MU Sinclair School of Nursing’s Ruppar Named a 2013 Robert Wood Johnson Foundation ‘Nurse Faculty Scholar’

Sept. 16, 2013

Columbia, Mo. — Todd Ruppar, PhD, RN, GCNS-BC, an assistant professor at the University of Missouri Sinclair School of Nursing, is one of just 12 nursing educators from across the United States to win a highly competitive grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) Nurse Faculty Scholars program this year. Ruppar will receive a three-year, $350,000 award to promote his academic career and support his research. The Nurse Faculty Scholar award is given to junior faculty who show outstanding promise as future leaders in academic nursing.

“This award from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation provides a wonderful opportunity to study the factors related to antihypertensive non-adherence among underrepresented minority populations,” Ruppar said. “Ultimately, my collaborators and I will use this information to develop tools to integrate adherence assessments and interventions into health care settings.”

For his research project, Ruppar will focus on determining the most effective interventions to improve appropriate medication-taking in patients from minority populations with high rates of hypertension-related morbidity and mortality.

“Cardiovascular disease remains the leading cause of mortality in this country. Dr. Ruppar’s project to determine appropriate health behavior change interventions that successfully reduce health disparities in hypertensive patients is urgently needed to improve public health,” said Vicki Conn, associate dean for research, MU Sinclair School of Nursing.

The RWJF Nurse Faculty Scholars program is strengthening the academic productivity and overall excellence of nursing schools by developing the next generation of leaders in academic nursing. Ruppar is part of the program’s sixth cohort. Supporting junior nurse faculty will help curb a shortage of nurse educators that could undermine the health and health care of all Americans. The Affordable Care Act is vastly increasing the number of people who can access health care in the United States. As the number of patients increases, there will be greater demand for skilled nurses as well as faculty to educate them.

Right now, many schools of nursing are turning away qualified applicants because they do not have the faculty to teach them. The RWJF Nurse Faculty Scholars program is helping more junior faculty succeed in, and commit to, academic careers. The program also enhances the stature of the scholars’ academic institutions, which will benefit fellow nurse educators seeking professional development opportunities.

To receive the award, scholars must be registered nurses who have completed a research doctorate in nursing or a related discipline and who have held a tenure-eligible faculty position at an accredited nursing school for at least two and no more than five years.

The Nurse Faculty Scholars also support the Future of Nursing: Campaign for Action, which is engaging nurses and nurse champions in a nationwide effort to improve health care by implementing recommendations from the groundbreaking Institute of Medicine report, The Future of Nursing: Leading Change, Advancing Health. The Campaign for Action is backed by RWJF and AARP, and has Action Coalitions working in all 50 states and the District of Columbia.

The Nurse Faculty Scholars program is funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and administered through the Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing. It is directed by Jacquelyn Campbell, PhD, RN, FAAN, who is the Anna D. Wolf chair and professor at the Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing.

Learn more about the program.