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Faith Atte among first Future of Nursing Scholars


Villanova University College of Nursing PhD student Faith Ikarede Atte, MSN, RN, is among the 16 nurses who are the first recipients of the Future of Nursing Scholars program awards. This new multi-funder scholarship program, spearheaded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF), is aimed at increasing the number of nurses holding PhDs. Atte’s scholarship is funded by the Independence Blue Cross Foundation and was awarded by Villanova University.

Atte intends to focus her PhD research on the impact of stigma towards people with mental illness, who not only must endure the debilitating symptoms of mental illness but also the misconceptions and stereotypic views of the public towards them. She was a charge nurse at Trenton Psychiatric Hospital and is currently a staff nurse in the surgical intensive care unit at Deborah Heart and Lung Center in Browns Mills, New Jersey. She has written a blog about her inspiration on RWJF’s Human Capital Blog.  

“I am so grateful to receive this scholarship and other support, which will allow me to focus on my PhD course work without worrying about finances,” said Atte. “I also feel fortunate that I get to have two cohort groups: from Villanova University and my fellow Future of Nursing Scholars at RWJF. With all the incentives provided by RWJF and my college of nursing, I am sure that the knowledge I will gain will enable me to make positive contributions to society.”

The Future of Nursing Scholars program provides grants to schools of nursing, so that they can provide scholarships to PhD candidates who will commit to completing the program in three years. Atte will receive an award of $75,000, as well as mentoring and leadership development over the course of the PhD program.

“Faith Atte is an outstanding nurse who will make many contributions to society as a scholar and leader as a result of this transformational opportunity that the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and Independence Blue Cross Foundation have afforded her and our College of Nursing,” said M. Louise Fitzpatrick, EdD, RN, FAAN, Connelly Endowed Dean and Professor of Nursing at the College of Nursing at Villanova University.