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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
DATE: 09/23/2008
CONTACT: Office of Communications ( beth.phillips@ttuhsc.edu )
PHONE: (806) 743-2143

TTUHSC Perry School of Nursing Receives Scholarship Funds from RWJ Foundation

The Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center (TTUHSC) Anita Thigpen Perry School of Nursing is pleased to be among the first institutions in the nation to receive funding from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) through the RWJF New Careers in Nursing Scholarship Program. Grants provided through this competitive program will be used for scholarships to increase the number of students enrolled in the School of Nursing’s accelerated Second Degree Nursing Program. This groundbreaking national initiative, launched by RWJF and the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN), aims to help alleviate the nation’s nursing shortage by dramatically expanding the pipeline of students in accelerated nursing programs.

The Perry School of Nursing received $150,000. Fifteen students in the school’s Second Degree Program will each be awarded a $10,000 scholarship by Aug. 31, 2009.

Award preference is given to students from groups underrepresented in nursing or from disadvantaged backgrounds. Grant funding also will be used by the school of nursing to help leverage new faculty resources and provide mentoring and leadership development resources to ensure successful program completion by scholarship recipients. “This program aims to safeguard the health of the nation by helping to ease the nurse and nurse faculty shortage,” said RWJF President Risa Lavizzo-Mourey, M.D., M.B.A. “This new initiative also will advance our strategic goal of promoting leadership in the health care professions.”

The RWJF New Careers in Nursing Scholarship Program supports accelerated programs, which offer the most efficient route to licensure as a registered nurse for adults who have already completed a baccalaureate or graduate degree in a discipline other than nursing. Although enrollment in these programs has steadily increased over the past few years, many potential students are unable to enroll since already having a college degree disqualifies them for receiving most federal financial aid programs for entry-level students. The New Careers in Nursing scholarships address this problem, and will also address the overall nursing shortage, by enabling hundreds of students to launch their nursing careers through accelerated education.

The Perry School of Nursing offers a second degree web-based accelerated baccalaureate nursing degree program for students with a previous college degree. This twelve month program has preceptor and nurse educator oversight in the student's own communities in Lubbock, Austin, Marble Falls, Abilene, Permian Basin and El Paso.

By bringing more nurses into the profession at the baccalaureate and master’s degree levels, the new scholarship program also helps to address the nation’s nurse faculty shortage. Data from the U.S. Health Resources and Services Administration show that nurses entering the profession at the baccalaureate level are four times more likely than other nurses to pursue a graduate degree in nursing, which is the required credential to teach. Additionally, the program targets the need to recruit students from groups underrepresented in nursing or disadvantaged backgrounds. According to the National Advisory Council on Nurse Education and Practice, diversifying the nursing profession is essential to meeting the health care needs of the nation and reducing health disparities that exist among many underserved populations.

Perry School of Nursing second degree students from disadvantaged populations including first generation college students and individuals from low socio-economic status are eligible to apply for one of these scholarships.

For more information about how to apply, contact Tonia Borrego, senior administrative assistant, at (806) 317-4650 or e-mail tonia.borrego@ttuhsc.edu. AACN serves as the National Program Office for this RWJF initiative and oversees the grant application submission and review processes. For more information about this

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