Ferris State University Nursing faculty member Susan Owens was one of five Ph.D. candidates named National League for Nursing Jonas Scholars.
Owens received $6,000 to aid her dissertation research as she attends the Indiana University College of Nursing. The grant funds are available through the NLN Foundation for Nursing Education and include financial support for scholars’ research through the 2011-12 academic term. This marks the second year that NLN has bestowed funds to Ph.D. candidates, as part of the Jonas Scholars Program. Owens is a part of the second cohort.
“It’s an honor that will help with credibility and then the monetary value is just worth a lot by helping me move ahead with my research and not have the burden of that expense,” Owens said. “I feel very fortunate to have received this money to help with my dissertation research. It has afforded me an opportunity to pay for things with my research that would have had to come out of my pocket.”
Owens plans to conduct her dissertation research in northern Michigan. She said that she will research associate degree nurses to understand what a Bachelor of Science and Nursing degree means to them.
“No one has asked them,” Owens said as she explained the national call to increase the number of nurses with a BSN to 80 percent. She noted that 39 percent of Michigan nurses have earned their BFN and that northern Michigan hosts the lowest percentage at 27 percent.
Through research, Owen hopes to analyze the workforce development for more education in nursing and “how we can improve it.” She hopes her findings are informative to everyone from students to professionals in nursing for ways to take the “next step” in their educational level.
She plans to graduate with her Ph.D. during the summer of 2012 and has a plan to conduct more research after graduation.
The Jonas Scholars Program started in 2008 to support nursing faculty in their educational development with focus on recruitment, retention, diversity and faculty development. The scholars participate in conference calls and interact with mentors who are previous faculty scholars inducted in the NLN Academy of Nursing Education.