Doctoral student wins national minority nursing scholarship

UofL School of Nursing doctoral student Lisa Carter-Harris says minorities are under-represented in nursing, a statistic she hopes to change by teaching future students of color. A national scholarship will help her reach that goal.

Carter-Harris has received the Johnson & Johnson Campaign for Nursing's Future - American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) Minority Nursing Faculty Scholarship for the 2010-2011 academic year. The $18,000 scholarship provides financial support to graduate nursing students from minority backgrounds who agree to teach in a school of nursing after graduation. The AACN will hold $1,500 to cover expenses to attend AACN's Faculty Development Conference in Austin, TX in February 2011.

“This is quite an honor and very competitive at the national level,” said Rosalie Mainous, PhD, ARNP, NNP-BC, associate dean for graduate programs and research, UofL School of Nursing. “Lisa is one of our points of light.”

The University of Louisville will match the AACN's scholarship in the form of full tuition, fees, and health insurance for the 2010-2011 academic year. The AACN stipulates that once tuition is paid, the scholarship may be used for books, research, dissertation work, and living expenses. The award is renewable for a second year, if recipients remain in good academic standing.

“Lisa has truly demonstrated an understanding of health care needs in the community and the role that nursing can play,” said Vicki Hines-Martin, PhD, RN, FAAN, associate professor, School of Nursing. “I am most impressed with her drive, commitment and intelligence - these characteristics are great assets in a nurse leader."

Carter-Harris is starting her second year of doctoral studies. By the end of next summer she hopes to begin her dissertation work. She wants to look at culture and whether it affects healthcare decision making patterns.

“My father is Cherokee Indian and African-American and my mother is Irish,” Carter-Harris said. “Because of my own multiracial background, culture is fascinating to me and I hope to better understand how a person’s culture influences what they do.”

Carter-Harris plans to study African-American women who have been newly diagnosed with breast cancer. She notes that much research shows African-Americans tend to delay seeking healthcare. She is working with a faculty advisor on a grant proposal for a National Institutes of Health National Research Service Award to fund a pilot study for this dissertation work.