Foundation Aims to Increase the Number of Black Nurses

African Americans are 13 percent of the U.S. population but, according to data from the U.S. Department of Labor, African Americans are only 5.4 percent of all the nurses in this country. The Labor Department projects that by 2016 more than 1 million new nursing jobs will be available.

One way to increase the number of new nurses is to increase the number of minority students pursuing careers in the field. The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s New Careers in Nursing Scholarship Program offers $10,000 scholarships to up to 400 nursing students from minority groups that are underrepresented in nursing. Schools of nursing may apply for between five and 30 scholarships per year for nursing students from underrepresented groups. Two nursing schools at historically black universities are participating in the grant program. They are Norfolk State University in Virginia and Winston-Salem State University in North Carolina. Nursing schools at high-ranking universities such as the University of Virginia, the University of Pennsylvania, and Johns Hopkins University also received grants from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.