UCLA, CDU Partnership Receives $1.4 million NIH Grant to Increase Nursing Research Diversity

The UCLA School of Nursing and the Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science (CDU) received a 5-year, $1.4 million grant from The National Institutes on Health (NIH) to begin a partnership for enhancing diversity of nurses with research careers.

The goal of the Partnership is to increase the ethnic diversity of those pursuing research careers in nursing.  With this grant, UCLA and CDU will develop and implement an integrated plan of individual and institutional activities to prepare master's degree nursing students from underrepresented minority groups with the tools needed to make a seamless transition to doctoral education.

Nursing students in the master's program at CDU will now learn about the role of the doctorally prepared nurses and research opportunities in nursing, particularly in contributing to reducing health disparities. 

"Health disparities among ethnic groups are becoming more pronounced as the population ages," said Linda Phillips, PhD, RN, FAAN, FGSA (Professor and Adrienne H. Moseley Endowed Chair in Nursing).  "We need to find nurses who reflect these growing, diverse populations, have a better understanding and are more sensitive to their health needs and can design research that will lead to improved health outcomes."

The grant is part of the Bridges to the Doctorate Program, which aims to increase the pool of master's degree students who go on to research careers in the biomedical and behavioral sciences and will be available to participate in NIH-funded research.

Research will focus on the health needs of aging adults, defined as 45 years and older, at a time when the US population is becoming older and more ethnically diverse.


In the United States, there is a shortage of individuals from underrepresented minority groups in nursing. The 2008 National Sample Survey of Registered Nurses showed 32.1% of Black/African American nurses and 39.4% of Latino nurses had baccalaureate degrees; for all racial/ethnic groups combined, only 11.4% had graduate degrees including PhDs.


This is the first NIH grant for the Mervyn M. Dymally School of Nursing.

"This partnership with UCLA is an exciting step for our two-year old nursing program" said MMDSON Founding Dean Gloria J. McNeal, Ph.D., MSN, ACNS-BC, FAAN.  "By bridging the gap from the Master's to Ph.D. program, we will increase the supply of nursing faculty that is able to educate and train future nurses with excellence and compassion."

In addition, the Mervyn M. Dymally School of Nursing recently received accreditation upon first review from the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE), an autonomous accrediting agency, which works to ensure the quality and integrity of nursing programs across the nation.