College of Nursing selected for competitive scholarship program

Beth Barnett Khan

Oct. 7, 2008

College of Nursing selected for competitive scholarship program

CHARLESTON -- The Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC) College of Nursing is one of the first institutions in the nation to receive funding from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) to increase the number of students enrolled in accelerated baccalaureate degree nursing program. This national initiative, launched by RWJF and the American Association of Colleges of Nursing, aims to help alleviate the nationís nursing shortage by dramatically expanding the pipeline of students in accelerated nursing programs.

MUSC College of Nursing has been awarded $200,000 to allocate among 20 students in 2008-2009. In the words of one of these students, Nick Porter, "The RWJ Scholarship is an absolutely amazing opportunity to encourage future generations of nurse leaders. I know we are all filled with pride to have been selected as scholars in this program, and this opportunity will serve to deepen our commitment to our school, our field, and the betterment of our community." Through the RWJF New Careers in Nursing Scholarship Program, scholarships in the amount of $10,000 will be distributed to entry-level nursing students in accelerated programs. Award preference is given to students from groups underrepresented in nursing or from disadvantaged backgrounds.

The RWJF New Careers in Nursing Scholarship supports accelerated programs, which offer the most efficient route to licensure as a registered nurse for adults who have already completed a baccalaureate or graduate degree in a discipline other than nursing. Although enrollment in these programs has steadily increased over the past few years, many potential students are unable to enroll since already having a college degree disqualifies them for receiving most federal financial aid programs for entry-level students. The New Careers in Nursing scholarships address this problem, and will tackle the overall nursing shortage by enabling hundreds of students to launch their nursing careers through accelerated education.

The MUSC College of Nursing has an accelerated baccalaureate degree program, as well as master and doctoral nursing programs. "We are exceptionally proud of our B.S.N. students as they come from a wide range of backgrounds and bring with them strong academic skills, as well as a commitment to the nursing profession. Our program has an outstanding retention rate of 95 percent and over half of our B.S.N. students continue their education and pursue a graduate degree," states Gail Stuart, dean of the College of Nursing.

About MUSC

Founded in 1824 in Charleston, The Medical University of South Carolina is the oldest medical school in the South. Today, MUSC continues the tradition of excellence in education, research, and patient care. MUSC educates and trains more than 3,000 students and residents, and has nearly 11,000 employees, including 1,500 faculty members. As the largest non-federal employer in Charleston, the university and its affiliates have collective annual budgets in excess of $1.6 billion. MUSC operates a 750-bed medical center, which includes a nationally recognized Children's Hospital and a leading Institute of Psychiatry. For more information on academic information or clinical services, visit or