VUSN doctoral students honored as Jonas Nurse Scholars

Group of PhD & DNP students with Dean

The Jonas Center for Nursing and Veterans Healthcare has named 12 Vanderbilt University School of Nursing doctoral students to its 2016-18 cohort of Jonas Nurse Scholars.

The groundbreaking Jonas Nurse Leaders Scholar Program aims to increase the number of U.S. nursing school faculty with doctorates. It supports nursing scholars with financial assistance, leadership development programs and networking support.

“To have 12 scholars named in one year is extremely gratifying and speaks to both the excellence of our students and to the Jonas Center’s commitment to developing exceptional faculty and scholars,” said Linda Norman, DSN, R.N., FAAN, VUSN dean and the Valere Potter Menefee Professor of Nursing. “These students will be the teachers and mentors of the future nurses who are essential to meeting America’s growing healthcare needs.”

Of the 12 students receiving awards, seven are part of the Jonas Nurse Leader program, four are Jonas Veterans Healthcare Scholars and one is a Donald Jonas Legacy Fellow.

Six of the Jonas Nurse Leader Scholars are pursuing Ph.D.’s. They are:

  • Amy Garee, M.S., R.N., PNP;
  • C. Robert Bennett, R.N, CPNP-AC, PPCNP-BC, CCRN;
  • Alison Anderson, MSN, ’05, ANP-BC, NP-C;
  • Andrea Bushaw, MSN, R.N., CPNP;
  • Jessie Sellers, MSN ’16, R.N.; and
  • Michelle Dorsey Graf, MSN, R.N., CFN.

Jonas Nurse Leader Scholar J.T. Seaman, MSN, R.N, PMHNP-BC, is pursuing a doctor of nursing practice (DNP) degree.

Three Ph.D. students have been named Jonas Veterans Healthcare Scholars, a component program of the Nurse Scholar Program. They are:

  • Raymond Romano, MSN ’15, R.N., MPH;
  • Jane Abanes, DNP ’13, MSN, PMHCNS, PMHNP-BC; and
  • Nicole Beckmann, M.S., R.N., PNP.

DNP student Andrea Frantz-Iversen, M.A., R.N., is also a Jonas Veterans Healthcare Scholar. These scholars are dedicated to scholarship areas that are related to veteran-specific healthcare needs ranging from patient care to policy and administration.

Ph.D. student Paul Ambrefe, MSN, RN, NP-C, was named a Donald Jonas Legacy Fellow, a new honor for those professionals interested in research related to school health, prison health, autism and other areas that reflect the personal interest of Jonas co-founder Donald Jonas.

The Jonas Center was founded by philanthropists Donald and Barbara Jonas to answer the growing nursing shortage and its impact on individuals and communities. Finding that the limited number of nurses with doctorates directly impacted the ability of schools to educate increased numbers of nurses, they set up the Jonas Center for Nursing and Veterans Healthcare. Since its inception in 2008, the program has supported more than 1,000 Jonas Nurse Leader Scholars at 140 schools across all 50 states. The number of people impacted over the course of 1,000 Jonas Scholars’ careers is estimated at 10 million: five million patients and five million students.

“We are very grateful for the vision and generosity of the Jonas Center,” Norman said. “I know that several of our Jonas Scholars wouldn’t have been able to pursue their doctorates without the program’s support.”

Vanderbilt University School of Nursing is a nationally recognized graduate school that confers master of science in nursing, doctor of nursing practice and Ph.D. in nursing science degrees, as well as post-graduate certificates in specific studies. Its MSN degree is currently ranked as No. 13 by U.S. News & World Report, its DNP program is ranked No. 10 and its Nurse-Midwifery specialty is ranked as the No. 1 program in the country. As part of Vanderbilt University, one of the nation’s top private research institutions, VUSN has a long-standing reputation for excellence in nursing teaching, practice, informatics and research.

Image: Bottom row, from left: Dean Linda Norman, Michelle Graf, Jessie Sellers, Andrea Frantz, Amy Garee, Jane Abanes. Middle row, from left: Raymond Ramano, Andrea Bushaw, Alison Anderson. Top row, from left: J.T. Seaman, Robert Bennett, Paul Ambrefe. Not pictured: Nicole Beckmann.

Photo by Steve Green