College of Nursing receives grant to prepare PhD nurses

  • Tuesday, July 22, 2014

The Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC) College of Nursing is one of only 14 schools of nursing nationwide to be among the first to receive a grant from a new Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) program to increase the number of nurses holding a PhD degree. As an inaugural grantee of the Future of Nursing Scholars program, the MUSC College of Nursing will select one student to receive financial support, mentoring and leadership development over the three years of his or her PhD program.

The Future of Nursing Scholars program is a multi-funder initiative. In addition to RWJF, United Health Foundation, Independence Blue Cross Foundation, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center and the Rhode Island Foundation are supporting the Future of Nursing Scholars grants to schools of nursing this year. The Future of Nursing Scholars program plans to support up to 100 PhD nursing candidates over its first two years.

“We are thrilled to receive this funding. This support for our PhD students clearly reflects on the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation's commitment to a well-educated nursing workforce,” said Gail Stuart, PhD, RN, FAAN, dean of the MUSC College of Nursing.

Desiree R. Bertrand, MSN, RN, has been selected to receive this grant. Bertrand, a resident of St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands, will begin her PhD studies online this fall. She is a veteran of the U.S. Air Force and served as a commissioned officer and a registered nurse for four years. After completing her military commitment, Bertrand worked as a travel nurse for several years. In 2003, she joined the University of the Virgin Islands (UVI) as an assistant professor of nursing. Today, she is a research coordinator and the community engagement/outreach core director at the Caribbean Exploratory Research Center housed in the UVI School of Nursing.

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