News Releases

University of Maryland School of Nursing's Canha Receives National League for Nursing Scholarship

October 16, 2018

Annual scholarship awarded to seasoned and diverse nurses committed to careers in academic nursing education

Baltimore, Md.Benjamin Canha, MS ’96, RN, clinical instructor, University of Maryland School of Nursing (UMSON) at the Universities at Shady Grove, has received a National League for Nursing (NLN) Foundation for Nursing Education Scholarship Award. He is one of seven nurse educators nationwide to receive the award, which was presented at the 2018 NLN Education Summit in Chicago, Sept. 12-14.

The NLN Foundation for Nursing Education offers scholarships of up to $8,000 each year to nurses pursuing advanced degrees in accredited programs who have completed at least half of their program requirements. Through the scholarship, the NLN Foundation aims to encourage more experienced and diverse nurses to pursue advanced degrees to prepare for full-time positions as nurse educators.

Having joined the UMSON faculty in 2011 and now completing his PhD at the School, Canha serves as a nurse educator and nurse researcher role model in a field where men consistently compose just slightly more than 10 percent of the workforce. For his dissertation, Canha is researching the effects of humor in supporting those recovering from opioid use disorder to engage, assimilate, and maintain involvement with behavioral treatments and continue their recovery.

“Recognition of my research efforts by the NLN validates the importance of this research in finding effective new treatments to combat the opioid epidemic and support recovery,” Canha said. “Earning a PhD and the research involved has positioned me, as a teacher and course director for psychiatric mental health nursing, to better serve undergraduates to understand the processes involved in addictive disorders and recovery. Students gain firsthand knowledge and experiences shared in my contributions to evidence-based practice.”

During his tenure as a clinical research nurse at the National Institutes of Health National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, Canha began drawing 12-step-related cartoons and eventually published two educational books of cartoons to emphasize important recovery information in a more accessible format for a complex population. His examination of the impact of humor on recovery efforts could inform the national response to the current opioid epidemic and is an example of the application of nursing research to clinical practice.

“We congratulate Ben Canha on receiving this prestigious award and express our deep appreciation to the National League of Nursing for its support of nurse educators pursuing advanced degrees,” said UMSON Dean Jane Kirschling, PhD, RN, FAAN. “Mr. Canha brings outstanding prior clinical experiences to his teaching and is able to translate them into the classroom. Through his insights, our students gain a solid understanding of disease processes and an empathy for and understanding of the humanity of those who suffer from substance use disorders. They also understand the impact of these disorders on individuals, families, and our communities. We are proud that he has been recognized by the NLN.”

Dedicated to excellence in nursing, the NLN is the premier organization for nurse faculty and leaders in nursing education. It offers professional development, networking opportunities, testing services, nursing research grants, and public policy initiatives to its 40,000 individual and 1,200 institutional members. NLN members represent nursing education programs across the spectrum of higher education in addition to health care organizations and agencies.

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The University of Maryland School of Nursing, founded in 1889, is one of the oldest and largest nursing schools in the United States and is in the top 10 nationally for all of its ranked master’s and DNP specialties. Enrolling nearly 1,900 students in its baccalaureate, master’s, and doctoral programs, the School develops leaders who shape the profession of nursing and impact the health care environment.