FNU honored with Jonas Nursing Education Award

The Jonas Center for Nursing and Veterans Healthcare  culminated its 10th anniversary year by recognizing champions of nursing across the healthcare system at an awards luncheon in New York City on December 6, 2016.  The awards honored accomplishments of individuals and organizations dedicated to advancing the nursing profession through outstanding leadership in a field so essential to our health and well-being. Frontier Nursing University was honored to be an award recipient.


Frontier Nursing University (FNU) received the Jonas Nursing Education Award.  This award was given to FNU for its unwavering service to preparing the next generation of nurse-midwives and nurse practitioners. With more than 77 years of experience, FNU is the largest continually operating nurse-midwifery education program in the U.S., started the first family nurse practitioner program in the U.S. and has graduated nearly 5,000 nurses and midwives representing every state and many foreign countries.


“Our honorees represent exceptional professionals from a variety of fields, including philanthropy, academia and arts,” said Donald Jonas, who co-founded the Center with his wife, Barbara Jonas. “It is of paramount importance that we recognize and support their continuous efforts to advance nursing through innovation, education, awareness building and promoting nursing leadership.”


Dr. Susan Stone, President of FNU, accepted the Jonas Nursing Education Award on behalf of alumni and students. In her remarks, Stone noted, “We have been honored to have six Jonas Scholars graduate from Frontier Nursing University, and we have recently enrolled another four Scholars for the 2016 cohort. As a community-based program, our Scholars are from across the United States - Alaska, Maine, Montana, Idaho and Hawaii.” The Jonas program has had a very positive impact on these Scholars and their doctoral projects, introducing them to leaders in their chosen fields and interests, and connecting them to a powerful network of support. Stone’s remarks described the current enrollment of nearly 2,000 students, 59% from rural areas and 75% from health professional shortage areas, that are helping to meet FNU’s mission to educate nurses to become competent, entrepreneurial, ethical and compassionate nurse-midwives and nurse practitioners who are leaders in the primary care of women and families with an emphasis on underserved and rural populations.


Joining Dr. Stone at the awards luncheon were several honored guests including Susan Graham, descendant of FNU’s founder Mary Breckinridge, and her husband Jon Kucera; Noel Smith Fernandez, former Social Services Secretary for the Frontier Nursing Service; and Ruth and Bill Lubic, national leaders in the midwifery field.  Dr. Julie Marfell, Dean of Nursing, and Denise Barrett, Director of Development, were also present to accept this award.  


Awards were also presented to the following individuals and organizations to recognize their outstanding contributions to nursing.


Ms. Blaustein is an Emeritus assistant professor of psychiatry at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. She was one of the original founders and a board member of the Baltimore Rape Crisis Center and the Alzheimer's Disease Association of Maryland, and is the past president of the Morton K. and Jane Blaustein Foundation, a longtime partner of the Jonas Center.


Started in 2007 as an initiative of AARP Foundation, AARP, and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation under the leadership of Susan Reinhard, PhD, RN, FAAN and Susan Hassmiller, PhD, RN, FAAN, the Center to Champion Nursing in America believes that everyone in America can live a healthier life, supported by a system in which nurses are essential partners in providing health care and promoting health.


Dr. Fagin, Dean Emerita and Leadership Professor Emerita of the University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing, is an Ambassador to the Jonas Scholar program and provides guidance for the Center’s strategic planning.


Under the leadership of Executive Director Ahrin Mishan, the Foundation’s education initiatives center on the development of research and nurse-led innovation targeting areas of need, such as management of chronic illness, reducing disparities in care, and care for the aging population.

  • Carolyn Jones, Photographer & Filmmaker - Jonas Nurse Champion Award

Ms. Jones is the creator of a book and film, The American Nurse, focused on raising the volume of the nurse’s voice in this country, and the forthcoming film Defining Hope, which examines the dying experience through the eyes of nurses, and is supported in part by the Jonas Center.


“We congratulate and sincerely thank this year’s honorees for their professional and outstanding contributions to the vitally important field of nursing,” said Darlene J. Curley, CEO of The Jonas Family Fund and Executive Director of the Jonas Center.


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