Each year the nurse members of the NEF Board of Directors review the eligible scholarship applications and follow a graded objective evaluation process to determine their evaluations. Once the evaluation grades are complete, the NEF Criteria and Eligibility Committee follows an established screening and scholarship selection protocol and submits the names of those scholars recommended for scholarships to the NEF Board of Directors for approval. The following list represents the current NEF Scholarships and Funds.


The Johnson & Johnson and Edwidge Thomas Health Equity Scholarship

In December 2023, NEF Vice President, Edwidge Thomas, was recognized by the Johnson & Johnson "Our Race to Health Equity" program leaders for the second consecutive year. The scholarship was increased from a $50,000 to a $100,000 named scholarship for two categories of scholarships targeting underrepresented groups in Nursing. The scholarship criteria include the following:

  1. Scholarships to be distributed in 2024, will provide $10,000 scholarships, to exceptional doctoral students enrolled in a doctoral nursing program from any or all of these underrepresented groups: American Indian/Native American/Pacific Islander, Black/African Ancestry, Hispanic/Latinx Black, or self-identifying as more than one race from any of the above combination of races, who may also self-identify as LGBTQIA with financial hardship related from being a veteran, single parent, resident of unstable housing, victim of intimate partner violence, disability, or recovered from substance abuse disorder, in pursuit of a doctoral in Nursing with the overall goal of improving patient care and outcomes through the delivery of patient-centered, culturally sensitive and appropriate, high-quality care as well as positioning and preparing these candidates to successfully transition into a Nursing leadership role while increasing the number of underrepresented Nurses in leadership in clinical care, academia, hospital administration, research, professional associations, governmental agencies, and other healthcare sectors.
  2. Scholarships to be distributed in 2024, will provide $5,000 scholarships to nurses enrolled in a master's nursing program from any or all of these underrepresented groups: American Indian/Native American/Pacific Islander, Black/African Ancestry, Hispanic/Latinx Black, or self-identify as more than one race from any of the above combination of races, who may also self-identify as LGBTQIA with financial hardship related from being a veteran, single parent, resident of unstable housing, victim of intimate partner violence, disability, or recovered from substance abuse disorder, including candidates who may demonstrate great potential but not necessarily the highest achievers among their peers, in pursuit of a Master's degree in Nursing. The overall goal is to improve patient care and outcomes through the delivery of patient-centered, culturally sensitive, and appropriate, high-quality care as well as positioning and preparing these candidates to successfully transition into a Nursing leadership role while increasing the number of underrepresented Nurses in leadership in clinical care, academia, hospital administration, research, professional associations, governmental agencies, and other healthcare sectors.


Allison Adams Wieczorek Scholarship

In June of 2021 when the Rita Reiss Wieczorek’s Scholarship for Maternal – Infant and Pediatric Nursing reached the permanent scholarship goal of $50,000. Dr. Wieczorek requested that the additional funds received for her scholarship be distributed to a second scholarship honoring her daughter-in-law and a Nurses Educational Funds, Inc. Board member, Allison Adams Wieczorek. The Allison Adams Wieczorek Scholarship will also be awarded to graduate nurses who are studying maternal-infant and pediatric nursing, Dr. Wieczorek’s nursing service, administration, and teaching specialty. Allison Adams Wieczorek has served as an NEF Board member since 2006. She is a member of NEF’s Nominating Committee and Chair of the NEF Website and Social Media Committee. With over 25 years’ experience in the financial services industry, Allison is currently the Senior Director of Institutional Relations for the Americas at CFA Institute. She is a graduate of the University of Rhode Island where she received a BS degree from the School of Business and a BA degree in French. The Allison Adams Wiezorek Scholarship reached the goal of $50,000 in 2023.

The first maternal-infant & pediatric scholarship was established by Dr. Rita Wieczorek. When her scholarship reached the $50,000 goal in 2021, she requested that the additional funds received for her scholarship be distributed to a second maternal – infant and pediatric scholarship honoring her daughter-in-law and longstanding NEF Board member, Allison Adams Wieczorek.

