November 9, 2009

Nursing Workforce Diversity grant awarded to Johns Hopkins

Of the almost 135,000 students enrolled in baccalaureate nursing programs in 2008, only 26 percent were minorities, according to the American Association of Colleges of Nursing. The Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing hopes to change that.

Through a new Nursing Workforce Diversity grant from the Health Resources and Services Administration, or HRSA, the school will increase the number of enrolled students from disadvantaged backgrounds, with an emphasis on ethnic and racial minorities. The $1 million three-year grant is supported by funds from the Division of Nursing, Bureau of Health Professions, HRSA and the Department of Health and Human Services.

The school will give financial support to incoming students known as LEADS Scholars—for Leadership, Excellence, Achievement, Diversity and Success—in the form of scholarships, stipends and other resources to enable them to enter the program and successfully graduate. The LEADS program also will provide scholars with intensive advising and academic support, leadership opportunities and a mentorship program. The initiatives include scholarships for six students and stipends for 15 others.

The program is designed to increase the number of potential future nurses by developing partnerships with two Baltimore City schools, Dunbar Senior High and Dunbar Middle; add to the number of students from economically and educationally disadvantaged backgrounds enrolling at the school; and reduce the number of matriculated students from disadvantaged backgrounds who do not graduate or experience a delayed graduation/entry into the workforce due to failure of the National Council Licensure Examination.

Linda Rose, the project director, said, “[The grant] will introduce potential students to nursing through our outreach activities in the community, and it will allow us to provide additional support and scholarships to our selected LEADS Scholars to ensure their success in the JHU SoN nursing program.”