College of Nursing Receives Grant to Help ‘Career Switch’ Students

 

For the third year in a row, the College of Nursing is receiving money from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation to provide scholarships for students who are making a career switch to nursing.

The college has received a $50,000 grant from the New Careers in Nursing Scholarship Program. The money will fund five $10,000 scholarships for second-career nursing students who are members of an underrepresented group or from a disadvantaged background.

“The variety of backgrounds and experiences that these students bring to nursing enhances our profession in so many wonderful ways,” Dean Victoria Niederhauser said. “Over the years, police officers, monks, accountants, business managers, teachers, artists, and public health officials made the switch to nursing.”

Evan Wilson is one of the past scholarship recipients.

“Receiving this scholarship confirmed my decision to go back to school and become a registered nurse,” said Wilson, who interned with a campus ministry program and worked for a technology company before receiving the scholarship last year. “It was a big decision to make for me and my family, but I am very glad that I decided to go back to school. The scholarship fueled my design to serve other as a nurse and also helped me pay for school.”

Wilson said he hopes to get a job in critical care and eventually return to school for his Doctor of Nursing Practice degree.

Scholarship recipients are enrolled in the accelerated bachelor’s degree in nursing program. It allows students with a bachelor’s degree in another field to complete the bachelor’s degree in a year of full-time study. Students are then eligible to take the national Registered Nurse licensure examination.

During their year of study, the students also participate in a leadership program to help them develop leadership skills, including self-awareness, strategic vision, risk taking, communication effectiveness and inspiring change, and a pre-entry immersion program to help them learn study, test-taking, and other skills that will help them manage the challenges of an accelerated program.

The scholarship program was launched in 2008 by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the American Association of Colleges of Nursing. Since 2008, the NCIN program has distributed 3,117 scholarships to students at more than 125 nursing schools. This year, funding for 400 scholarships was granted to fifty-two schools.

The program is designed to help 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.

For more information about the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, visit its website.

UT’s College of Nursing is a nationally recognized leader in nursing education. The college enrolls more than 600 students in undergraduate, master’s, and doctoral programs. Visit the College of Nursing website for more information.

C O N T A C T :

Amy Blakely (865-974-5034, ablakely@utk.edu)

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