December 11, 2017

UAB’s Wells transforming heart failure care

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rachel wells 2017Rachel WellsRachel Wells, MSN, a second-year student in the University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Nursing Doctor of Philosophy in Nursing program and Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Future of Nursing Scholar, has received four major awards in 2017 that will support and enhance her development as an early career nurse scientist devoted to transforming care for heart failure patients and their caregivers.

Wells, whose dissertation focus is “Exploring the Dose of An Early Palliative Care Intervention for Advanced Heart Failure Patients and Caregivers,” was named one of the 2017 Emerging Leaders in Heart Failure by the Heart Failure Society of America and a Nursing Investigator finalist at the organization’s 21st annual scientific meeting. She also received the Meharry Translational Research Center Travel Award given by Meharry Medical College in Nashville, Tennessee, and the UAB Center for Palliative and Supportive Care Director’s Award.

“The UAB School of Nursing uniquely positions me to learn about these opportunities and take advantage of them,” Wells said. “I am also seeing more and more as I go to these national conferences that there is tremendous name recognition that goes with being a student here. People recognize the UAB School of Nursing for the center of excellence that it is.”

For the first time, nurses and pharmacists were invited to join physicians at the Heart Failure Society’s Future Leaders in Heart Failure Symposium to discuss the state of the science, encourage interdisciplinary mentorship with senior clinicians and researchers, and establish a network of new practitioners devoted to heart failure care.

“The fact that I am having opportunities as a doctoral student to work in a meaningful way with experts in the field is unique to the UAB School of Nursing and should be a huge draw to anyone considering where to pursue their postbaccalaureate studies in nursing. With opportunities like these, you can make a huge impact in your field from the moment you step on campus.”

“Being invited to the symposium in one of the first nurse cohorts gave me a sense of purpose,” Wells said, “not only for the mentorship and research development, but to also represent nursing as a profession and demonstrate the importance of nursing in heart failure care.” 

At the HFSA Annual Scientific Meeting, Wells presented her research to an audience of patients, clinicians and researchers on palliative care research implementation challenges in the Deep South, based on her involvement as both a nurse coach and novice nurse scientist with the National Palliative Care Research Center-funded single-arm clinical trial of Educate, Nurture, Advise, Before Life Ends: Comprehensive Heartcare for Patients and Caregivers. 

“The fact that I am having opportunities as a doctoral student to work in a meaningful way with experts in the field is unique to the UAB School of Nursing and should be a huge draw to anyone considering where to pursue their postbaccalaureate studies in nursing,” Wells said. “With opportunities like these, you can make a huge impact in your field from the moment you step on campus.”

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