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Eight Graduate Nursing Students Selected to Receive The California Endowment-AACN Minority Nurse Faculty Scholarship

Scholarship Applications Now Available for the 2008-2009 Academic Year

WASHINGTON, Sept. 18 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) is pleased to announce that eight outstanding graduate students have been selected to receive The California Endowment-AACN Minority Nurse Faculty Scholarship. Introduced last year, this program was developed to provide financial support, mentoring, and leadership development activities to nursing students from underrepresented minority populations who are committed to teaching in a California school of nursing after graduation.

"We are excited about supporting these future leaders in nursing education here in California as we work together towards increasing diversity in nursing," said Robert Ross, MD, President and CEO of The California Endowment.

The California Endowment-AACN Minority Nurse Faculty Scholarship provides support to nursing students enrolled in graduate programs who aspire to be nurse educators. The latest round of scholarship awards were presented to:

Beverly Brownell, University of San Diego

Claudia M. Davis, University of California, Los Angeles

Therese Doan, University of California, San Francisco

Jacqueline Gregory, University of California, San Francisco

Jung-Eun Esther Kim, University of California, San Francisco

Hyacinth Vega Mussenden, University of California, San Francisco

Soohyun Nam, University of California, San Francisco

Cindy Wong, University of California, San Francisco

"AACN congratulates the scholarship winners and looks forward to working with them as they develop into exceptional teachers and leaders of the nursing profession," said AACN President Jeanette Lancaster, PhD, RN, FAAN. "These awardees, who are all pursuing doctoral degrees, represent the future of nursing education and will serve as role models for the next generation of nurses educated in California institutions." This cohort of scholarship recipients is a very impressive group with all students pursuing the PhD in nursing. In terms of racial background, four scholarship winners are Asian, two are African American, one is Hispanic, and one is Pacific Islander and Hispanic.

For a brief profile of each scholarship winner, visit AACN's Web page at

Why Diversify the Nurse Faculty Population?

The need to enhance diversity within the nursing student population is paralleled by the need to recruit more faculty from minority populations. Though nearly a quarter of all baccalaureate and graduate nursing students in the U.S. are members of underrepresented racial or ethnic minority groups, only 10.5% of faculty teaching in these programs are from minority backgrounds based on the latest AACN data. In California, the state with the most acute shortage of registered nurses in the nation, schools boast the most diverse nursing student body in the country with 51.5% of entry-level baccalaureate students coming from underrepresented groups. Still, only 15.4% of the nursing faculty in California are members of a minority population. All nursing organizations, the federal Division of Nursing, the Institute of Medicine, nursing philanthropies, and other stakeholders agree that recruiting under-represented groups into the health professions is a national priority.

"Diversifying the faculty is key to ensuring a more balanced representation from groups largely missing in academic nursing," added Dr. Lancaster. "Nursing is in dire need of more leaders and educators from minority backgrounds to support students seeking mentors to encourage and enrich their learning." Nursing's leadership also recognizes the strong connection between a diverse nursing workforce and the ability to provide culturally competent patient care.

Scholarship Applications Available for 2008-2009 Academic Year

The California Endowment-AACN Minority Nurse Faculty Scholarship program provides $18,000 in financial support to students pursuing a graduate degree in nursing as well as student mentoring and leadership development components to facilitate academic success. To cover the cost and expenses related to attending the leadership conference, $1,500 in award monies will be held in escrow for the scholarship recipients. Though students receiving support may attend classes at any school of nursing, students must return to their home state of California after graduation to assume a teaching role at a California institution. The schools where scholarship recipients will be attending classes are required to offer a match of some portion of the student's tuition.

Applications are now available to students seeking funding for the 2008-2009 academic year. See Applications must be received by May 30, 2008. For more information or to ask questions, please contact AACN Project Coordinator Annie Alesandrini at

About The California Endowment

The California Endowment is a private, statewide health foundation established in 1996 to expand access to affordable, quality health care for underserved individuals and communities, and to promote fundamental improvements in the health status of all Californians. Web site:

About the American Association of Colleges of Nursing

The American Association of Colleges of Nursing is the national voice for university and four-year-college education programs in nursing. Representing more than 600 member schools of nursing at public and private institutions nationwide, AACN's educational, research, governmental advocacy, data collection, publications, and other programs work to establish quality standards for bachelor's and graduate-degree nursing education, assist deans and directors to implement those standards, influence the nursing profession to improve health care, and promote public support of baccalaureate and graduate nursing education, research, and practice. Web site:

SOURCE American Association of Colleges of Nursing
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