College Receives Prestigious Future of Nursing Scholars Grant to Prepare PhD Nurses

Jan 31, 2017

The University of Arizona College of Nursing is one of only 28 schools of nursing nationwide to receive a grant to increase the number of nurses holding PhDs. Through the prestigious Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Future of Nursing Scholars program, two UA nursing students who commit to earn their PhD in three years will be provided financial support, mentoring and leadership development.

“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 this year.

The UA College of Nursing is receiving its grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. After final selection of scholars in March, two UA nursing students will begin the Future of Nursing Scholars program this summer and their PhD studies this fall.

“We are thrilled to receive this funding to accelerate the progression of two outstanding students through our PhD program,” said Anne G. Rosenfeld, PhD, RN, FAHA, FAAN, professor and director of the PhD Program. “This generous grant is in recognition of the quality of our PhD program, faculty and students.”  

In its landmark nursing report, the National Academy of  Medicine recommended that the nation  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 percent 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.


About the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation
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

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Students interested in applying for this program should contact Dr. Anne Rosenfeld at or (520) 626-4947.