Student Testimonials

Melanie Walters

Why you chose the UofL PhD nursing program? I liked the content delivery format. Having classes one day per week has allowed me to interact regularly with my peers. The Graduate Research Assistantship has been a tremendous financial resource for me. The staff in the research office have worked with me so that I have flexibility in my schedule to commute from Northern Kentucky. I have classes and work, all within just three days per week.

What is the best aspect of the PhD program? The energy is great. The nursing faculty demonstrate such enthusiasm, are very productive in conducting high quality research and scholarly work. Working as a Graduate Research Assistant, I have been involved with recruiting and helping with data collection for Senior-level faculty. This has been a very supportive academic environment for me; I have had some wonderful mentoring and will carry that knowledge and experience with me throughout the remainder of my career.

What are your career goals? I hope to build and strengthen a program of research, so that I may continue to be a strong clinician and advocate for individuals who suffer from chronic mental illness.

Imelda Wright

Why you chose the UofL PhD nursing program? I chose the UofL PhD in Nursing program to further enrich my career. I have always found teaching, academia, and research captivating fields, and so attaining a PhD seems like a natural path for me to follow.

What is the best aspect of the PhD program? Although the destination of the program is to attain a PhD, the journey itself is riveting. It is an honor to take classes alongside others who share the passion for academia as well as meet the U of L professors who are wonderful role models and mentors.

What are your career goals? My ultimate career goal is to have a PhD in nursing, which will allow me to work in an environment that incorporates education, writing, teaching, research, and leadership.

Adam Booth

Why you chose the UofL PhD nursing program? I chose the University of Louisville (UofL) PhD nursing program, because my experience as an intensive care unit nurse provided me with the motivation to improve the clinical delivery of healthcare for patients and their families. The only way to affect change is through research, which seeks to address and intervene where there are gaps. I chose the UofL PhD nursing program, because they provided me with the opportunity to advance my academic career through research experience, financial assistance, and the availability of research faculty that truly care about mentoring students into scholars. First, as a graduate research assistant, I am able to assist professors with literature reviews, data collection, data entry, and manuscript formatting. This provides me with firsthand research experience that informs my development as a nursing scientist. Second, the financial assistance allows me to completely immerse myself in the academic journey of obtaining a PhD in nursing without the worry of having to work a second job overtime to make ends meet. Finally, the research faculty at UofL are top-notch, because they are always available to help with questions and they operate under an open-door policy. I chose the UofL PhD nursing program, because my experiences here will translate into my development as a nurse scientist. I want to improve nursing practice and the UofL PhD nursing program will provide me with the tools necessary to impact nursing practice and education through research-led initiatives and evidence.

What is the best aspect of the PhD program? The best aspect of the PhD program are the faculty. I truly believe my experience would not be as positive without the faculty who are eager to help students develop their research interests. For example, a professor helped me articulate my interests, which allowed me to put into words a topic that will hopefully blossom into my own future program of research. Achieving a PhD is a terminal degree process and gaining entry into this discipline seems to be a bit overwhelming at times. However, the faculty have not forgotten what it is like to be a student and they provide excellent assistance, advice, and advisement.

What are your career goals? My career goals are to work in academe at a research-intensive university where I can improve rates of nurse turnover and burnout in the intensive care unit by addressing the concept of moral distress. In the intensive care unit nurses are met with end-of-life decisions daily and may experience a phenomenon called moral distress, because they cannot act in accordance with their values in the ethical treatment of patients and their families. In addition, as a future faculty member I hope to teach and mentor future nursing scholars, because I have had such a positive experience at the UofL PhD nursing program. A post-doctoral fellowship is also appealing, but right now I am trying to survive my PhD classes.