USD Nursing School to Award $100,000 in Scholarships for Innovative Program to Reduce Nursing Shorta

The University of San Diego Hahn School of Nursing and Health Science is pleased to be among the first institutions in the nation to receive funding from the prestigious Robert Wood Johnson Foundation through its highly competitive RWJF New Careers in Nursing Scholarship Program. The $100,000 grant will be used for scholarships to increase the number of students enrolled in USD’s accelerated Master’s Entry into Nursing program. The award will provide ten students from disadvantaged and minority groups a $10,000 scholarship. 

This groundbreaking national initiative, launched by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN), aims to help alleviate the nation’s nursing shortage by dramatically expanding the pipeline of students in accelerated nursing programs. “This program aims to safeguard the health of the nation by helping to ease the nurse and nurse faculty shortage,” said Risa Lavizzo-Mourey, president of the foundation. “This new initiative also will advance our strategic goal of promoting leadership in the health professions.”

The scholarship program is targeting students from groups underrepresented in nursing and from disadvantaged backgrounds. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the nation’s minority population totaled 102.5 million or 34 percent of the U.S. population in 2007 while nurses from minority backgrounds represented 10.7 percent of the registered nurse workforce, according to the latest National Sample of Survey of Registered Nurses completed in 2004.

USD’s Accelerated Master’s Entry into Nursing Program is designed for persons with a bachelor’s degree in another field who want to start a second career in nursing and is the only program of its kind in San Diego and the Inland Empire. The $100,000 scholarship program will assist low-income and minority students who are often not eligible for traditional financial aid programs because they already have a bachelor’s degree.

“Our school is playing a critical role in alleviating the nursing shortage in San Diego and this grant will help us to do even more,” said USD Dean of Nursing Sally Brosz Hardin. “Many of our students also go on to become nurse educators, one of the most important factors in reducing the shortage of trained nurses.”

USD’s Accelerated Master’s Entry into Nursing Program started seven years ago and has graduated more than 250 nurses with the master’s degree. Many of these nurses then go on into clinical leadership positions, while also studying in USD’s Ph.D. Nursing program to become nurse faculty, or the university’s Advanced Practice Nursing clinical programs.

USD’s Nursing School will host a free open house for the master’s entry program on Oct. 16. To RSVP or receive more information e-mail or call (619) 260-4163 or go to

The University of San Diego is a Catholic institution of higher learning chartered in 1949; the school enrolls approximately 7,500 undergraduate and graduate students and is known for its commitment to teaching, the liberal arts, the formation of values and community service. The inauguration of the Joan B. Kroc School of Peace Studies brings the university’s total number of schools and colleges to six. Other academic divisions include the College of Arts and Sciences and the schools of Business Administration, Law, Leadership and Education Sciences, and Nursing and Health Science.


About the University of San Diego

The University of San Diego sets the standard for an engaged, contemporary Catholic university where innovative Changemakers confront humanity’s urgent challenges. With more than 9,000 students from 69 countries and 50 states, USD is the youngest independent institution on the U.S. News & World Report list of top 100 universities in the United States. The university's eight academic divisions include the College of Arts and Sciences, the School of Business, the Shiley-Marcos School of Engineering, the School of Law, the School of Leadership and Education Sciences, the Hahn School of Nursing and Health Science, the Joan B. Kroc School of Peace Studies, and the Division of Professional and Continuing Education. USD's Envisioning 2024 strategic plan capitalizes on the university’s recent progress and aligns new strategic goals with current strengths to help shape a vision for the future as the university looks ahead to its 75th anniversary in the year 2024.