SMU Wins Jonas Grant for Doctoral Nursing Students

Grant is part of a national initiative to support 1,000 nurse scholars in all 50 States

Samuel Merritt University (SMU) announced today that with a new grant of $40,000 from the Jonas Center for Nursing and Veterans Healthcare, matched by $20,000 of its own monies, it will fund the scholarship of three doctoral nursing students in 2016. As a recipient of the Jonas Center grant, Samuel Merritt University is part of a national effort to stem the faculty shortage and prepare the next generation of nurses – critical as a clinical nurse shortage is anticipated just as an aging population requires care.

The Samuel Merritt University Jonas Scholars join more than 1,000 future nurse educators and leaders at 140 universities across all 50 states supported by Jonas Center programs, the Jonas Nurse Leaders Scholars Program, Jonas Veterans Healthcare Program (JVHP), and the Donald Jonas Legacy Fund. These scholarships support nurses pursuing PhDs and DNPs, the terminal degrees in the field.

“Being selected for the third cohort of the Jonas Nurse Scholars program is both an honor for Samuel Merritt University and a tremendous opportunity for our doctoral students in the Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) Program,” said Michelle DeCoux Hampton, PhD, RN, DNP Program Director at SMU. “The financial support enables the student to focus more intently on his/her studies while the leadership project provides opportunities for networking and additional skill development with nursing leaders throughout the United States.”

As the nation’s leading philanthropic funder of graduate nursing education, the Jonas Center is addressing the critical need for qualified nursing faculty. U.S. nursing schools turned away nearly 70,000 qualified applicants from baccalaureate and graduate nursing programs in 2014 due in large part to an insufficient number of faculty[i]. Further, nearly two-thirds of registered nurses over age 54 say they are considering retirement[ii].

“In 2008, we set an ambitious goal to support 1,000 Jonas Nurse Scholars. This year, on our Center’s 10th anniversary, we celebrate this achievement and amazed by the talent of this cohort of future nurse leaders,” said Donald Jonas, who co-founded the Center with Barbara Jonas, his wife. “In the decade to come, we look forward to continuing to work with our partner nursing schools and to the great impact that the Jonas Scholars will have on improving healthcare around the world.”

The Samuel Merritt University Jonas Scholars will begin their graduate careers in the fall and will be supported through 2018. Previous Jonas scholars have focused on such critical health priorities as promoting Type II Diabetes Mellitus treatment adherence among veterans, sexual health education for adolescents in primary care, and recognition of adverse drug events in elderly patients.

SMU Jonas Scholar leadership projects have included implementation of a protocol to prevent hypothermia in a level II trauma center and development of an advocacy initiative to increase the rate of health insurance enrollment in the local community.

“Not only will the Jonas Scholars benefit individually from this funding, they also become a part of a rich network of nursing doctoral students who will be the future practitioners, researchers, and faculty so essential for the health of our communities. Kudos and gratitude, again, to the Jonases for creating this amazing center and supporting our students,” said Audrey Berman, PHD, RN, Dean of SMU’s School of Nursing.                              

SMU Media Contact: Justin Berton, 510-869-6511 x3250 /



[i] American Association of Colleges of Nursing, 2014-2015 Enrollment and Graduations in Baccalaureate and Graduate Programs in Nursing

[ii] AMN Healthcare, 2015 Survey of Registered Nurses: Viewpoints on Retirement, Education and Emerging Roles

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