The funding — $14 million from the center and an additional $10.5 million in leveraged funds from other donors — will be used to provide a thousand nurse faculty and clinical leaders nationwide with specialized training in veterans' mental health issues by 2018. According to research from the center and the New York University College of Nursing, boosting nurse faculty training has the potential to enhance treatment for millions of patients. In a 2010 study, the two institutions found that over the course of a thirty-year career, one nurse faculty member could train as many as 7,500 nurses, who in turn could affect the lives of some 3.6 million patients.
The announcement follows the creation of the center's Jonas Veterans Healthcare Program, which was launched in 2012 to expand the field of qualified caregivers by providing scholarships to doctoral-level nursing candidates, many of whom are active duty reservists or veterans themselves. Scholars focus on priorities identified by the White House and the Department of Veterans Affairs, including mental health, traumatic brain injury, multiple trauma, aging, and women's health.
"What began as a simple idea with great potential has proved to be a potent solution to the deficits and complex issues inherent in our healthcare system, and we believe the commitment to support one thousand scholars is a momentous event," said Donald Jonas, co-founder of the center and a former retail entrepreneur. "We're excited to make this pledge but know that much more is needed and look forward to partnering with others who share our vision."