The impact of the Nurse Faculty Scholars program on schools of nursing

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Background—The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Nurse Faculty Scholars program was conceptualized as not only promoting the growth and development of early-career faculty but as enhancing the research infrastructure of scholars’ schools of nursing. Purpose—At the completion of the scholars’ three years of support, deans/directors were asked to provide feedback regarding the institutional impact of the scholars’ participation in the program. Methods—Phone interviews were conducted on the first five completed cohorts and a six-item questionnaire was developed to obtain some quantitative data. Discussion: The program was viewed as having accelerated the scholars’ leadership and scholarship, and their influence within the school/university and regionally/nationally. Deans/directors generally agreed that the scholars’ experience helped build the school’s research portfolio. Conclusion—Looking back on how the participating schools of nursing fared, one can say that the program’s institutional expectations were achieved most of the time. The program helped scholars build their own reputations and that in turn had consequences for the school’s standing as a whole. A number of components are described that can be replicated singly or in various combinations by schools/universities interested in adopting aspects of this program.