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Posted: 9/15/2008

Jennifer Wenzel, PhD, RN, CCM, assistant professor at the Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing (JHUSON), is one of 15 junior faculty in the nation to receive an inaugural Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Nurse Faculty Scholar award.

The three-year, $350,000 grant will support Wenzels research to address health disparities affecting rural African American seniors who have been diagnosed and treated for cancer. "I hope to use this generous support from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation to improve health outcomes for this at-risk population to help make a real difference," says Wenzel.

Her work will assist patients and families through cancer diagnosis and treatment and help them negotiate the health care system.  The award will also support Wenzels participation in a training program on academic leadership that entails translating evidence-based research into policy and practice initiatives.

Faculty mentors for Wenzel's research include:  Jerilyn K. Allen, ScD, RN, FAAN, M. Adelaide Nutting Professor and Associate Dean for Research at JHUSON (Primary Mentor); and Jean Ford, MD, with joint appointments in the Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health, Department of Epidemiology, the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Oncology Center, and the Johns Hopkins Hospital, Department of Pulmonary/Respiratory Medicine (Institutional Mentor).

Wenzel currently serves on the Governing Board for the Southern Nursing Research Society and is Director of Research Interest Groups for the organization.  Recently honored as an Educator/Scholar in Nursing from Southern Adventist University, Wenzel is also a recipient of two Graduate Teaching Awards from the University of Virginia.  At  JHUSON, Wenzel manages the Center for Collaborative Intervention Research, which promotes interdisciplinary studies to develop, test, and evaluate cost-effective interventions to improve health outcomes.

The goal of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Nurse Faculty Scholars program is to develop the next generation of national leaders in academic nursing through career development awards for outstanding junior nursing faculty. The program aims to strengthen the academic productivity and overall excellence of nursing schools by providing mentorship, leadership training, salary, and research support to young faculty.

Despite a rise in applicants, U.S. nursing schools turn away thousands of prospective students from baccalaureate and masters programs because of an acute shortage of faculty and clinical preceptors, training sites, space and funding constraints. Since the stature of nursing schools and the promotion of nursing faculty are dependent on the quality of the nursing faculty's scholarly and/or research pursuits, the Nurse Faculty Scholars program seeks to strengthen the link between institutional reputation and faculty success by providing career development and other opportunities to junior faculty.  With a large number of faculty nurses set to retire soon, the Nurse Faculty Scholars program also aims to encourage junior nurse faculty to continue on in their roles as educators.

The Nurse Faculty Scholars program is administered by the Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing, under the direction of Jacquelyn Campbell, PhD, RN, FAAN, Professor and Anna D. Wolf Chair.  For more information, visit: www.nursefacultyscholars.org.