Robert L. Atkins, PhD, RN, FAAN, an associate professor at the Rutgers School of Nursing–Camden, is one of thirteen New Jersey nurses who will receive an award from the Institute for Nursing (IFN), the foundation of New Jersey State Nurses Association (NJSNA), for making extraordinary contributions to the nursing profession in New Jersey.
Honorees will be celebrated as 2019 Divas and Dons at the IFN Awards and Scholarship Gala on April 4, 2019.
Through its annual Divas and Dons in Nursing celebration, the Institute for Nursing calls attention to the outstanding achievements of accomplished New Jersey nurses. Proceeds from the event fund scholarships for nursing students and nurses who are advancing their education. The Institute also provides quality continuing education programs, and grants for nurses involved in research.
A lifelong resident of New Jersey, Atkins has dedicated his career to improving the health and well-being of vulnerable children and families living in distressed, urban neighborhoods through service, scholarship, and education. Dr. Atkins serves as National Program Director of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s New Jersey Health Initiatives (NJHI) program. NJHI is the Foundation’s signature statewide grantmaking program.
Dr. Atkins is an expert who studies the intersections of youth, population health, and vulnerable communities. Fresh out of nursing school, he moved to the city of Camden, N.J. where he worked as a school nurse at the East Camden Middle School and co-founded the Camden STARR Program, a non-profit youth development program dedicated to improving the life chances of children living in Camden. Dr. Atkin’s work in Camden motivated him to explore the factors that influence the health of children living in poor, at-risk environments.
Through his scholarly work and practice Dr. Atkins has become a leader in shaping the policy and practice that influences the health and well-being of vulnerable populations living in high poverty neighborhoods.