VUSN Student Heads to China on Boren Fellowship

Vanderbilt University School of Nursing student Erin Dittmer has been awarded a David L. Boren Fellowship to study in China during the 2012-2013 academic year.

Sponsored by the National Security Education Program, the David L. Boren Scholarships and Fellowships are a federal initiative designed to build a broader and more qualified pool of U.S. citizens with foreign language and international skills. In exchange for funding, Boren award recipients agree to work in the federal government for at least one year.

Dittmer is the first VUSN student to receive the fellowship. She is a Women’s Health Nurse Practitioner and Adult Nurse Practitioner student who speaks Chinese. Prior to entering VUSN’s bridge program in pursuit of her Master’s in the Science of Nursing degree, she lived in China for 13 years teaching English to Chinese students. The fellowship will provide her an in-depth language study as it relates to communications among health care providers and between providers and patients.

Dittmer finishes her formal VUSN coursework in December. She will move to Beijing in January for a seven-month independent study, which will include enrolling as a full-time language student and doing clinic observations so she can interact with providers and patients in a health care setting.