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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 Announces New Support for National Program to Aid Nursing Students Impacted by COVID-19

Published June 03, 2020

Application Now Open through June 30 for Students Seeking Support

WASHINGTON, DC, June 3, 2020 – The American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) is pleased to announce that new funding has been received from organizations and individual donors to expand the COVID-19 Nursing Student Support Fund. Administered by AACN’s Foundation for Academic Nursing, this fund was created to provide financial relief to students whose education and lives have been directly impacted by the coronavirus. In addition to the 24 donations from individuals and organizations, the Foundation is grateful to three organizations for their generous contributions to the student fund: the Morton K. and Jane Blaustein Foundation ($25,000); Jonas Nursing and Veterans Healthcare ($10,000); and the University of Memphis Foundation ($3,000).

“To effectively meet the nation’s need for health care in response to COVID-19, we must ensure that nursing students graduate on time and enter the workforce where their expertise is greatly needed,” said AACN President and CEO Deborah Trautman. “AACN applauds the leaders of the Blaustein Foundation, Jonas Philanthropies, and the University of Memphis Foundation for supporting academic nursing’s efforts to assist students in need and maintain a robust nursing workforce.”

“As the response to the COVID-19 pandemic has unfolded, we all have witnessed the critical roles nurses play in providing highly skilled and compassionate care to patients at their most vulnerable moments,” said Jane Blaustein, Vice President and Trustee of the Morton K. and Jane Blaustein Foundation. “We are proud to support this effort that helps to ensure that a new generation of nurses will be there to help fight the coronavirus and future threats to our public’s health.”

The COVID-19 Nursing Student Support Fund provides one-time grants to nursing students enrolled in AACN member schools who need financial support to complete their nursing programs and/or meet life expenses. Priority is given to entry-level students in baccalaureate and master’s programs in the final two semesters of their nursing programs. To date, 51 grants ($500 each) have been disbursed to nursing students in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. This program was developed by nurse leader and philanthropist Darlene Curley, who contributed $25,000 in funding to launch this critically important program.

“Nurses are the backbone of the American healthcare system who are essential to sustaining the nation’s health, especially in times of crisis,” said Donald Jonas, Co-founder of Jonas Philanthropies. “We believe that it is essential to support nurses and the vital role they play in our hospitals, schools, clinics, nursing homes, and on the battlefield.”

New Funding Available to Nursing Students

With an additional $47,500 in funding available, 95 awards in the amount of $500 will be made directly to nursing students, with the goal of funding students in every state. All applications will be reviewed, and recipients will be selected by AACN with funds distributed via its philanthropic arm. Students interested in applying for an award must complete an online application posted on the AACN website. Students applying must be enrolled full-time in an AACN member school and provide contact information for their advisor who can confirm that the student is in good standing. Applications must be received by June 30, 2020. Students selected for funding will be notified by July 20.

Contributing to the COVID-19 Nursing Student Support Fund

The Foundation for Academic Nursing is seeking additional support from other corporate and individual donors for this fund in order to expand our ability to help more nursing students in need. When the program was initially launched in April, over 2,800 applications from students across the country were submitted. We need your support to help these future nurses who are in dire need. Those wishing to contribute are encouraged to donate online via the AACN website. Those with questions about making a contribution are encouraged to contact Marta Okoniewski, AACN’s Director of Student Engagement, at

New Foundation Advisory Committee Formed

The Foundation for Academic Nursing is pleased to announce the creation of a new advisory committee to help guide the work of AACN’s new philanthropic arm. The committee will include the following individuals:

  • Darlene Curley, Healthcare Advisor
  • George Haddad, Liaison International, Inc.
  • Jane Kirschling, University of Maryland
  • Richard I. Levin, The Arnold P. Gold Foundation
  • Lepaine Sharp-McHenry, Simmons University
  • Susan Bakewell-Sachs, Board Liaison, Oregon Health & Science University
  • Deborah Trautman, Staff Liaison, AACN

Advisory committee members will help set strategic goals for the foundation and identify funding priorities. Click here for more information on the foundation.