The Jonas Nurse Scholar program supports doctoral nursing students pursing both PhD and DNP degrees. The goal of the Jonas Nurse Leaders Program is to increase the number of doctorally-prepared faculty available to teach in nursing schools nationwide, as well as the number of advanced practice nurses providing direct patient care. The Jonas Veterans Healthcare Program is a component of the Nurse Scholar Program that aims to increase the number of advanced practice nurses and faculty who are trained specifically in the unique needs of our veteran population.
Supported by the Jonas Center for Nursing and Veterans Healthcare (Jonas Center), both programs provide financial assistance, leadership development and networking support to expand the pipeline of future nurse faculty and advanced practice nurses. As part of their scholarship experience, all Jonas Scholar attend the Jonas Nurse Scholar Conference, a three-day event in Washington, DC, designed to convene the current Jonas Scholars for networking, mentoring and educational opportunities with prominent nurse educators, executives and policy experts in the field.
Developing Nursing Faculty
According to AACN’s report on 2013 - 2014 Enrollment and Graduations in Baccalaureate and Graduate Programs in Nursing, U.S. nursing schools turned away 79,659 qualified applicants from baccalaureate and graduate nursing programs in 2013 due to an insufficient number of faculty, clinical sites, classroom space, clinical preceptors, and budget constraints. Almost two-thirds of the nursing schools responding to the survey pointed to faculty shortages as a reason for not accepting all qualified applicants into entry-level baccalaureate programs.
Released in October 2010, the Institute of Medicine’s report on The Future of Nursing: Leading Change, Advancing Health advocates for a doubling of the number of nurses in the U.S. with doctoral degrees. The limited supply of nurses with doctorates has had a significant impact on the ability of nursing schools to educate sufficient numbers of professionals needed to engage in the highest level of practice, research, and scholarship. Less than one percent of the nation’s nurses hold the doctoral degree, and the majority of those with doctorates (53.7%) have acquired degrees in fields other than nursing.
The Jonas Nurse Leaders Scholar Program was created in 2008 to support educational development of new nursing faculty and stimulate models for joint faculty appointments between schools of nursing and clinical affiliates.
Improving Veterans' Healthcare
With 22.2 million veterans living in the U.S., there is an urgent need to reassess and continue to improve upon veterans’ healthcare. Upon returning home, veterans face an alarming number of unique healthcare challenges that include some sobering statistics:
- One US veteran of wars in Iraq and Afghanistan attempts suicide every 80 minutes;
- 1 out of 5 veterans from the Iraq and Afghanistan wars suffers from depression, anxiety, or Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD); and
- Almost 90% of troops are attacked or ambushed while in combat and 65% witness death or serious injury of comrades.
Equally troubling are the results of a RAND study which revealed that 37% of mental health professionals felt unprepared to help veterans with reintegration issues. Currently, our healthcare workforce is not adequately prepared to help veterans adapt to their reintegration and the unique challenges they face, both physically and emotionally.
The Jonas Center’s vision and intent for the Veterans Healthcare Program is to help improve the healthcare of US veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan by supporting doctoral level (PhD and DNP) education advancement of nurses who will be involved in all levels of veterans’ healthcare, from administration and policy to direct patient care.