UArizona Nursing BSN Student’s Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Research Wins Best Poster at Honors Pinnacle Event

May 11, 2022

First-generation college student Alexandria Scheid – who graduates with honors at May Convocation -- grew up in Sonoita, a rural town known for its ranching and retirement communities. In high school, she dreamed of attending college, but initially she was unsure of what to study. That all changed when she did her senior exit project, which required her to shadow different careers to sharpen her post-high school goals.

“I was exposed to a wide range of different career paths,” Scheid says, noting that she was curious about environmental science. But when she shadowed a nurse who was also a nurse administrator at a Veterans Administration hospital, Scheid found her true calling. “I loved how everyone there knew her and relied on her, not only within her unit but also with her patients,” she says. “She had established great therapeutic relationships with her patients. I thought ‘This is the job for me.’ That’s why I applied to the University of Arizona College of Nursing Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) program straight out of high school.”

The main goal of my thesis was to create the EDI Nursing Advisory Committee which was aimed at improving the overall academic experiences and successes of our underrepresented students," ~ Alexandria Scheid, UArizona Nursing BSN Honors Student

Scheid’s status as a rural first-generation college student earned her an Arizona Nursing Inclusive Excellence (ANIE) Scholarship, which provides eligible students with individualized mentoring, professional skills development, and preparation for RN to APRN certification and job placement. “The individuals who are curating the ANIE scholarships are the best,” Scheid says. “You feel so supported and you know they want to give you every opportunity possible.”

Alexandria Scheid (R) with her mentor, Dr. Timian Godfrey

Tell us more about your mentorship experience in the BSN program?

I really felt supported by Dr. Timian Godfrey. She teaches in the Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) program but also helps lead the ANIE and the Indians in Nursing Career Advancement & Transition Scholars (INCATS) programs. Since I met her the summer before I started the BSN program, I contacted her for advice about my thesis. I knew I wanted to make positive change with health disparities within underrepresented groups. Dr. Godfrey told me about the College’s Equity Diversity & Inclusion (EDI) task force, which is specifically aimed at improving the overall college climate surrounding equity diversity and Inclusion for our students, staff, and faculty. She brought me into the EDI task force, which is what I based my thesis on. Her mentorship helped me make so any different contacts and guided me in how to create different professional documents. She helped me apply to attend the Western Institute of Nursing (WIN) conference and helped me create the poster that I ended up presenting. She really knows the power of investing in your mentees.


Can you tell us a bit more about your thesis?

My thesis is titled ‘Amplifying the Voices of Underrepresented Students in Nursing Education.’ It was actually a service-learning project, which is a project where a student works with a community agency to tackle whatever specific issue that they outline. They create goals and analyze the work that we do. This specific project was working with the EDI Task force to determine what underrepresented students need overall to be able to improve the college climate. We conducted four different town hall listening sessions, and analyzed the findings from the cross-sectional culture and climate survey that all Nursing students completed in 2020.

What was the primary goal of your thesis?

The main goal of my thesis was to create the EDI Nursing Advisory Committee which was aimed at improving the overall academic experiences and successes of our underrepresented students. What’s unique is that it’s for all the programs because I feel like all the programs in the College of Nursing are pretty siloed. BSN students really do not meet DNP students and they don’t meet PhD students and they don’t meet MEPN students, so this was an area where all these students could come voluntarily and work on different projects. For example, right now our project is creating diverse nurse leader boards that will be displayed in foyer of the College. Students also had a hand in creating our different College value statements, like the inclusive excellence statement, the inclusive pronouns statement, the practice of indigenous land acknowledgement. I know this will help the students after me and help all of us right now to cultivate leadership experiences, and overall help create more success for underrepresented students.

What does the future hold for you?

I’m currently interviewing for different opportunities, but I will be staying in Tucson because I love this community and I love the opportunity to serve within this community. My plan is to work at Banner and begin seeking opportunities in women’s and children’s care. As far as my future goals in life, I want to continue working as a nurse researcher so I’m hoping to apply for the Evidence Research Fellowship at Banner. Also, since I love working with students, I would love to someday be a clinical educator, possibly at the hospital and maybe even at the College of Nursing.