A Grants Program to Advance Innovation and Systems Approaches for Nursing Education and Practice


The Josiah Macy Jr. Foundation is pleased to announce a special initiative to fund demonstration projects that enhance equity, inclusion, and access for students with disabilities in schools of nursing and their affiliated clinical sites. Supporting the inclusion of learners with disabilities will help to build a nursing workforce that is representative of the patients they serve and supports improved quality of care and health equity. This grants program has been developed to support the rights of persons with disabilities to participate in an inclusive education system for the full development of human potential and sense of dignity and self-worth. This program builds on the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine Future of Nursing 2020-2030 report, including recommendations that nurse educators must be prepared to provide education that promotes nurse wellness and belonging.

Disability Inclusion in Nursing: A Grants Program to Advance Innovation and Systems Approaches for Nursing Education and Practice will provide support for projects, ideally centered in the clinical learning environment, that dismantle ableism in nursing education and practice. Proposals selected for support through this initiative will describe, implement, and evaluate innovative strategies to foster usable, accessible, and inclusive learning and working environments in nursing, with the goals of creating lasting institutional change and providing innovative models and exemplars that other institutions can draw upon to ensure inclusive and equitable learning and working environments. 

Each of the projects will be funded for three years with annual costs of $50K – $75K, depending on the scope of the project. Further, as a demonstration of institutional commitment, letters of support will be required from either or both the nursing school and its affiliated health system leadership along with required in-kind support, preferably at no less than 50% of the direct costs.  

Support for this grants program was provided in part by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

Examples of Demonstration Projects: 
  • Developing or aligning current academic and practice partnerships around approaches within educational and clinical practice settings to enhance inclusion of student nurses and nurses with disabilities
  • Incorporating universal design for instruction in nursing didactic education, skills labs, simulation, clinical experiences, and assessment practices to support greater inclusivity and accessibility for all
  • Promoting and updating technical standards for admission and retention that focus on inclusion, not exclusion
  • Developing up-to-date accommodations with clinical affiliates that focus on disability inclusion at clinical sites
  • Developing effective and equitable processes and procedures for nursing schools that facilitate retention when students become disabled
  • Designing and implementing faculty and staff development to mitigate implicit and explicit biases toward student nurses, nurses, and patients with disabilities
  • Aligning AACN Essentials competencies at Level 1 or Level 2 with curricular plans for nursing education to achieve culturally sensitive care for patients with disabilities

Our Advisory Committee


Brigit M. Carter, PhD, RN, FAAN

Chief Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Officer, American Association of Colleges in Nursing

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Lauren Clark, RN, PhD, FAAN

Professor of Nursing and Shapiro Family Endowed Chair in Developmental Disability Studies, UCLA School of Nursing

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Brandy Jackson, MSN, MBA, RN

Director of Undergraduate Nursing Programs, Wichita State University

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Bonnielin K. Swenor, PhD, MPH

Endowed Professorship of Disability Health and Justice, Director, Johns Hopkins Disability Health Research Center

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Key Dates:

May 16, 2024: Application portal opens

September 3, 2024: Application deadline @ 11:59 PM

December 16, 2024: Notification to applicants

February 1, 2025 – January 31, 2028: Period of grant support

Learn more about Our Grantees