The Ohio State University College of Nursing Receives Prestigious Future of Nursing Scholars Grant to Prepare PhD Nurses

Multi-funder initiative aims to help reach Institute of Medicine goal to build the next generation of PhD prepared nursing leaders.


[Columbus, Ohio] – The Ohio State University College of Nursing is one of only 28 schools of nursing nationwide to receive a grant to increase the number of nurses holding PhDs. The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s Future of Nursing Scholars program will provide financial support, mentoring, and leadership development to nurses who commit to earn their PhDs in three years. The college will select two nursing students to receive this prestigious scholarship.


“The Future of Nursing Scholars program is making an incredible impact in real time. These nurses will complete their PhDs in three years, a much quicker progression than is typically seen in nursing PhD programs,” said Julie Fairman, PhD, RN, FAAN, Future of Nursing Scholars program co-director and the Nightingale professor of nursing and the chair of the Department of Biobehavioral Health Sciences at the University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing.


The Future of Nursing Scholars program is a multi-funder initiative. In addition to RWJF, Johnson & Johnson, Northwell Health, Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, Sharp HealthCare, Rush University Medical Center, Care Institute Group, and Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center are supporting the Future of Nursing Scholars grants to schools of nursing this year.


The Ohio State College of Nursing is receiving its grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. It will select two scholars this spring who will begin the Future of Nursing Scholars program this summer and their PhD studies this fall.


"It is an honor to have been selected for funding for the fourth cohort of scholars in the Future of Nursing Scholars program,” said Rita Pickler, PhD, The FloAnn Sours Easton Professor of Child and Adolescent Health and Director, PhD and Master of Nursing Science Program at the Ohio State College of Nursing. "This was our first year to apply for the Future of Nursing Scholars program. The timing was right for us; we have a newly revised PhD curriculum that builds on our tradition of excellence and advances the preparation of future nurse scientists. We are excited that two of our new PhD students will have the opportunity to have their doctoral work financially supported, and will receive additional leadership development training at the same time through the RWJF, via in-person and online activities as a supplement to our PhD curriculum. We expect that our participating students will be even better prepared to transform health care through research and the translation of evidence into practice and policy, while also educating and inspiring the next generation of nurses.”


In its landmark nursing report, the Institute of Medicine recommended that the country double the number of nurses with doctorates; doing so will prepare and enable nurses to lead change to advance health, promote nurse-led science and discovery, and put more educators in place to prepare the next generation of nurses. The Future of Nursing Scholars program is intended to help address that recommendation.


“We were pleased to see that enrollment in doctorate of nursing practice programs has increased 160% from 2010 to 2014. However, we want to ensure that we also have PhD-prepared nurse leaders in faculty and research roles. In the same time period, PhD enrollment has only increased by 14.6 percent. The nurses funded through the Future of Nursing Scholars program will make important contributions to the field and be well-prepared to mentor other nurses,” said Susan Hassmiller, PhD, RN, FAAN, co-director of the program and RWJF’s senior adviser for nursing.


The 51 nurses supported in this round will join 109 Scholars across the three previous cohorts. The program plans to add a fifth cohort which will bring the number of funded Scholars to more than 200 nurses.



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For more than 40 years the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation has worked to improve the health and health care of all Americans. We are striving to build a national Culture of Health that will enable all to live longer, healthier lives now and for generations to come. For more information, visit Follow the Foundation on Twitter at or on Facebook at