By Angela Flagg/VCU School of Nursing
Christina Wilson, a Ph.D. student in the Virginia Commonwealth University School of Nursing, was selected for the highly competitive Jonas Nurse Leader Scholars Program of the Jonas Center for Nursing and Veterans Healthcare. She is one of 425 doctoral students nationwide chosen for the 2016-18 cohort.
The mission of the Jonas Scholar program is to increase the number of doctorally prepared faculty available to teach in nursing schools nationwide and the number of nurse leaders providing direct patient care and filling roles as clinical faculty. Sponsored by 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.
As a Jonas Scholar, Wilson will receive a $10,000 scholarship, matched by the VCU School of Nursing, to support her doctoral studies. She joins more than 1,000 future nurse educators and leaders at 140 universities across all 50 states supported by Jonas Center programs, the Jonas Nurse Leaders Scholars Program and Jonas Veterans Healthcare Program. These scholarships support nurses pursuing Ph.D. and DNP degrees, the terminal degrees in the field, as part of a national effort to stem the faculty shortage and prepare the next generation of nurses, which is critical as a clinical nurse shortage is anticipated just as an aging population requires care.
“In 2008, we set an ambitious goal to support 1,000 Jonas Nurse Scholars,” said Donald Jonas, who co-founded the center with Barbara Jonas, his wife. “This year, on our center’s 10th anniversary, we celebrate this achievement and are amazed by the talent of this cohort of future nurse leaders. In the decade to come, we look forward to continuing to work with our partner nursing schools and to the great impact that the Jonas Scholars will have on improving health care around the world.”
Jean Giddens, Ph.D., dean and professor at the School of Nursing, said, “We’re thrilled that the Jonas Center is supporting our school’s efforts to prepare a greater number of future nurse faculty. I have no doubt that Christina will go on to make a significant impact in nursing education and research.”
Wilson’s research focuses on how women with gynecologic cancer can improve their body image. Deborah McGuire, Ph.D., associate dean of research at the School of Nursing, will mentor her.
“It’s a pleasure to work with Christina because she is exploring some important clinical research ideas and is very responsive to mentoring and support,” McGuire said. “Notably, she is highly appreciative of opportunities and recognizes the excellent environment we provide here to our Ph.D. students.”
While pursuing her Ph.D. full time, Wilson is also working as an adjunct faculty member, teaching clinical aspects of two undergraduate nursing courses. In addition, she helps recruit and follow up with patients involved in a pilot project, “Physical Activity as a Self-management Approach to Improve Health Outcomes in Acute Myeloid Leukemia,” led by Tara Albrecht, Ph.D., assistant professor at the School of Nursing.
A member of the Oncology Nursing Society, Virginia Council of Nurse Practitioners and the Southern Nursing Research Society, Wilson volunteers in her spare time at Crossover Clinic in Henrico County.