Initial evaluation of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Nurse Faculty Scholars program

Background: The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Nurse Faculty Scholars (RWJF NFS) program was developed to enhance the career trajectory of young nursing faculty and to train the next generation of nurse scholars. Although there are publications that describe the RWJF NFS, no evaluative reports have been published. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the first three cohorts (n = 42 scholars) of the RWJF NFS program.

Methods: A descriptive research design was used. Data were derived from quarterly and annual reports, and a questionnaire (seven open-ended questions) was administered via Survey Monkey Inc. (Palo Alto, CA, USA).

Results: During their tenure, scholars had on average six to seven articles published, were teaching/mentoring at the graduate level (93%), and holding leadership positions at their academic institutions (100%). Eleven scholars (26%) achieved fellowship in the American Academy of Nursing, one of the highest nursing honors. The average ratings on a Likert scale of 1 (not at all supportive) to 10 (extremely supportive) of whether or not RWJF had helped scholars achieve their goals in teaching, service, research, and leadership were 7.7, 8.0, 9.4, and 9.5, respectively. The majority of scholars reported a positive, supportive relationship with their primary nursing and research mentors; although, several scholars noted challenges in connecting for meetings or telephone calls with their national nursing mentors.

Conclusions: These initial results of the RWJF NFS program highlight the success of the program in meeting its overall goal—preparing the next generation of nursing academic scholars for leadership in the profession