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Robert Atkins Named a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Nurse Faculty Scholar


For more information, contact:
Miguel Tersy
College of Nursing
Rutgers, The State University of NJ Phone: 973.353.5293 x629 Email:
                                                                                    Nurse Faculty Scholars National Program Office
Phone: (877) 738-0737
Robert Atkins Named a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Nurse Faculty Scholar
New national program seeks to advance careers of talented junior nursing faculty
Cherry Hill, N.J. (July 25, 2008) ─ Robert Atkins, R.N., Ph.D., an assistant professor in the College of Nursing at Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, was one of 15 junior faculty nationwide to receive an inaugural Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Nurse Faculty Scholar award. The three-year, $350,000 grant will begin Sept. 1.
The award will support his efforts to collect qualitative and quantitative data from high-school aged youth living in Camden, N.J. reduce health disparities by improving understanding of what youth do to promote, maintain, and restore their health.
Dr. Atkins plans to explore how the health and health-related behaviors of adolescents living in high-poverty, urban neighborhoods are shaped by the demographic, socio-economic, and structural context.
He hopes the findings from this study will contribute to the dissemination of new knowledge and the development of specialized community interventions that help to predict the needs of vulnerable adolescent populations, personalize care in culturally appropriate ways, and preempt unequal access to health care.
The award will also support Atkins’ participation in a training program that will help prepare him for academic leadership and translating evidence into policy and practice initiatives.
“I hope to use this generous support from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation to improve the health and well-being of children and adolescents living in distressed, urban environments,” said Atkins.
His faculty mentors for this research are Lucille Joel, R.N., Ed.D., F.A.A.N., professor and interim dean of the Rutgers College of Nursing, and Myra Bluebond-Langner, Ph.D., Distinguished Professor of Anthropology.
“Atkins is a superb teacher, and our faculty members and students would agree that this is an award well-deserved,” said Joel.
Atkins is a former school nurse in Camden and the co-founder and director of the Camden STARR program, a non-profit, youth development program that seeks to improve the life chances of children and adolescents living in Camden.
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 program is run out of the Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing. Jacquelyn C. Campbell, Ph.D., R.N., F.A.A.N., Anna D. Wolf chair and professor in the Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing directs the program. For more information, go to:
From its headquarters in Newark, Rutgers College of Nursing offers a broad range of academic programs on all three Rutgers campuses. The college offers a master’s program with unique practitioner specialties, a Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) degree, and was the first to offer a Ph.D. nursing degree in New Jersey.
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