Second-Year PhD Student from West Virginia; Robert Wood Johnson Foundation scholar
Why did you choose a career in nursing?
My decision to enter the profession of nursing was largely shaped by the early experiences I had in high school. I was born and raised in rural West Virginia. I was part of the first group of HSTA (Health Sciences and Technology Academy) students. This program was aimed at inspiring the next generation of health sciences students. I had a phenomenal mentor, who also happened to be our school nurse. Seeing the impact nursing could have to improving health throughout the population was instilled throughout the HSTA program. I was hooked.
Why did you select the UA College of Nursing?
I've been living and working in Southeastern AZ since 2009. During this time, I've had interactions with University of Arizona students, and found the program content fascinating. Rural health is a passion of mine, and the resources available at UA CON are unsurpassed. It was an easy decision, and it's close to home!
What features of your program are you especially passionate about?
The mentorship received through the CON is phenomenal and has really promoted my scholarly development over the past year. I love that there is a big focus on rural health. For my dissertation I will be examining the transition process from rural jails to the rural community for adults with mental illness.
Tell us about any exciting projects you'll be working on? Any spacial interests?
My goals in my research will be focused on developing an evidenced-based model in which to assess access to mental health care in rural communities. Mental health care is such an important and essential aspect to overall health. When placed in the community context, mental health care or lack thereof impacts the entire community. Only by understanding the true picture of mental health access in our rural communities will we really be able to understand, and strategically direct interventions. My second aim will be focused on health policy and influencing change to make mental health a seamlessly integrated aspect of our daily activities.
What does the Robert Wood Johnson schoalsrhip mean to you?
Receiving the RWJF scholarship is a once in a lifetime opportunity. The focus of this program is growing our next generation of nursing leaders. Furthering our profession through discovery, science and research is a professional and personal goal of mine. Receiving this award will be the catalyst in which to jump-start my journey.
What are your hopes for the future?
My hope for the future is to impact the nursing profession through scholarly research. Through this work, I would hope to drive culture change in our communities, with an emphasis on overall health and well-being. I hope to eventually transition to academia.
Do you have any other degrees?
I have a Masters in Public Health, and a Masters in Nursing (informatics emphasis).