PhD candidate on a path to affect the future of nursing

PhD candidate on a path to affect the future of nursing

Jade Chatman, BSN, RN

School of Nursing graduate research assistant and PhD candidate Jade Chatman has been selected as one of 12 recipients of the 2020 National League for Nursing (NLN) Foundation Nursing Education Scholarships. She will be recognized at the virtual 2020 NLN Education Summit in September. Jade shares about her doctoral studies and future career goals in this brief Q&A: 

Tell us about your research. 

My research focus is health promotion and disease prevention in vulnerable populations through the development of strategies to increase nursing workforce diversity. To support this effort, I established a partnership with a high school pre-nursing program that serves primarily minority and low-income students. 

My dissertation research builds on a completed pilot study I conducted as a Health and Social Justice Scholar. I explored the perceptions of pre-nursing high school students regarding the profession of nursing, as well as factors related to academic and non-academic success, and barriers to success in nursing education. Findings from this pilot serve as the foundation for development of a targeted intervention that addresses the individual, social and cultural contexts identified by the students. 

The purpose of my dissertation study is to test the feasibility of a research-based, online educational intervention for pre-nursing high school students in improving attitudes toward and knowledge about nursing as a career, along with improving career and college readiness self-efficacy and decision making. 

What are your career goals and how do you hope to impact or change the future of nursing? 

My professional goals involve becoming a nurse leader and affecting health policy by applying scientific knowledge as the centerpiece of my career as a tenured professor. I aim to recruit and educate future nurses, ensuring they have the support to be successful and are prepared for real-world nursing in a multi-cultural society. My success strategy will be to identify the barriers they face and implement interventions to overcome these barriers. Most importantly, I want to address the complex health needs of diverse and dynamic populations by developing a learning environment that fosters intellectual inquiry, passion and commitment to underserved communities through the advancement of nursing science. 

Is this scholarship earmarked for something in particular? 

As I enter my final year of doctoral study, a scholarship will help me focus my professional career on addressing health disparities and becoming a nurse educator by alleviating some financial burden associated with obtaining my PhD degree. In particular, the scholarship will assist with financing dissertation-related expenses such as participant incentives for recruitment and study supplies for data analysis. Also, expenses related to the dissemination of study results. 

What other thoughts would you like to share? 

Earlier this year, I received the Nurses Educational Foundation Laura D. Smith National Student Nurses' Association Scholarship. This scholarship is given to a graduate student who was a National Student Nurses Association member as an undergraduate and has demonstrated excellence in nursing scholarship and service.  

As I transitioned from college to the clinical setting as a registered nurse, I continued to see the impact of race and ethnic background in health care including provider bias and health disparities. I firmly believe that every person should have access to fair, non-discriminatory health care. 

Nurse advocacy is an essential part of the development of health care legislation, and educating populations about their health rights is a fundamental duty of nurses. I grew to better appreciate the importance of these tenets as a nurse in the clinical setting. As a result, I resigned from my clinical role so that I could pursue a PhD in Nursing full-time to expand my knowledge to better address these critical factors.