Please continue to support this critically important nursing specialty and donate to the Allison Adams Wieczorek Scholarship by clicking on this link: https://n-e-f.org/donate/aawscholarship


AJN/Thelma Schorr Scholarship

The American Journal of Nursing Scholarship, established for masters or doctoral graduate with a preference for nurses who exemplify characteristics of a nursing leader who plans to exercise the "voice" of nursing through speaking or writing, someone who is an advocate for nursing in the public arena. AJN renamed their scholarship in 2018 to honor Thelma Schorr.


Barbara L. Tate Scholarship

Initiated in 2011 on the death of Barbara Tate. Dr. Tate served as President of NEF and was a long time NEF Board member and member of the Finance Committee. Barbara Tate, RN, EdD. was a former Dean of the College of Nursing, University of Rhode Island. Dr. Tate dedicated her long career to the advancement of nursing and nursing education. She was the director of Research and Studies Service at the National League for Nursing, New York, NY and editor of Nursing Research. Dr. Tate was the recipient of two Fulbright Scholarships. She taught at many schools and colleges of nursing in the United States and abroad. The Barbara Tate Scholarship was initiated by Henry Spencer, past Treasurer of NEF and a colleague of Barbara Tate.


Charles Hamlin Scholarship

Dr. Charles Hamlin, renowned orthopedic surgeon specializing in surgery of the hand, had outstanding training at Roosevelt Hospital, Hospital for Special Surgery, and the College of Physicians and Surgeons at Columbia University in New York. Dr. Hamlin attributed his ability to form trusting relationships with his patients due to his study of the humanities and having undergone a full Freudian analysis, thereby able to sense the messages that patients try to send but are not verbalizing. Dr. Hamlin was honored by The American Society for Surgery of the Hand with the Volunteer Service Award and by the Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons (AAOS) with the Humanitarian Award for providing years of expert care to the Navajo Nation - all at no cost to the patients. For this work, he was also presented with the Navajo Indian Health Service Directors Award. Dr. Hamlin was inspired to create this nursing scholarship in honor of Mary Vass, RN. As a high school student, she came into the Hamlin home to help in the care of the three young children. At that time, Dr. Hamlin’s Father was in the Pacific Theater during WWII for over three years. Later, Dr. Hamlin’s Father provided funds for a nursing degree for Mary Vass and she enjoyed a long career in nursing in Boston, MA.

Given Dr. Hamlin’s dedication to Native American people and culture, his named scholarship, established in 2021, will give preference to the following:

  • a nurse with Native American heritage;
  • a nurse focusing on the care of Native American people;
  • a nurse devoted to the field of orthopedics; or
  • a nurse who cares deeply about preventing burnout in the healthcare workplace.

This award underscores the importance of the study and care of people of diverse cultures; the specialty of orthopedic nursing care; and the prevention of burnout for all healthcare professionals.


Columbia University – Presbyterian Hospital School of Nursing Alumni Association Inc./J. Margaret Ada Mutch Scholarship

A permanent scholarship established when the Columbia University-Presbyterian Hospital School of Nursing Alumni Association, Inc. donated $50,000 for an NEF scholarship. Preference is given to a Columbia University School of Nursing student or alumnus. This scholarship honored Ms. Margaret Ada J. Mutch’s 100th birthday. Miss Mutch served in World War II as a member of the U.S. Army Nurse Corps, directing nursing in Army hospitals in the European Theater of Operations. With a master’s degree, she earned the positions of assistant director of nursing and assistant professor of nursing at Columbia-Presbyterian Medical Center, New York City. She was instrumental in helping to forge the bond between Presbyterian Hospital and Columbia University starting back in the late 1930’s. She had the vision to understand educational trends and the needs of nursing.


Cynthia Davis Sculco Scholarship

Initiated in 2012 with a $50,000 donation, this permanent scholarship is awarded to nurses in doctoral programs studying nursing education. Cynthia Sculco is a dedicated NEF Board member who has served in many leadership capacities within NEF, including President, Vice-President, Chair of the Development Committee and Co-Chair of Criteria and Eligibility Committee.


Edith M. Pritchard Scholarship

This permanent scholarship is given to applicants interested in nursing education/public health.


