Newswise — The Johns Hopkins School of Nursing (JHSON) announces a new program to accelerate diversity within PhD-prepared nurses. The “Pathway to PhD Nursing Scholars” will be an eight-week intensive program to recruit and prepare students from groups underrepresented in nursing with mentorship, resources, networking, and career guidance to facilitate competitive PhD program applications. The program will focus on post-baccalaureate nurses and address structural inequities in PhD education.

“We are committed to making a PhD accessible and attainable for talented individuals from all backgrounds,” says JHSON Dean Sarah Szanton, PhD, RN, FAAN. “The urgency of the nursing shortage, and the even greater nurse faculty shortage, make this vital opportunity that directly aligns with our mission to develop a diverse pipeline of nurse leaders.”

Nurses selected for the program will engage in research and training activities with mentors and/or research teams and will develop a meaningful contribution to an existing research project. Participants will learn about the nursing research process, how to apply for a PhD, and how to conduct community-engaged research. They will also learn the principles of health equity and social determinants of health. Pathway Nursing Scholars will receive special networking opportunities, research shadowing experiences, and multiple levels of mentorship from faculty, current PhD students, and researchers within and outside the Johns Hopkins network.

According to lead faculty Jennifer Wenzel and Kamila Alexander, the program design is based on recommendations from the American Academy of Colleges of Nursing and the 2021 NASEM Future of Nursing report to recruit and support diverse students who reflect the US population. “We hope to demystify the process of applying for a PhD and show nurses that they not only have the vision, but also the support, to achieve a PhD,” says Wenzel.

The Pathway to PhD Nursing Scholars Program is currently set to run for five years with ten scholars selected each year. It is funded through a $5 million investment by Johns Hopkins University to support programs that will create pathways for diverse students to enter non-STEM PhD programs.

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Located in Baltimore, the Johns Hopkins School of Nursing is a globally-recognized leader in nursing education, research, and practice. In U.S. News & World Report rankings, the school is No. 1 nationally for its master's and DNP programs. In addition, JHSON is ranked as the No. 3 nursing school in the world by QS World University and No. 1 for total NIH funding among schools of nursing for fiscal year 2020. The school is a four-time recipient of the INSIGHT Into Diversity Health Professions Higher Education Excellence in Diversity (HEED) Award and a three-time Best School for Men in Nursing award recipient. For more information, visit

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