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[July 23, 2012]

SUNY Downstate Awarded Robert Wood Johnson Nursing Scholarships:
Scholarships Will Support Second-Career Nursing Students from Underrepresented Groups

For the fourth consecutive year, SUNY Downstate Medical Center’s College of Nursing has been selected as a grant recipient of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation New Careers in Nursing Scholarship Program (NCIN). SUNY Downstate has received $100,000 for the 2012-2013 academic year to support students who are enrolled in its accelerated nursing program and pursuing a second career in nursing.
The support is given to second-career students from groups who are traditionally underrepresented in the field of nursing or from disadvantaged backgrounds. Since 2009, the College of Nursing has received a total of $500,000 to support students in its accelerated baccalaureate program.
The NCIN Scholarship Program was launched in 2008 by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) and the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) to expand enrollment in accelerated degree programs in schools of nursing while increasing diversity in the nursing workforce.
“We are delighted to be among the nursing schools recognized by the New Careers in Nursing Scholarship Program,” said Daisy Cruz-Richman, PhD, RN, dean of the College of Nursing at SUNY Downstate. “This honor represents a tremendous vote of confidence in our Accelerated Baccalaureate Nursing Program from one of the premier philanthropic healthcare organizations in the country.”
Students who receive the NCIN scholarships—in the amount of $10,000 each—have already earned a bachelor’s degree in another field, and are making a career switch to nursing through accelerated nursing degree programs. These programs prepare students to pass the National Council Licensure Examinations (NCLEX-RN) required for all registered nurses in as little as 12-18 months and provide quicker routes to workforce eligibility than traditional programs.
This year, funding for 400 scholarships was granted to 55 schools of nursing by the NCIN program. All NCIN grantee schools are required to maintain a mentoring program for their nursing students, and many offer a pre-entry immersion program to help them learn study, test-taking, and other skills that will aid them in managing the challenges of the program. Students also receive other support to help them meet the demands of an accelerated degree program. At SUNY Downstate, 10 students will be awarded NCIN scholarships.
By bringing more nurses into the profession at the baccalaureate and master’s degree levels, the NCIN 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 via baccalaureate programs are four times more likely than other nurses to pursue a graduate degree in nursing. This trend is reflected in the NCIN scholars, as 91 percent of the students receiving funding in the first three years of the program indicate a desire to advance their education to the master’s and doctoral levels.
For more information about SUNY Downstate’s accelerated nursing program, visit

About NCIN
The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) joined with the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) to create New Careers in Nursing: an RWJF Scholarship Program to help alleviate the nursing shortage and increase the diversity of nursing professionals. Through annual grants to schools of nursing, NCIN provides $10,000 scholarships to college graduates with degrees in other fields who wish to transition into nursing through an accelerated baccalaureate or master’s nursing program. For more information, visit

About RWJF
The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation focuses on the pressing health and health care issues facing our country. As the nation’s largest philanthropy devoted exclusively to health and health care, the Foundation works with a diverse group of organizations and individuals to identify solutions and achieve comprehensive, measurable, and timely change. For 40 years, the Foundation has brought experience, commitment and a rigorous, balanced approach to the problems that affect the health and health care of those it serves. When it comes to helping Americans lead healthier lives and get the care they need, the Foundation expects to make a difference in your lifetime. For more information, visit

About AACN
The American Association of Colleges of Nursing is the national voice for baccalaureate and graduate programs in nursing. Representing more than 690 member schools of nursing at public and private institutions nationwide, AACN’s educational, research, governmental advocacy, data collection, publications, and other programs work to establish quality standards for bachelor’s and graduate degree nursing education, assist deans and directors to implement those standards, influence the nursing profession to improve health care, and promote public support of baccalaureate and graduate nursing education, research, and practice. For more information, visit

About SUNY Downstate
SUNY Downstate Medical Center, founded in 1860, was the first medical school in the United States to bring teaching out of the lecture hall and to the patient’s bedside. A center of innovation and excellence in research and clinical service delivery, SUNY Downstate Medical Center comprises a College of Medicine, Colleges of Nursing and Health Related Professions, a School of Graduate Studies, a School of Public Health, University Hospital of Brooklyn, and an Advanced Biotechnology Park and Biotechnology Incubator. SUNY Downstate ranks eighth nationally in the number of alumni who are on the faculty of American medical schools. More physicians practicing in New York City have graduated from SUNY Downstate than from any other medical school.