Eleanor C. Lambertsen Scholarship

This fund was started the year of Ms Lambertsen's death. Dr. Margaret Tyson, on her death (2008), left $20,000 to this scholarship that is given annually to a doctoral applicant in nursing education or administration. Eleanor Lambertsen’s concept of team nursing proposed in 1953, revolutionized nursing's and health care's organization. Dr. Lambertsen was named as the American Hospital Association's (AHA) first director of the division of nursing in 1958. She was appointed Dean of Cornell University-New York Hospital School of Nursing in 1970. That same year, she became the first nurse to serve on the board of Empire Blue Cross and Blue Shield.


Estelle Massey Osborne Scholarship

This award consists of donations from Freedmen's Hospital School of Nursing, Alumni Clubs, Inc. Given annually to an African American Master's degree applicant. Estelle Massey Osborne was the first African American nurse in the U.S. to earn a master’s degree and in 1945, she became assistant professor at New York University, the university’s first African American instructor.


Evelyn J. Barclay Scholarship

The Evelyn Barclay Scholarship is given with a preference to a doctoral applicant studying public health, nursing education, or research.

Evelyn Barclay held a degree in public health nursing and an M.S. in Nursing Education. Ms. Barclay dedicated her life to building the profession of nursing by increasing the number of bachelor prepared nurses. She was the founding director of the Cal State Los Angeles program in nursing. She came to the Cal State campus in 1957 from UCLA, where she served as associate dean of nursing. She built a faculty noted for its skill in teaching as well as clinical practice. The initial program was designed to advance junior-year students holding an R.N. license at the associate degree level to the BSN. Beginning in 1959, the curriculum expanded to four years, the department under Evelyn's leadership developed a four-year generic program leading freshman students directly to the BSN and eligibility for taking the R.N. state licensing exam. She earned an Outstanding Professor Award in 1968. Evelyn Barclay died on April 20, 2006 in Newburgh, New York, where she had moved when she retired from the Cal State faculty in 1969.


Georgette Viellion Scholarship

The Georgette Viellion Scholarship was established in 2021 with a generous donation of $50,000 given by Mary V. Insall to honor her cherished nurse friend Georgette Viellion (Gigi) in memoriam. The scholarship is dedicated to the advancement of nursing education and is intended for a doctoral student devoted to becoming a full-time faculty member. As a doctoral prepared nurse educator and leader the recipient will develop expertise in teaching and scholarship as well as a service orientation for educating future nurse leaders.


Henry B. Spencer Scholarship

Henry Spencer, a dedicated Nurses Educational Funds, Inc. Board Member and long-time Treasurer of NEF, manages the NEF portfolio of investments that support NEF scholarship giving and its mission. Henry Spencer is an advocate of nursing and a sage advisor. He has been Vice President of Investments at American Independence Corp. Geneve, and Independence Holding Company. The Henry B. Spencer scholarship, established in 2015, is dedicated to leadership in nursing and health care.


Isabel Hampton Robb Scholarship

An award sum designated by the Board is given to the doctoral degree applicant who receives the highest evaluation score. Isabel Hampton Robb was an American nurse theorist, author, nursing school administrator and early leader. Hampton was the first Superintendent of Nurses at the Johns Hopkins School of Nursing. She wrote several influential textbooks, and helped to found the organizations that became known as the National League for Nursing, the International Council of Nurses, and the American Nurses Association.


Isabel McIsaac Scholarship

An award sum designated by the NEF Board is given to the master's degree applicant who receives the highest evaluation score. Isabel McIsaac was the first chairman of the original memorial fund created in Isabel Hampton Robb’s name. From 1915-1954 two funds, the Isabel Hampton Robb Fund and the Isabel McIsaac Memorial Fund, were administered by the Isabel Hampton Robb Memorial Fund Committee. In 1954 with the addition of a third fund the name of the committee was changed to Nurses Educational Funds, Inc.


