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10K Jonas Center Grant Will Benefit Doctoral Nursing Students

New scholarship aims to help fill need for qualified nursing faculty

Sacred Heart University has received a $10,000 grant from the Jonas Center for Nursing and Veterans Healthcare, which it matched with $10,000 of its own funds to bestow a scholarship on one doctoral nursing student this fall.

This is the first time the Jonas Center has awarded SHU a grant, making the University part of the center’s national effort to stem the faculty shortage in the nursing field and prepare the next generation of nurses. Sacred Heart joins more than 1,000 future nurse educators and leaders at 140 universities across all 50 states supported by the Jonas Nurse Leaders Scholars Program and Jonas Veterans Healthcare Program. These scholarships support nurses pursuing higher degrees.

Mary Alice Donius, dean of the College of Nursing, said SHU qualified to apply for the Jonas Center grant last fall and recently learned it would receive funding for the Jonas Nurse Leaders Scholars Program.

“It really is a wonderful honor to be recognized for our academic program and to increase doctoral-prepared nurse leaders,” Donius said. “We’re inviting our students to apply, and we’re excited about this opportunity to be part of this well-known program.”

Donald Jonas, who co-founded the center with his wife, Barbara, said they established this philanthropic endeavor in 2008 to address the country’s critical need for qualified nursing faculty. To underscore the demand, he noted that nursing schools turned away thousands of qualified applicants from baccalaureate and graduate nursing programs in 2014, due in large part to an insufficient number of faculty.

“We set an ambitious goal to support 1,000 Jonas Nurse Scholars,” Jonas said. “This year, on our center’s 10th anniversary, we celebrate this achievement and are amazed by the talent of this cohort of future nurse leaders. In the decade to come, we look forward to continuing to work with our partner nursing schools and to the great impact that the Jonas Scholars will have on improving health care around the world.”

Sacred Heart’s 2016 Jonas Scholar will receive financial support through 2018 while focusing on critical health priorities, Donius said.