in communities across the country. 



About the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation
For more than 40 years the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation has worked to improve health and health care. We are working with others to build a national Culture of Health, enabling everyone in America to live longer, healthier lives. For more information, visit www.rwjf.org. Follow the Foundation on Twitter or on FacebookSign up to receive email alerts on upcoming calls for proposals.