Students selected as Robert Wood Johnson Foundation New Careers in Nursing scholars

RWJ Foundation scholars
From left: Lisa O’Connor, professor and director of undergraduate nursing in the School of Nursing; Robert Ludlow; Rory Condon; Jonathan Hoisl; Jake Sebastian; Brandon Lynn; and Cory Boyd, associate professor of nursing and coordinator of the accelerated nursing track.

Oct. 15, 2012 - Five School of Nursing students have been selected as Robert Wood Johnson Foundation New Careers in Nursing (NCIN) scholars.

This year's scholars are: Rory Condon of Woodbury; Jonathan Hoisl of Nanuet, N.Y.; Robert Ludlow of Southington; Brandon Lynn of Cheshire; and Jake Sebastian of Bellport, N.Y.

"It is a tremendous honor to be chosen as a Robert Wood Johnson New Careers in Nursing scholar," Lynn said. "Returning to school to study nursing has brought with it many challenges for me both personally and financially. The support of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation reduces the financial burden on myself and my family, allowing me to focus more on studying to become a highly skilled professional in the nursing field. I am truly grateful to the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation for its continued support of underrepresented students who wish to enter the nursing profession."

Condon agreed. "Being selected as a RWJ scholar is an honor to say the least," he said. "The program is going to provide a lot of opportunity to grow professionally as a nurse while my fellow scholars and I earn our BSNs.  I'm exceedingly grateful to have been chosen and am looking forward to working with the faculty and my peers over the next year."

The NCIN scholarship program is a national program of RWJF and the American Association of Colleges of Nursing. The program is designed to help alleviate the national nursing shortage, increase the diversity of nursing professionals, expand capacity in baccalaureate and graduate nursing programs, and enhance the pipeline of potential nurse faculty.

"We are honored to receive a second round of scholarships from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation for five New Careers in Nursing grantees this year," said Lisa O'Connor, professor and director of the undergraduate nursing program at Quinnipiac. "Student recruitment, support and retention for all accelerated nursing students at Quinnipiac have expanded because of the RWJF scholarships."

Nursing leaders have long recognized the strong connection between a culturally diverse nursing workforce and the ability to provide quality patient care. The five NCIN scholars will complete Quinnipiac's accelerated nursing track in May 2013. The scholars will complete their senior year in nursing while developing leadership skills through mentoring and other leadership activities planned throughout the year.

Cory Boyd, associate professor of nursing and coordinator of the accelerated nursing track, said these scholarships are not "free money." Grantees have additional responsibilities as preparation for becoming future leaders of the profession.

"Last year's recipients accomplished a great deal including a poster presentation of their experiences as underserved populations in nursing at the Eastern Nursing Research Society at Yale University," Boyd said. "I anticipate this year's recipients to be equally as hard working and successful as they pursue their new careers in nursing. I look forward to working with them and sharing the benefits of having received this grant with all students in the School of Nursing."