October 20, 2017

Two nursing students selected as RWJF Scholars

Written by: Jimmy Creed
Media contact: Adam Pope, arpope@uab.edu

jessica colleen streamJessica Corcoran, left, and Colleen AnusiewiczFor the third consecutive year, University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Nursing doctoral students have received Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Future of Nursing Scholars program funding to help develop a new generation of nurse leaders to transform America’s health care system.

Colleen Anusiewicz, R.N., and Jessica Corcoran, MSN — students in Alabama’s only Doctor of Philosophy in Nursing program — will each receive $75,000 in RWJF funding over the next three years, and a dollar-for-dollar match from the school, to pursue their doctoral studies.

“The commitment Dean Doreen Harper and the UAB School of Nursing has made to the RWJF Future Scholars program is truly phenomenal,” said Professor and Associate Dean for Research Karen Meneses, Ph.D. “We are using money available for scholarships within the school and leveraging it with great success as part of one of the country’s premier initiatives focused on increasing the number of Ph.D.-prepared nurses nationally.”

Anusiewicz’s doctoral research examines the relationships among nurses and patients, nurses and nurses, and nurses and other health care providers and staff, as well as the health of nurses in general. She will seek to determine whether new applications of current practices can improve the work environment and job satisfaction among nurses.

“I truly appreciate being accepted into such a prestigious program that so greatly values nursing, nurse leaders and the vital role nurses play in America’s health care system,” Anusiewicz said. “More importantly, I recognize that I am now part of an initiative that is not only greater than myself, but that is focused on an important cause that is most dear to me.”

“We are playing a key role in helping RWJF meet its goal of increasing the number of Ph.D.-prepared nurse scientists in the pipeline.”

While working as a pediatric nurse practitioner, Corcoran has cared for many children with developmental delays. Through her doctoral research, she hopes to develop better methods to care for these children and their families in an effort to improve their quality of life.

“The RWJF’s mission of ‘building a culture of health’ is vitally important, and I am grateful that it sees the value of utilizing the nursing profession in helping to create that culture,” Corcoran said. “The RWJF is investing in the future of nursing, and I am very thankful that the UAB School of Nursing has chosen to invest in me as an RWJF Scholar as well. The RWJF will open many doors for me as a Ph.D. student and beyond.”

The RWJF Foundation awarded grants to 28 schools to support 51 nurses in 2017, bringing the number it is supporting nationwide in its first four cohorts to 160.

“We are playing a key role in helping RWJF meet its goal of increasing the number of Ph.D.-prepared nurse scientists in the pipeline,” Meneses said. “It has been ideal for us, and I believe it will continue to be a successful, sustainable program here for many years to come.”