Students Hold Inaugural Nursing Ph.D. Symposium

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The Inaugural Nursing Ph.D. Symposium, held Tuesday, Oct. 29 at the Institute of Applied Life Sciences Conference Center, gathered together a diverse consortium of scientists, community advocates, educators and entrepreneurs to explore the future of nursing and the role of nurse-scientists in promoting health, health equity and social justice.

With 2020 named the Year of the Nurse and the Midwife by the United States/World Health Organization (WHO), the symposium highlighted the work of emerging nurse scientists and catalyzed collaboration. WHO is gathering data for a comprehensive, worldwide report on nursing and midwifery. 

Assistant professor of nursing Rachel Walker, the Ph.D. program director, is among those who have been interviewed for a consensus study on the “future of nursing,” from now through 2030, conducted by the National Academies of Science, Engineering and Medicine and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

Organized by Ph.D. students Ann Marie Moraitis and Ellen Smithline, the symposium featured a plenary discussion with three nationally renowned scholars whose work reflects various lenses on the social and structural determinants of health: Barbara J. Guthrie, professor and director of the Ph.D. program at Northeastern University’s School of Nursing; Tam H. Nguyen, assistant professor at the Cornell University School of Nursing; and Em Rabelais, assistant professor at the University of Illinois at Chicago College of Nursing.

Poster sessions highlighted Ph.D. nursing candidates’ research, and networking themes included nurses in innovation and entrepreneurship, promoting social justice in science and bringing healthcare technologies to nursing.