Jane Eleanor Knox Scholarship

In April 2018, Jane Eleanor Knox bequeathed Nurses Educational Funds, Inc. $50,000 to establish a scholarship for doctoral nursing students in her name. Dr. Knox, a 1970 NEF doctoral scholar, obtained both her Master's and Doctoral degrees in Nursing Education at Teachers College Columbia University in New York. She also held a certification as a Nurse Practitioner from the University of Pittsburgh. After deciding to move to Pittsburgh, she worked at the University of Pittsburgh School of Nursing from 1971 until her retirement. Ms Knox served as a Cadet Nurse during WW II. This scholarship award will be given to a doctoral student who has illustrated a unique commitment to Nursing and clearly demonstrated leadership potential.


Joanne V. Pontier Scholarship

The Joanne V. Pontier Scholarship was established in 2022 by Mary V. Insall with a generous donation of $50,000 to honor her cherished sister, a nurse who worked in the emergency department. The scholarship is devoted to emergency nurses interested in graduate study and nurses devoted to the study of emergency care, research, and education. Joanne V. Pontier Scholars will create a lasting legacy influencing the future of emergency nursing practice and supporting emergency nurses to advance their careers and shape emergency care, save lives, and support families.


Judith G. Whitaker Scholarship

A former NEF Scholar recipient and ANA Executive Director, the scholarship was started with $50,000. Ms. Whitaker added $5,000 each year until her death. This scholarship is given with preference to a doctoral student majoring in nursing research or organizational study.


Laura D. Smith National Student Nurses' Association (NSNA) Scholarship

The NSNA Scholarship honors Laura D. Smith. Ms Smith was initially a clinical nurse and after earning her master’s degree joined the staff of the American Journal of Nursing ultimately becoming Senior Editor in 1959. Her particular interest was in championing the accomplishments of student nurses by means of the “Student Page” in the AJN. She was instrumental in the birth and early development of the NSNA. The award is given to an applicant enrolled in a master's in nursing education, a PhD or EdD nursing program, who was an NSNA member in their pre-licensure nursing program and has proven excellence in nursing scholarship and service. NSNA contributes to this award annually.


Liesel M. Hiemenz Scholarship

This permanent scholarship was established in memory of Ms. Hiemenz, a nurse from Germany. Preference is given to applicants interested in public health.


Lucy C. Perry Scholarship

Preference for funds from this scholarship is given to applicants studying at Indiana University and interested in public health.


M. Elizabeth Carnegie African American Scholarship

In the past, Dr. Carnegie contributed to this fund each year with other donors to award an annual scholarship. Former recipients often give to this fund. On her death (2008), Dr. Carnegie left $125,172.06 to NEF to be used explicitly for "black nurses enrolled in doctoral programs in memory of Dr. M. Elizabeth Carnegie." Dr. Carnegie was an educator and author in the field of nursing, known for breaking down racial barriers. She was the first black nurse to serve as a voting member on the board of a state nursing association. She was later president of the American Academy of Nursing and edited the Journal of Nursing Research.


M. Janice Nelson Scholarship

A generous bequest from M. Janice Nelson, EdD, RN, was left to NEF and this scholarship was created to honor her in 2023. Throughout her career as an educator, administrator, founding dean, and professor, Dr. Nelson was active in many professional nursing organizations, including NEF, as President, Board Member, and Emeritus. This scholarship is dedicated to doctoral study with emphasis on nursing education and professional service through leadership in professional nursing organizations.


M. Louise Fitzpatrick Nursing Scholarship Award

M. Louise Fitzpatrick, EdD, RN, FAAN, was a 1970 NEF Doctoral Scholar and a longstanding member of the NEF Board of Directors. She served as the Dean of Villanova College of Nursing from 1978 until 2017. The scholarship award, established in 2015, by Dr. Fitzpatrick’s request, is given to graduate Nursing PhD or Nursing EdD candidates with community home/health focus or Nursing PhD or Nursing EdD candidates specializing in historical research. Upon her death in 2017, the president of Villanova University announced that in honor of Dean Fitzpatrick, the College of Nursing will be named the M. Louise Fitzpatrick College of Nursing. Dr. Fitzpatrick bequeathed $30,000 to her scholarship fund making it a permanent scholarship named the “M. Louise Fitzpatrick Nursing Scholarship Award”.


