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Addressing the future nursing shortage now
By / October 28, 2014 /   Loading Disqus...

Increasing the number of primary care professionals practicing in Rhode Island is one of our key strategies, but the state will need a projected 4,000 new nurses by the end of this decade. Growing the number of Nursing professors at the state’s colleges and universities will be critical to filling the shortage. That’s why we partnered with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) to launch the Future of Nursing Scholars initiative earlier this year. The program underwrites the cost of tuition for doctoral candidates who plan to go into teaching.

Pam McCue is our first Future of Nursing Scholar. The University of Rhode Island PhD candidate is one of 16 nurses from all over the country who were selected for the inaugural class. She just got back from the first of RWJF’s leadership development activities.

“Boot camp provided me insight into my own personal attributes, and gave me tools and tips that I know will help me as I begin my scholarly work. It also became quite evident that RWJF is investing not only in my education but in the resources that will make me successful as a nurse leader far beyond graduation,” says McCue.

The two-day event enabled participants to meet and connect with one another, and begin the work of developing skills that will serve them well as they pursue their PhDs. Sessions addressed crucial issues, including developing strategies for peer coaching, and identifying and understanding one’s own approach to change and exerting influence. The new scholars met with current doctoral students to discuss a variety of issues and were given time to network with program leaders, guest speakers, and each other. A workshop served as an introduction to scholarly writing and the event closed with a panel on selecting and working with mentors.

“At the end of our time together, I left excited about the wonderful group of nurses in the program’s first cohort. We are looking to this inaugural cohort with great anticipation not only for the work they will contribute to the science, but because their experiences and responses will help shape this program for future scholars. With that in mind, we are thrilled to welcome them to the RWJF family. And they made it clear that they are delighted to be here,” says Heather Kelley, RWJF’s deputy director of the Future of Nursing Scholars program.

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