Nursing student earns national scholarship
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The Jonas Center for Nursing Excellence—a national organization addressing challenges in nursing education, particularly faculty shortages—has announced a new class of graduate students for its Jonas Nurse Leaders Scholar Program.
Among the fall 2012 scholarship recipients is University of Iowa College of Nursing doctoral student Emily Higdon.
“This award couldn't have come at a better time,” says Higdon, who didn’t realize she’d even been nominated. “It truly is an honor and a blessing to be a Jonas scholar. I couldn't be happier.”
The Jonas Center program aims to turn today’s most promising graduate students into tomorrow’s nursing faculty.
Launched in 2008 with six scholars in three states, it now includes more than 200 students in nearly 85 schools across the country. It’s the nation’s largest effort focused on the critical shortage of nursing faculty—nursing schools turned away more than 67,000 qualified applicants in 2010 alone due to faculty shortages.
This year’s Jonas scholars include 142 Ph.D. and Doctor of Nursing Practice (D.N.P.) students representing all 50 states.
The American Association of Colleges of Nursing administers the program, contributing experience and expertise in nursing leadership programs. Jonas scholars receive financial support through 2014 with $2 million from the Jonas Center, which the schools leveraged to raise an additional $1.5 million.
“Our mission is to improve health care through nursing, and by reaching all 50 states, we can improve health care for all Americans,” says Darlene Curley, Jonas Center executive director. “Enthusiastic support from our donor and education partners has made all the difference as we built this innovative way to support future nurse leaders to improve patient care and reduce health care costs.”
Higdon, who received her B.S.N. from the UI in 2008, has developed a focus on obstetric and postpartum care. She’s slated to defend her Ph.D. dissertation on the topic in May 2014.
“I’m interested in researching interventions in labor and delivery, with an ultimate goal of decreasing the cesarean section rate,” she says. “I’m currently studying electronic fetal monitoring, induction and augmentation with oxytocin, and the utilization of midwives and their associations with cesarean.”