The goal of the Jonas Scholars program is to improve health care by expanding the pool of PhD and DNP-prepared nurses needed to educate the next generation of nurse leaders. The Jonas Scholars program provides financial assistance, a curriculum of leadership and learning opportunities, and networking support to expand the pipeline of nurse educators. Launched in 2008, the Jonas Scholars program is the signature initiative of Jonas Nursing, whose mission is to enhance the nursing profession by developing nurse leaders who will address the nursing shortage by educating the future nursing workforce and by investing in the health and well-being of underserved communities.

For the 2024-2026 cohort, the Jonas Scholars program will support 60 Scholars. The call for applications for this program is now open with an application deadline of May 17, 2024. Applications must be submitted by a school of nursing representative, not by individual students. Each school of nursing can nominate up to two students for the Jonas Scholars program.

Submit an Application

The application process will be completed through an online platform which will be tied to a MyAACN account (accessed via the "Submit an Application" button above). You will be able to save and return to the application until it is submitted through the system or until the due date. A technical assistance webinar will be offered on April 30, 2024. Register here.

Applications for the program must be completed by the school of nursing. Schools are required to nominate no more than two specific students per school for the available scholarships and provide a brief bio for each scholarship requested, including the following:

  • Previously earned degrees (with institutions);
  • Employment experience;
  • Highlighted honors and awards; and 
  • PhD/DNP focus

Based on the school’s application, Jonas will award a designated number of scholarships to each school and award the funds for those scholarships directly to the academic institution. The school is responsible for distributing the funds on a bi-annual basis to the selected students over the two-year scholarship period. Funds should be distributed to the student’s account to be applied to their tuition payment and should not be distributed directly to the student, unless for reimbursement purposes.

The school is also responsible for ensuring each Scholar has a designated faculty advisor whose research or clinical area of expertise matches that of the Scholar. Faculty advisors will also be responsible for providing annual reports on the students’ progress. 

The institution in which the student is enrolled is required to match the financial support amount and distribution schedule from Jonas. Jonas will provide the school grantee with $12,000 in financial support for each awarded scholarship, to be distributed in two $6,000 installments for each of the 2024-2025 and 2025-2026 academic years (specifically, payments will be sent to the school in August 2024 and August 2025).  

Four total payments of $3,000 each should be made from the university to each Scholar in advance of each academic semester (August 2024, January 2025, August 2025, January 2026). No partial scholarships will be awarded. Scholarship funds should be used for tuition and other academic costs as needed; no portion of the funding is permitted to be used for the school’s indirect/overhead costs. Any remaining scholarship funds due to a Scholar becoming ineligible, leaving the program, graduating, or for any other reason, should be returned to Jonas (via AACN) unless prior approval is given from Jonas to keep the funds.

While we encourage schools to use Jonas funding as an opportunity to attract partner donors, the matching funds can come from a variety of sources and do not necessarily have to be new funds.  Below are some examples of what qualifies as matching funds, and we are happy to consider other types of funding on a case-by-case basis:

  • Private donor or foundation funding
  • Dean’s discretionary fund
  • Traineeships and/or fellowships
  • Government funds
  • Matching funds from student’s employer

Schools must provide support for all Scholars to attend the Jonas Scholar Conference in Washington, DC in March 2025; these funds can be taken from the school’s matching funds; however, no portion of Jonas funding should be used to cover these expenses.

Scholars who pursue a career in teaching will also be eligible to receive a $6,000 award in 2027, provided they are able to successfully show they are teaching at an accredited university. This award will be administered directly to the Scholar and will not involve their PhD/DNP granting university. This award will not require any matching university funding. More information will be provided towards the end of the Scholars program. 

School Eligibility Criteria

To be eligible, the academic institution must meet the following criteria:

  1. Be a non-profit organization as defined under Section 501(c)3 of the Internal Revenue Code, or have a partner organization with such non-profit status and experience acting as a fiscal conduit providing management assistance services.
  2. Be accredited by a nursing accrediting agency recognized by the U.S. Department of Education. Offer a research-focused doctorate (PhD) in nursing and/or Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) program.

Student Eligibility Criteria

To be eligible, the student must meet the following criteria

  1. Student is U.S. citizen or permanent resident of the United States or its territories at the time they will receive the scholarship.
  2. Student is committed to a career as faculty (PhD) or clinical faculty (DNP). 
  3. Student attends school full-time and has at least two years (20-28 months) remaining in their program.
  4. Student is an early-to-mid career nurse.
  5. Student is conducting research or clinical work in one of the priority topics below:
    1. Environmental Health
    2. Gerontology
    3. Health Policy
    4. Integrative Care
    5. Psychiatric/Mental Health
    6. Pediatrics
    7. Preventive Care
    8. Rural Health
    9. School Nursing
    10. Social Determinants of Health
    11. Underserved Populations
    12. Vision Health
    13. Women’s Health
    14. Veterans’ Health

School Selection Criteria

In order to be selected for the award, the school must:

  1. Provide evidence of a $12,000 funding match ($3,000 for each of the following semesters: fall 2024, spring 2025, fall 2025, and Spring 2026) for each Scholar. External funding sources are strongly recommended.
  2. Commit to cover the travel and hotel costs for each Scholar to attend the Jonas Scholar Conference in March 2025. These funds can be taken from the school match.
  3. Demonstrate a plan to recruit and select Scholars who are committed to a career as faculty (PhD) or clinical faculty (DNP).
  4. Provide evidence of commitment to ensuring a fit between the student’s research or clinical interest and the faculty advisor’s research or clinical expertise. 
  5. Support Scholars from underrepresented groups in nursing and provide care to underserved populations within their community.
  6. Agree to provide evidence of Scholar progress through annual reports.
  7. Agree to post press release about Jonas Scholar selection on website and in school magazine/newsletter.

Student Selection Criteria

In order to be selected for the award, the student must:

  1. Agree to participate in the Jonas Scholar orientation webinar in fall 2024. 
  2. Attend the Jonas Scholar Conference in Washington, DC, in March 2025.
  3. Participate in the curriculum of leadership development webinars hosted by Jonas Philanthropies over the course of the program.

*Preference may be given to students who plan to work in areas with nursing shortages following the completion of their PhD or DNP program.


If you have any questions, please contact:

Noah Brown, MPA
Jonas Grant Manager, AACN