Doctoral nursing students receive national scholarships

September 19, 2016

Four doctoral students at the Betty Irene Moore School of Nursing at UC Davis each received a $10,000 scholarship from the Jonas Nurse Leader Scholar Program to pursue their passion to teach new nurses.

The Jonas Center for Nursing and Veterans Healthcare’s national initiative, the Jonas Nurse Leader Scholar Program, is designed to increase the number of doctorally prepared nurse educators and leaders. Christy Adams, Emma Blackmon, Charlie Dharmasukrit and Claire Valderama-Wallace now have the opportunity to connect with a national network of future leaders and add a unique dimension to their academic training.

“I applaud Barbara and Donald Jonas for their vision to establish this program a decade ago,” said Heather M. Young, founding dean. “These dedicated individuals, through their generosity and advocacy, advance our potential to impact health care in a positive and meaningful way.”

Every year, U.S. nursing schools turn away thousands of qualified applicants from baccalaureate and graduate nursing programs, the majority reporting they do so due to a lack of faculty. The UC Davis School of Nursing strives to increase the number of doctorally prepared nurses to teach future nurses at four-year institutions.

“At some point in all our lives we depend on nurses and they deserve more support,” said Donald Jonas, co-founder of the Jonas Center for Nursing and Veterans Healthcare. “In this new era of health care it is especially important for the philanthropic and business communities to invest in nursing education, particularly at the doctoral level.”

The Jonas Scholars at the School of Nursing are made possible by a grant from the Jonas Center for Nursing and Veterans Healthcare. The program provides financial assistance, leadership development and networking support to expand the pipeline of future nurse faculty and advanced practice nurses.

“This Jonas Scholarship will allow me to connect with and learn from fellow nurses with a wealth of experiences, interests and visions for healthier individuals, families, communities and populations,” explained Valderama-Wallace. Her research lies at the intersection of community health nursing, education and social justice, with an emphasis on the range of structural, institutional and classroom- and clinical setting-level factors that shape pedagogical approaches in baccalaureate nursing programs.

“In addition to providing monetary funds to support my research, the Jonas Scholarship provides me with leadership development and collaboration opportunities that will empower me to reach my potential as a nurse leader and take on the many challenges facing health care today,” added Dharmasukrit. His research interests are in the area of leveraging technology, in particular the electronic health record, to assist nurses in the early prevention, detection and treatment of delirium within the geriatric orthopedic patient population.

Adams is focused on the reduction of the public health burden of unintentional injury within aging and vulnerable populations in the community in hopes of developing effective care models for the safe transitions of older adults from the acute-care setting to the independent-living environment.

Including these four recipients, 10 students over the past five years from the UC Davis School of Nursing have received scholarship support totaling $120,000. The School of Nursing welcomed its seventh doctoral class at a welcoming ceremony Sept. 15.

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