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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 850 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. 



AACN Selects New Nurse Faculty Scholars

Published December 05, 2016

AACN Selects New Nurse Faculty Scholars through Joint Program with the Johnson & Johnson Campaign for Nursing’s Future

WASHINGTON, D.C., December 5, 2016 – The American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) is pleased to announce that five new Minority Nurse Faculty Scholars have been selected through a national scholarship program funded by the Johnson & Johnson Campaign for Nursing’s Future. Launched to address the faculty shortage and enhance diversity among nurse educators, this AACN-administered program provides generous financial support, mentoring, and leadership development to graduate students from minority backgrounds who aspire to teach in our nation’s schools of nursing.


  • Tamryn Gray, Johns Hopkins University
  • Seung Eun Lee, University of Illinois at Chicago
  • Mimi Niles, New York University
  • Rose Saldivar, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee

“Diversifying the nursing profession is essential to meeting the healthcare needs of the nation and reducing health disparities that exist among many underserved populations,” said AACN Board Chair Juliann G. Sebastian. “AACN applauds the Johnson & Johnson Campaign for Nursing’s Future for understanding the strong connection between having an ethnically diverse nursing faculty population and attracting new students from underrepresented groups into the profession. We are so pleased to welcome this year’s scholars who are all poised to be future leaders in the academic nursing arena.”

Addressing a National Need

Faculty shortages at nursing schools across the country are limiting student capacity at a time when the need for registered nurses continues to grow. Budget constraints at schools of nursing, an aging faculty, and increasing job competition from clinical sites have contributed to this crisis. The need for more nursing faculty from ethnically diverse populations is particularly acute since only 14.9% of full-time nursing faculty are from groups underrepresented in the profession.  
To address this great need, the Johnson & Johnson Campaign for Nursing’s Future joined with AACN in 2007 to launch a national scholarship program designed to increase diversity within the nurse faculty population.  The J&J Campaign-AACN Minority Nurse Faculty Scholars program provides financial assistance to eligible nursing students to facilitate the completion of a doctoral or master’s degree in nursing. Five Scholars are selected each year to receive $18,000 in funding support for a maximum 2 years. Recipients must establish a mentoring relationship with a seasoned faculty member and attend a leadership development program as part of AACN’s annual Faculty Development Conference. Scholars also must agree to teach in a U.S. school of nursing after graduation for at least one year for every year funding was received. 

Since the program was launched, 50 Scholars have been supported through this successful initiative, and many have already graduated and begun their teaching careers. Most Scholars have pursued research-focused doctoral degrees (PhD), though a handful are enrolled in practice doctorate (DNP) or master’s programs. AACN typical receives 65 to 80 applications for the 5 slots each year, demonstrating strong interest in this program. The award selection committee – a diverse group of 10 nursing school deans and faculty members – work diligently each year to ensure that top candidates for the scholarship are selected. This year’s committee members include:

  • Willie Mae Abel, PhD, RN, Assistant Professor, School of Nursing, University of North Carolina at Charlotte
  • Susan Baker, PhD, RN, Dean, School of Nursing, St. Petersburg College
  • Estrella Evangelista, DNP, CNL, RN, Adjunct Clinical Faculty, School of Nursing, Nevada State College
  • James A. Fain, PhD, RN, FAAN, Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, Graduate School of Nursing, University of Massachusetts Medical School
  • F. Ndidi U. Griffin-Myers, EdD, RN, School of Nursing Department Chair & Program Director, College of Health & Human Services, California State University, Fresno
  • Luz Huntington-Moskos, PhD, RN, CPN, Assistant Professor, University of Louisville
  • Norma Martinez Rogers, PhD, RN, FAAN, Professor, University of Texas Health Science Center, San Antonio
  • Danita Potter, PhD, RN, Associate Professor, RN to BSN Director, College of Nursing and School of Allied Health, Northwestern State University
  • Yvonne Stringfield, EdD, Associate Professor, Department of Nursing, Delaware State University
  • Lin Zhan, PhD, RN, FAAN, Professor and Dean, Loewenberg College of Nursing, University of Memphis

For more information on issues related to diversity in nursing education and AACN’s efforts to address this critical issue, see