UTEP Awards Nursing Scholarships through RWJF New Careers in Nursing Program

The University of Texas at El Paso’s School of Nursing has received $220,000 from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) New Careers in Nursing Scholarship Program (NCIN) to award scholarships to assist college graduates from underrepresented backgrounds to transition into careers in nursing. NCIN is a program of RWJF and the American Association of Colleges of Nursing.

For a third consecutive year, the UTEP School of Nursing has been selected to participate in the prestigious NCIN Program, which provides grants to support students through an accelerated baccalaureate or master’s degree nursing program.

This summer, the school awarded $120,000 in scholarships to 12 students to enter UTEP’s Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing Fast Track Program during the 2013-14 academic year. Elen Gutierrez, Daniel Herrera, Jossue Herrera, Savannah Laneaux, Gilbert Lara, Jesus Moncada, Janet Reck, Edwardo Rivas, Jose Ruiz, Lili Ruiz, Rachel Stewart and Mark Tipton each received a $10,000 scholarship that can be applied toward tuition and fees, books and expenses.

In June, the school was one of 52 schools of nursing that was awarded $100,000 to provide 10 NCIN scholarships to fast track nursing students during the 2014-15 academic year.

“The New Careers in Nursing Scholarships from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the American Association of Colleges of Nursing demonstrates the UTEP School of Nursing’s commitment to educate the next generation of culturally competent and highly skilled nurses and nursing leaders,” said School of Nursing Dean Elias Provencio-Vasquez, Ph.D., a 2009 RWJF Executive Nurse Fellow and chair of the RWJF’s Doctoral Advancement in Nursing Committee.

In addition to a $10,000 scholarship, NCIN scholars receive other support to help them meet the demands of an accelerated degree program. Scholars participate in leadership and mentoring programs, as well as a pre-entry immersion program to help them learn study, test-taking, and other skills that will help them manage the challenges of an accelerated program.

“At this time when the nation’s need for highly educated nurses is growing, we are delighted to be able to support nursing students who will bring diverse and valuable perspectives to the field, and become capable, culturally competent nurses,” said David Krol, M.D., RWJF senior program officer. “NCIN is not only helping these students succeed in school, it is helping prepare the nursing workforce to meet the challenges that lie ahead.”

Since 2008, the NCIN program has distributed 3,117 scholarships to students at 125 unique schools of nursing. The UTEP School of Nursing has awarded 32 scholarships to students in the Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing Fast Track Program since 2011.

The 2010 Institute of Medicine (IOM) report, “The Future of Nursing: Leading Change, Advancing Health,” recommends increasing the proportion of nurses with a baccalaureate degree or higher, and increasing the diversity of students to create a nursing workforce prepared to meet the health care demands of diverse populations of all ages. NCIN is helping to advance those recommendations, enabling schools to expand student capacity in higher education, and encouraging more diversity.

The School of Nursing already has implemented 40 percent of the recommendations, which include increasing the number of nurses with bachelor’s degrees to 80 percent by 2020, doubling the number of nurses with a doctorate by 2020, and implementing nurse residency programs.

About the UTEP School of Nursing:

The UTEP School of Nursing prepares students to enter one of the fastest-growing and most competitive health care fields in the nation. The nursing program has been the regional lifeline for more than 30 years, producing highly recruited health care professionals who are placed readily in facilities across El Paso and the country. The school serves more than 1,000 students, about 80 percent of whom are Hispanic. In 2011, students, staff and faculty moved into a new $60 million facility, which includes a state-of-the-art, 16,000-square-foot Center for Simulation, one of the largest university-based simulation centers in the country.



Veronique Masterson
Public Information Officer
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Chris Lechuga
Public Affairs Specialist
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