Madeline A. Naegle Scholarship for Mental Health Nursing

In 2018, Madeline A. Naegle, PhD, CNS-PMH, RN, BC, FAAN, a national and international nursing leader in mental health/substance abuse education, research, and practice together with NEF created this scholarship with a preference to graduate nurses specializing in mental health nursing.


Margaret Gould Tyson Scholarship

Dr. Tyson was a very active NEF Board member for many years and the Dean at Hunter Bellevue School of Nursing in New York City. Since her death in 2008, the Margaret Gould Tyson scholarship has been given annually to a doctoral applicant studying nursing education.


Margaret L. McClure Scholarship

Created in 2020, by Margaret L. McClure, EdD, RN, FAAN, together with NEF. This scholarship fund recognizes Dr. McClure’s distinguished career. Her many accomplishments include: leading the team that conducted the original research study responsible for the Magnet Hospital program under the auspices of the American Academy of Nursing. She concluded her full-time career at the New York University Medical Center, where through the courses of two decades, she served as the executive director of nursing and administrator for hospital and institutional affairs and as vice president for hospital operations. She also served in the United States Army Nurse Corps Reserve and retired with the rank of colonel.
Dr. McClure has served Nurses Educational Funds, Inc. as a board member, officer, and now emeritus member upon her retirement. This scholarship recognizes graduate nurse leaders for their academic, research, administration, and health care policy roles.


Mary V. Insall Scholarship

The Mary Insall Scholarship was established in 2021, the result of a generous donation of $50,000 from Mary V. Insall, to recognize nurses interested in advanced practice, research and education in adult health, orthopedic specialization, and rehabilitation nursing at the Master’s and/or Doctoral level. This focus represents a keen interest by Ms. Insall in the field of orthopedics through her longtime affiliation with the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York City and therefore preference will be given to this area of specialty practice, research, and education.


Mathy Mezey Scholarship

In 2013, the John A. Hartford Foundation, Inc. created a permanent NEF Scholarship for $50,000 in honor of Mathy Mezey, EdD, RN, FAAN, a noted international geriatric expert. Funds from this scholarship will be used to award nurses engaged in graduate geriatric nursing programs./p>


Miriam M. Powell Scholarship

Seeking to discover a meaningful career led Miriam Powell to enroll in the Cornell University-New York Hospital School of Nursing. In 2004, after a gratifying career in nursing, Ms. Powell decided to support a scholarship for one nurse each year with an annual gift to NEF. These scholarships were referred to as the Miriam M. Powell Fellowship. In 2015, the Fellowship Fund was made a permanent scholarship. Ms Powell’s scholarship is dedicated to clinical nursing leadership and scholarship.


Nurses Educational Funds, Inc. Scholarship

In the past, donations from former NEF scholars accumulated in this fund. This permanent scholarship is given to masters and doctoral graduate nurses for proven excellence in nursing service and scholarship.


Philip D. Raso Scholarship

A permanent scholarship established in 2016, dedicated to the memory of Philip D. Raso by the Ann G. & James B. Ritchie Foundation. This scholarship is awarded to masters and doctoral graduate nurses for nursing excellence in leadership and management, in honor of Philip Raso’s sister, Rosanne Raso, DNP, RN, NEA-BC, FAAN, FAONL, an NEF Board Member, Editor-in-Chief of Nursing Management journal, and former Chief Nursing Officer of New York-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center.


Rita Reis Wieczorek Scholarship for Maternal-Infant and Pediatric Nursing

Created in 2020, by Rita Reis Wieczorek, EdD, RN, PNP, FAAN, together with NEF. Dr. Wieczorek is an NEF Board Member Emeritus and longtime board member. This scholarship is the first NEF Scholarship to focus on maternal-infant and pediatric nursing. For over four decades Dr. Wieczorek has devoted her career to providing the best maternal-infant and pediatric care to her patients as well as teaching the highest standards of care to master's and doctoral nursing students, motivating them to excel in their care for the well-being of mothers, infants and children.


