University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Nursing Doctor of Philosophy in Nursing (PhD) student and Jonas Scholar Leigh Bray, MSN, RN, CNL, is one of 12 Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN), Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) and PhD students nationwide selected by the Southern Nursing Research Society (SNRS) to participate in its top student poster discussion session and competition held recently at the society's 31st annual conference in Dallas.
Bray’s abstract, “Gender Differences in Health-Related Quality of Life in Adults with Cystic Fibrosis: Preliminary Findings of an Ongoing Study,” was chosen one of the top 12 student submissions and automatically qualified her for the poster discussion session and a brief podium presentation.
Bray’s abstract detailed the basis for her dissertation research -- of 12 domains included on the Cystic Fibrosis Questionnaire-Revised, a disease specific health-related quality of life measure for children, adolescents and adults, women report a poorer health-related quality of life in nine domains. The cause of this disparity is currently unknown so Bray related how her dissertation will further build upon this important questionnaire, exploring the facilitators and barriers to health-related quality of life in adults with cystic fibrosis.
Though she didn’t place in the top three posters chosen by a committee of SNRS members, Bray still counts the trip as an "incredible learning opportunity," one of many she has been afforded as a student in the School’s nationally renowned PhD program, which prepares nurses as researchers, faculty and leaders who will make substantive contributions to education and science in nursing with the goal of becoming independently funded investigators whose work will ultimately improve health care outcomes for all patients.
"It was an honor just to make the top 12,” she said.
Bray was accompanied on the trip by her mentor, Assistant Professor Sigrid Ladores, PhD, RN, PNP, CNE, whose research focus is on investigating reproductive health concerns in adolescents and young adults with chronic illnesses, particularly cystic fibrosis.
In addition to the presentation experience, Bray was able to network with other students, faculty, deans and associate deans, which she said was “much more student-focused" than she had experienced at other conferences. She also attended a reception hosted by the Jonas Center for Nursing and Veterans Healthcare that allowed her to meet many of her fellow scholars for the first time.
Bray said she is grateful to this experience, and for the financial aid the School provided through a Lowder Travel Scholarship that helped with her expenses.
“One of the great things about the UAB School of Nursing is that the people here take extra steps to allow doctoral students to have these podium presentation experiences and do things you might otherwise not be able to do,” Bray said. “That definitely sets the UAB School of Nursing apart.”
Doctoral student tops in research
Bray's presentations, networking at SNRS highlights "incredible" learning opportunity