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


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

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation has awarded a grant to the University of Miami School of Nursing and Health Studies (SONHS) to support Future of Nursing Scholars to complete their Ph.D. degrees in nursing.

The SONHS is one of only 25 schools of nursing nationwide to receive an award under this prestigious scholarship program, which will provide financial support, mentoring, and leadership development to two nurses who commit to earn their PhDs in three years’ time.

The Future of Nursing Scholars program is a multi-funder initiative. In addition to RWJF, Johnson & Johnson, Inc., Independence Blue Cross Foundation, Ascension Health, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, and the Rhode Island Foundation are supporting the Future of Nursing Scholars grant to schools of nursing this year.

The School of Nursing and Health Studies is receiving its grant from the RWJF. The selected scholarship recipients will begin the Future of Nursing Scholars program this summer, their PhD studies in Fall 2015, and graduate in 2018.

“The financial challenges presented when pursuing doctoral-level nursing education are considerable for many students,” said Dr. Julie Barroso, SONHS Associate Dean for Doctoral Programs, “This award will considerably alleviate that burden for our Scholars and increase their chances of graduating with their Ph.D.s.”

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

“At RWJF, we are working to build a culture of health that enables everyone in the United States to live the healthiest lives possible,” said Susan Hassmiller, PhD., RN, FAAN, co-director of the program and RWJF’s senior advisor for nursing. “This program will create the transformative nurse leaders who can make that vision a reality by driving crucial changes in health care and inspiring future generations of nurses to achieve even more.”

Less than one percent of the nation’s more than 3 million nurses have PhDs in nursing or a related field. In addition, the average age at which nurses in get their PhDs in the United States is 46 – 13 years older than PhD earners in other fields. This program will provide an incentive for nurses to start PhD programs earlier, so that they can have longer leadership careers after earning their doctorate degrees.

“The Future of Nursing Scholars represent some of the best and brightest minds in nursing today,” said Julie Fairman, PhD, RN, FAAN, Future of Nursing Scholars program co-director. “Each of them has committed to complete their PhD education in only three years. To support their studies, we provide each scholar with a $75,000 scholarship and the leadership, research, and other skills they need to take their nursing careers to the highest levels. They will be at the leading edge of health care research and nursing education.” Fairman is also the Nightingale professor of nursing, the chair of the Department of Biobehavioral Health Sciences, and director of the Barbara Bates Center for the Study of the History of Nursing at the University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing.

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 Americans 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

About the School of Nursing and Health Studies

Established in 1948 as South Florida’s first collegiate nursing program, the School of Nursing and Health Studies at the University of Miami has a distinguished tradition of preparing nurses to provide compassionate quality care to local, national and international communities. Nursing students at the undergraduate and graduate levels are educated by renowned scholars, and exposed to a broad range of clinical experiences and cutting-edge research. Since its inception, the program has provided diverse educational opportunities for over 6,000 nursing professionals at the undergraduate, masters and doctoral levels. The curriculum includes degree programs leading to the BSN, the MSN, the Ph.D. and DNP degrees, as well as the BSHS (Bachelor of Science in Health Science) and BSPH (Bachelor of Science in Public Health). For more information, please visit the school website at