Doctoral nursing student selected for coveted Jonas Center Nurse Leaders Scholar Award
The Oakland University School of Nursing has been notified that Cheryl Nickolaou, DNPc, MSN, FNP-BC is the recipient of a $20,000 Jonas Nurse Leaders Scholar Program award from the Jonas Center for Nursing to continue her Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) degree at Oakland University.
The purpose of the Jonas Nurse Leaders Scholar Program is to increase the number of doctorally-prepared nurses to teach in nursing schools across the country. In the U.S., 79,659 qualified applicants were denied entry into nursing programs, according to a 2013-14 American Association of Colleges of Nursing report, due to limited faculty, clinical sites, classroom space, clinical preceptors and budget constraints.
Nearly two-thirds of nursing schools around the country reported faculty shortages as the main reason. Award programs like the Jonas Nurse Leader program pay up to $20,000 for nurses to continue their graduate and doctoral level education to help fill the faculty gaps.
Nickolaou is in the DNP program at Oakland University where her interests are in research in pediatric and adolescent health with regard to respiratory disease, adherence to treatment and the effects of the environment. She began her career as an educator in the inner city of the Los Angeles public school system. It was here that she noticed the influence of education on health maintenance. She continued to work in a variety of settings, exploring health care while living in Europe. She returned to school to become a family nurse practitioner and currently works in a practice treating patients with asthma, allergy and pulmonary issues in both children and adults.
Nickolaou is thrilled to be the recipient of the Jonas Scholarship and excited about the opportunities that will be available to her. “As a DNP student, I intend to enhance the quality of life in the patients with whom I interact, but also teach them how to maintain optimal health and nutrition.”
“Cheryl will be one of more than 1,000 Jonas Nurse Leader Scholars at 140 schools across all 50 states plus Washington, D.C.,” according to School of Nursing Dean Judy Didion. “Her education at Oakland University and the opportunities for leadership within the Jonas Scholar program will benefit her, her future patients and her future students.”
As the recipient of the Jonas Center grant, OU’s School of Nursing is part of a national effort to stem the faculty shortage and prepare future nurses as America’s healthcare system continues to evolve. The award was developed as a means to generate models for joint faculty appointments between nursing schools and clinical partners and educate greater numbers of nurse educators.