Jonas Center Achieves Goal: 1,000 Doctorally Prepared Faculty and Clinical Leaders in All 50 States

Jonas Center’s $25M philanthropic commitment – largest of its kind – addresses swiftly changing healthcare needs

NEW YORK, October 26, 2015 – The Jonas Center for Nursing and Veterans Healthcare today announced that it will achieve its goal to prepare 1,000 nurse faculty and clinical leaders nationwide in 2016. The Jonas Center committed nearly $25 million to the effort, through grants to nurses pursuing PhDs and DNPs, the field’s terminal degrees.

This milestone announcement comes amid an aging population with complex health needs requiring specialized care; the Affordable Care Act and other shifts in America’s health system that have led to an increase in people seeking care; and a shortage of faculty in professional registered nurse programs coupled with a workforce comprising a large number of nurses nearing retirement.

“Highly educated nurses are the key to improving the ailing U.S. healthcare system,” says Darlene Curley, executive director of the Jonas Center. “The 1,000 doctorally-prepared Jonas Scholars are dedicated to increasing access to care, improving quality of services, and lowering costs nationwide.”

While 10,000 baby boomers turn 65 each day1, 53 percent of working nurses2 and 72 percent of full-time nursing faculty are over age 50.3 Further, a faculty vacancy rate of 6.9 percent4 resulted in nearly 69,000 qualified applicants turned away from nursing baccalaureate and graduate programs in 2014.5

According to a 2010 impact assessment by the Jonas Center and New York University College of Nursing, during the course of a 30-year career, one nurse faculty member could teach approximately 7,500 nurses who in turn would care for a potential 3.6 million patients.

Two years ago, the Jonas Center announced it would direct close to $14 million plus another $10.5 million in leveraged funds to prepare 1,000 nurse faculty and clinical leaders by 2020. Through its flagship initiatives, the Jonas Nurse Leaders Scholars program and the Jonas Veterans Healthcare Program, the Center has grown from six New York-area Jonas Scholars in 2008 to 604 across the country last year; the new anticipated cohort of 425 Scholars in 2016 brings to fruition the Jonas Center’s ambition far ahead of schedule and in advance of the Center’s 10th anniversary next year.

Who are the Jonas Scholars?

From cancer to disaster relief, from diabetes to suicide prevention, the Jonas Scholars are tackling an array of pressing health issues from research, teaching, clinical and policy standpoints. To date, the Jonas Scholar Program has produced 263 alumni, now working in education and practice settings across the U.S. Roughly 95 of those alumni are filling faculty teaching positions, several of which are joint appointments with clinical or research roles.

The most recent cohort of Scholars, who began receiving support from the Jonas Center in fall 2014, have published or presented more than 250 research works, sharing findings on a range of health topics including mental health, military sexual trauma, obesity and palliative care, to name a few. This cohort also earned nearly 135 awards and honors and leveraged the Jonas support to garner 66 additional scholarships.

The announcement that the Jonas Center has reached its goal of supporting 1,000 Scholars coincides with the 2015 Jonas Scholars Leadership Conference, which brings together 315 current Scholars and other nursing leaders in Washington, DC to share expertise on the state and future of the profession, healthcare and health policy.

“I am grateful to these exceptional women and men who have answered the call to nursing and teaching. Now and in the years to come we will all benefit from their skills and service,” says Donald Jonas, co-founder. “The Jonas Center is privileged to work with such promising nursing leaders and look forward to continuing to our efforts, supporting more Scholars in the future.”

1 Pew Research Center, Baby Boomers Approach 65 – Glumly: Survey Findings about America’s Largest Generation, (December 2010)
2 The National Council of State Boards of Nursing and The Forum of State Nursing Workforce Centers 2013 National Workforce Survey of RNs.
3,4 American Nurses Association, “FAST FACTS – The Nursing Workforce 2014: Growth, Salaries, Education, Demographics & Trends.”
5 American Association of Colleges of Nursing 

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