Nursing Doctoral Student Wins National Award

Posted on 9/22/2017 12:26:14 PM

Meagan White, a doctoral candidate in Indiana University of Pennsylvania’s Nursing PhD program, was recently named a winner of the national Jonas Scholar award by the National League for Nursing.

Meagan White named Jonas Scholar by National League of NursingWhite, a native of Erie who currently lives in Washington, D.C. is one of seven nursing students from across the country to receive the scholarship. She was honored at a banquet in San Diego on September 16, 2017, at the annual NLN Education Summit.

The Jonas Scholars are selected by faculty in selected schools of nursing with a focus on nursing education research. Scholars are mentored by members of the NLN Chamberlain Center for the Advancement of the Science of Nursing Education and receive financial support for the scholars’ research through the final year of doctoral study, as well as travel expenses to meetings with mentors at the NLN Education Summit, according to the organization.

The scholarship is a cash award White can use to cover her expenses as she completes dissertation requirements for her doctoral degree at IUP. She expects to graduate with her PhD next summer.

White was nominated for the award by IUP Distinguished Professor Teresa Shellenbarger.

“Meagan was nominated because her past scholarly work and outstanding academic performance distinguished her as an emerging nurse-scholar and expert in nursing pedagogy,” Shellenbarger said. “She is prepared to conduct advanced nursing research, and her research on information literacy and nursing will help to ensure that future nurses are adequately prepared to meet the health care needs of patients.”

White has held a full-time job in the nursing certification and education field while enrolled in IUP’s Nursing PhD program, a unique cohort-based hybrid program that draws from surrounding states as students complete both online coursework and meet with faculty in person twice a semester to enhance their studies.

White previously spent four years teaching in her specialty, which helped her decide to pursue her PhD. She has found that IUP’s program fits her needs as a working professional.

“I have long felt that we have an outstanding program,” she said. “I feel that way from conversations I’ve had with students in other programs because they don’t have the level of faculty support that our whole cohort receives.”

“Her selection for this award recognizes the IUP PhD Nursing program as a quality program that prepares nurse scholars ready to advance the science of nursing education and assume leadership positions in nursing education,” Shellenbarger said.

White’s goal after she receives her PhD is to continue teaching, but also to do more research and to publish her findings for others to use to their benefit. White also plans to publish her dissertation findings and conduct further research studies that advance teaching and learning in nursing.

“In the past year and a half during my studies, I’ve published in nursing journals,” she said. “That was a goal of mine, to use some of my faculty’s expertise and mentoring to help me grow. Each of those publications was a direct result of coursework at IUP or writing with a faculty member of IUP, so I want to continue down that road and get more presentations and publications under my belt. It’s been a great experience. Our program and faculty have helped me immensely.”