Fairfield University’s School of Nursing selected for prestigious scholars program


The Jonas Scholar at Fairfield University is made possible by a grant from the Jonas Center for Nursing and Veterans Healthcare.

Image: Joining ForcesFairfield University's School of Nursing announced today that it was selected to take part in the 2014-2016 Jonas Scholars Program, a prestigious endeavor focused on improving the care of Veterans.

With 22.2 million Veterans living in the United States - a number that will only climb due to the swelling ranks of young Veterans - there continues to be a critical need to reassess and improve upon Veterans' healthcare. The Jonas Scholars Program addresses this need, with its focus on Veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan who face an alarming number of unique healthcare challenges that include an increase in suicide risk, depression, and anxiety.

The New York City-based Jonas Center for Nursing and Veterans Healthcare will provide $10,000 of tuition support for a Doctor of Nursing (DNP) student at Fairfield. To be known as the DNP Jonas Veterans Healthcare Scholar, the student's classroom and clinical education will have a focus on advancing the care of Veterans, which has long been part of the mission of the School of Nursing. The scholar will be joining "an elite group" of scholars across the country, according to the center.

Lynn Babington, Ph.D., RN, professor and dean of the School of Nursing, said, "The awardee will be a student who is committed to the care of Veterans and their families."

The Jonas Center's vision and intent is to help improve the healthcare of U.S. Veterans by supporting doctoral level (Ph.D. and DNP) education of nurses who will be involved in all levels of veterans' healthcare, from administration and policy to direct patient care.

The scholars program also addresses the need to develop more nursing school faculty at nursing schools nationwide. The Institute of Medicine's report on The Future of Nursing: Leading Change, Advancing Health advocates for a doubling of the number of nurses in the U.S. with doctoral degrees.

The funds from the Jonas Center provide ongoing support for the partnership between the VA Connecticut Healthcare System and Fairfield University's School of Nursing. That partnership has involved a key federal program called the 'Veterans Affairs Nursing Academy' that strives to educate nurses on the specific healthcare needs of Veterans. The School of Nursing is also involved in a national initiative led by First Lady Michelle Obama and Dr. Jill Biden that aims to educate nursing students on the "invisible wounds of war" like Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI).

For more information about Fairfield University's School of Nursing, visit http://www.fairfield.edu/academics/schoolscollegescenters/schoolofnursing/.

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Media Contact: Meg McCaffrey, (203) 254-4000, ext. 2726, mmccaffrey@fairfield.edu

Posted on February 20, 2014

Vol. 46, No. 181