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Scholarships Aim to Diversify Nursing Workforce

January 26th, 2011


A group of 10 students will each receive a $10,000 scholarship that they may use to help pay for a nursing degree program, reports the Tri-State Defender.

The scholarships will be awarded to underrepresented minorities and males enrolled at the University of Tennessee who hold bachelor degrees in other fields. According to the news source, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation New Careers in Nursing program was launched in 2008 to address the national shortage of healthcare workers and add more diversity to the profession.

Through the program, students have the ability to pursue an accelerated bachelor’s or master’s nursing program. Individuals who choose the graduate-level option are allowed to have undergraduate experience in a different field.

Donna Hathaway, professor and dean of the university’s College of Nursing, says that the program helps make students’ dream of becoming a nurse a reality in about two years.

“They begin their nursing careers at the master’s level instead of having to start by earning another bachelor’s degree in the nursing field,” she adds.

Job prospects for registered nurses are expected to be excellent due to a high turnover rate in hospitals, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports.