Jonas Scholars


The College of Nursing received support for an additional Jonas Nurse Leader Scholar

Nicole Smith Jonas ScholarPh.D. student Nicole Smith (pictured left) was the recipient of 2016-2018 Jonas Nurse Leaders Scholarship!

The Jonas Center for Nursing and Veterans Healthcare selected Georgia Baptist College of Nursing of Mercer University to participate in the Jonas Nurse Leaders Scholar Program for 2016-2018 with a $20,000 grant to support a PhD Jonas Nurse Leader Scholar.  The Jonas Nurse Leaders Scholar Program was created in 2008 to support educational development of new nursing faculty and stimulate models for joint faculty appointments between schools of nursing and clinical affiliates. The grants, made through institutional awards, also prepare doctoral candidates to help students address the needs of future patients – from dealing with co-morbidities and chronic illnesses to providing culturally competent care. Since the program's inception in 2008 with six Scholars in New York City, it has grown to include more than 1,000 Jonas Nurse Leader Scholars at 140 schools across all 50 states plus DC To date, the Jonas Nurse Leaders Scholar Program has supported more than 750 doctoral-prepared Nurse Leaders in all 50 states. Current Scholars in the 2016-18 Scholar cohort attend the following 133 universities.

As a Jonas Scholar Ms. Nicole Smith will receive $10,000 per year for each academic year 2016-2017 and 2017-2018.  In addition, they will receive support to attend an upcoming Jonas / American Association of Colleges of Nursing Leadership Conference in Washington, DC. The College of Nursing contributes matching funds to reach the $20,000 overall award amount for each recipient.

The Jonas Nurse Leaders Scholar Program was launched in 2008 and represents the nation's largest effort focused on the critical shortage of nursing faculty.  The Jonas Center program aims to turn today's most promising graduate students into tomorrow's nursing faculty.

Past recipients of Mercer University Jonas Nurse Leaders Program include:

Amanda Reichert - Jonas IV Nurse Leader Scholar Alumni

Georgia Baptist College of Nursing of Mercer University

Amanda ReichertMs. Amanda Reichert completed the PhD in nursing program at the Georgia Baptist College of Nursing of Mercer University in 2016. She has been a registered nurse since 1992 and brings a varied background in nursing practice and education. Her clinical experience includes staff and nurse management positions in several settings and service as a public health nurse. Ms. Reichert understands the needs of rural Georgia, evident through her professional endeavors including employment with the Department of Public Health and providing disaster relief and medical care throughout Georgia following Hurricane Opel. Educational positions have encompassed skills lab coordinator, clinical practicum site placement coordinator, as well as classroom and clinical instructor. Upon completing her PhD, Ms. Reichert joined the nursing faculty at the University of North Georgia in Dahlonega. Ms. Reichert's completed dissertation is titled,  Deans’ ways of knowing: The lived experiences of baccalaureate nursing school deans.

Natasha Laibhen-Parkes , PhD, RN, CPN - Jonas III Nurse Leader Scholar Alumni

Georgia Baptist College of Nursing at Mercer University

Natasha Laibhen ParkesNatasha Laibhen-Parkes obtained her BSN from Hunter-Bellevue School of Nursing in New York, her MSN in Nursing Education from Saint Joseph’s College of Maine, and her PhD from the Georgia Baptist College of Nursing of Mercer University, where her research focused on the effectiveness of evidence based practice (EBP) and Nursing Research (NR) educational interventions on EBP use and competence among pediatric bedside nurses.Dr. Laibhen-Parkes is an Assistant Professor of Nursing at Mercer University Georgia Baptist College of Nursing, and a pediatric nurse at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta (CHOA). In the past five years, she has facilitated the sustainability of EBP at CHOA amongst nurses. In 2007, she developed an EBP and NR curriculum to help engage nurses with EBP and NR. The EBP and NR won CHOA's Honorable Mention in Education Excellence Award and the GCCI project won the Golden Apple Award at at CHOA’s 2010 Health Education Expo.  The title of Dr. Laibhen-Parkes completed dissertation is:  Web-based evidence based practice educational intervention to improve EBP competence among BSN-prepared pediatric bedside nurses: A mixed methods pilot study.

More information about Jonas Philanthropies can be found by clicking here!

About the Jonas Center for Nursing and Veterans Healthcare

In 2006, Barbara and Donald Jonas established the Jonas Center for Nursing and Veterans Healthcare, the leading national philanthropic CHOA dedicated to improving healthcare by advancing nursing scholarship, leadership and innovation. Its two main programs are the Jonas Nurse Leaders Scholar Program, which aims to address the dire shortage of nursing faculty by preparing nurses with doctoral degrees to step into this critical role, and the Jonas Veterans Healthcare Program, which seeks to improve the health of veterans by supporting doctoral-level nursing candidates committed to advancing veterans’ healthcare. These programs currently support more than 1,000 doctoral Nurse Scholars nationwide.

Barbara and Donald Jonas, philanthropists and art collectors, made a dedicated decision to increase their giving during their lifetime.In May of 2005, the couple worked with the Jewish Communal Fund and Christie's, and auctioned 15 of their abstract expressionist artworks; the auction generated $44 million, which led to the establishment of the Barbara and Donald Jonas Family Fund.In 2006, the couple established the Jonas Center for Nursing Excellence, a first of its kind philanthropic program dedicated to advancing the nursing profession.