New RWJF Future of Nursing Scholars grant awarded to College of Nursing


RWJF announces the fifth and final cohort for innovative program


The Ohio State University College of Nursing is one of only 31 schools of nursing selected to receive a grant to increase the number of nurses holding PhDs. The selected schools comprise the fifth cohort of grantees of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) Future of Nursing Scholars program, which will provide financial support, mentoring, and leadership development to nurses who commit to earn their PhDs in three years. The College of Nursing will select two nursing students to receive this prestigious scholarship.

“Our fifth cohort of Scholars will join an impressive group of nurse researchers who are already making significant contributions to the field. This program is designed to empower nurse leaders to progress efficiently. The selected scholars will complete their PhDs in an expedited three year time frame,” 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.


In its landmark nursing report, the Institute of Medicine recommended that the country double the number of nurses with doctorates. While enrollment in doctorate of nursing practice programs has increased exponentially, PhD enrollment has seen less growth. The Future of Nursing Scholars program was designed to increase PhD-prepared nurses. Doing so will ensure that more nurses are conducting vital research and will also help address the nurse faculty shortage.


The Future of Nursing Scholars program is a multi-funder initiative. In addition to RWJF, Johnson & Johnson, Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, Sharp HealthCare, and Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center are supporting the Future of Nursing Scholars grants to schools of nursing this year. Ohio State is receiving its grant from RWJF. It will select scholars in April and those students will attend a boot camp with 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 fifth cohort of scholars in the Future of Nursing Scholars program,” says Rita Pickler, PhD, The FloAnn Sours Easton Professor of Child and Adolescent Health and Director, PhD & MS in Nursing Science Program in the College of Nursing. "We are excited to be able to offer this funding to two of our new PhD students who will be admitted for Autumn 2018. These scholars will have the opportunity to have their doctoral work financially supported while also receiving additional leadership development training through the RWJF as a supplement to our PhD curriculum. We expect our participating students will be even better prepared to transform health care through research while also educating and inspiring the next generation of nurses.”


“When this program concludes, we will have graduated more than 200 PhD prepared nurses. RWJF is thrilled to see the program succeed so well, and we are very thankful for the other funders who have joined us in support of this work,” said Susan Hassmiller, PhD, RN, FAAN, co-director of the program and RWJF’s senior adviser for nursing.


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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