Terry Fulmer Scholarship

This 2022 scholarship honors Dr. Terry Fulmer, PhD, RN, FAAN, and focuses on long term care of the elderly in nursing homes. Dr. Fulmer’s life's work has been devoted to geriatric nursing education, mentoring, research, and policy development. Among her many accomplishments, she is nationally and internationally recognized as a leading expert in geriatrics and is also known for the conceptualization and development of the national NICHE program and research on the topic of elder abuse and neglect, work that has been funded by the National Institute on Aging and the National Institute of Nursing Research. In 2021, Dr. Fulmer was named a Living Legend by the American Academy of Nursing. This scholarship was initiated in December of 2021 by Dr. Mathy Mezey, EdD, RN, FAAN, an NEF Board member, and a noted international geriatric expert.


Named Funds Soon to be Made Permanent Scholarships


Francine Bono-Neri Scholarship Fund

As a grateful 2019 NEF Scholar, in 2023, Francine Bono-Neri wanted other nurses to benefit from receiving a scholarship while focusing their master's or doctoral degree clinical study and research on the problem of human trafficking. As an experienced pediatric nurse practitioner, Dr. Bono-Neri's passion for the global reach of human trafficking inspired her to become the co-founder and serve as president of Nurses United Against Human Trafficking. Committed to education and clinical awareness about human trafficking for every nurse in all settings and countries, this scholarship will support the study of human trafficking as well as related clinical and research areas which include forensic nursing, sexual assault, child sexual assault/abuse, sexual exploitation, sextortion, domestic violence, intimate partner violence, adverse childhood experiences, and child maltreatment.


Susan Bowar-Ferres Scholarship Fund

Created in 2023, the Susan Bowar-Ferres Scholarship is devoted to nursing leadership in the Magnet Recognition Program which recognizes health-care organizations for quality patient care, nursing excellence and innovations in professional nursing practice. Consumers rely on Magnet designation as the ultimate credential for high quality nursing.

The scholarship is given to a Master’s or Doctoral student demonstrating leadership in aspiring to achieve or continuing to achieve Magnet designation, such as being a Magnet Program Director/Coordinator, a leader of or actively involved as a member of their quality council, clinical indicator council or similar quality improvement program.

Susan Bowar-Ferres,PhD, RN, NEA-BC, is an Emeritus NEF Board Member who has dedicated many years of service to the NEF Board of Directors, as President of NEF as well as Chair of the Bylaws Committee. A nursing administrator in multiple health care service organizations spanning 50 years, Dr. Bowar-Ferres has devoted more than three decades of her professional career to the Magnet Recognition Program, serving as an appraiser, team leader and team member. Under her leadership as the Chief Nursing Officer, NYU Langone Medical Center earned two successive Magnet designations. Her dedication to the Magnet Program is ongoing. Dr. Bowar-Ferres is dedicated to excellence in practice and all that Magnet recognition means. The Susan Bowar-Ferres Scholar shares these values and aspirations.

She earned her BS in Nursing from the College of St. Teresa, Winona, MN, her MS in Med-Surg Nursing - CNS program, Adelphi University, and her PhD in Nursing from NYU. She is certified as Nurse Executive, Advanced.


Geraldine Labecki Fund

Created in 2016, from the bequest of Geraldine Labecki, former Dean of Clemson University's School of Nursing from 1965 to 1980, Clemson University's first woman collegiate dean. This scholarship fund is dedicated to graduate nurses exhibiting exceptional leadership skills.


Shanae Rhodes

(2023-2024 Winner)

Shanae Rhodes, BSN, RN is grateful to have been selected as the recipient of a Nurses Educational Funds (NEF) Scholarship. Shanae received her Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree from the University of Texas... read more.

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Support a Graduate Nurse’s Education

NEF’s only purpose is to provide nursing scholarship assistance to make graduate level nursing education possible. NEF is the largest, single, private, professionally endorsed source of funds for advanced nursing study with over one hundred years of service to and for professional nursing.

NEF’s Board of Directors is comprised of leaders from nursing, education, technology, and business communities. Members donate their time and talent to the advancement of the nursing profession. NEF operates with exceptionally low overhead. NEF employs only one individual who serves in several capacities. NEF is a non-profit organization with 501(c) status; thus, your contributions are fully tax-deductible.