News Release

WISER, Center for American Nurses Target Nurses' Financial Security with Help from NASD Investor Education Foundation Grant

Washington, DC, May 15, 2007 — The Women's Institute for a Secure Retirement (WISER), in partnership with the Center for American Nurses, today announced a major financial education initiative aimed at strengthening the financial security of our nation's nurses. The ambitious three-year project is being funded by a $495,200 grant from the NASD Investor Education Foundation.

"The nursing profession is a rapidly aging workforce that is underserved in investor and financial education," said WISER President M. Cindy Hounsell. "Our goal is to change nurse's savings and investment behavior because too many have done too little to prepare themselves financially for retirement."

"It is clear that nurses want and need a better understanding of the financial challenges they are facing," said NASD Foundation Chairman Mary L. Schapiro, who is also NASD's Chairman and CEO. "By funding this project, we are reaching out to the nursing community with a financial education program that will arm them with the information they need to make sound financial decisions and plan for a secure retirement."

The three-year financial education project will seek to identify nurses' specific financial information needs and create education modules and tools to address them. Hounsell and her team will pilot the program's elements and train nurses to run education sessions. According to Hounsell, "The educational materials and tools we create will be useful far beyond the three-year scope of our project."

To reach nurses where they work — in hospitals, clinics, physician's offices, or private duty - WISER has partnered with the Center for American Nurses. Vernell P. DeWitty, the Center's Program Director and a registered nurse, sees the nursing profession at a crossroads.

"Building the nursing workforce is of critical national importance, yet inadequate attention to financial security issues puts today's nurses at risk, and may discourage younger nurses from staying in the profession," according to DeWitty. "This NASD Foundation grant will give our nation's nurses a meaningful opportunity to gain the knowledge they need to prepare themselves and their families for life following a career of helping others."

Hounsell says, "Our goal is no less than to change nurse's savings and investment behavior to protect their financial security. Nurses devote their professional lives to helping us. It's only right that we find ways to help them."

The Women's Institute for a Secure Retirement is a nonprofit organization that helps women, educators and policymakers understand the important issues surrounding women's retirement income. WISER works to provide low and moderate income women with basic financial information aimed at helping them take financial control over their lives and to increase awareness of the structural barriers that prevent women's adequate participation in the nation's retirement systems.

The Center for American Nurses
Established in 2003, the Center for American Nurses is a non-profit corporation that offers tools, services and strategies to make nurses their own best advocates in their practice environments. Through research, continuing education and knowledge sharing, the Center serves nurses seeking to overcome workforce challenges and realize opportunities.

NASD Investor Education Foundation
The NASD Investor Education Foundation supports innovative research and educational projects that give investors the tools they need to better understand the markets and the basic principles of saving and investing. To date, the NASD Foundation has approved nearly $8.3 in grants and an additional $10.2 million in direct investor education programming. For details about grant programs and other NASD Foundation initiatives, visit