Diverse future nurses will push the boundaries of nursing science

Sydnee Logan
By Sydnee Logan  | 
Diverse future nurses will push the boundaries of nursing science

Doctoral nursing education is truly transformative. It prepares you to advance the profession of nursing locally & globally.

– Dean Patricia Davidson

Yazmin Gamez, Katrina Lopez, Yatzil Sanchez, and Rebekah Gardea are Sunrise Scholars (Summer Undergraduate Nursing Research Immersion Experience) from the University of Texas Health Science Center San Antonio. The scholars are senior bachelor’s of science in nursing students with a passion for nursing research.

They traveled to Baltimore to learn from the best—the Johns Hopkins School of Nursing faculty, staff, and doctoral students who are committed to excellence in nursing education, research, and practice.

Dr. Jason Farley and admissions director Cathy Wilson welcomed our guests, and Drs. Janiece Taylor, Phyllis Sharps, Tamar Rodney, Susan Renda, and Nancy Glass made the case for doctoral education. Later, doctoral nursing students described their road to nursing and to Johns Hopkins, and the Sunrise Scholars toured Johns Hopkins Hospital, recently ranked #1 in Maryland and #3 nationwide. 

Doctoral students Sabrina de Souza Elias Mikael, Emerald Rivers, Lyndsay DeGroot, and Nadia Andrade

DNP/PhD student Emerald Rivers described nontraditional options for students with complex interests.

“How can I do research, help people, change policy, and teach? Become a nurse!” Emerald says of her path to nursing. “I wanted to change the world.” She enrolled in the MSN (Entry Into Nursing) program after earning a bachelor’s and a master’s in another field, and even teaching for some time.

Later, the DNP Advanced Practice/PhD Dual Degree Program was announced. “I thought ‘this is it!’ It combined all the things I want to do: practice, conduct research, teach, affect policy—and I didn’t want to do any of those things less.”

Sabrina de Souza Elias Mikael began her path to nursing in Brazil, and spent time working with the World Health Organization.

From Sabrina:

I came to the U.S. for an internship program to learn English, then got married, had a baby, and moved back to Brazil. I began my master’s in Brazil, but wanted to pursue an internship at the World Health Organization in Washington, DC, so I completed my master’s as quickly as possible.

I got the internship, and when I finished they offered me a contract. But I still wanted my PhD. I started the program at Johns Hopkins School of Nursing, and that first year I also worked (and I’m a single mom!). I stopped working the second year and now I’m in my third year. My research focuses on shared decision-making.

Nadia Andrade studies ethnic identity as a protective factor, more specifically, stress response and resilience among Latinx population living in the U.S.

Originally from Brazil, Nadia now calls East Baltimore home. She shared her love of Baltimore, especially the vibrant Latinx community in Highlandtown, “I can show you where to find salsa dancing and my list of restaurants is always growing, it’s definitely a foodie city.” She continues, “Baltimore is so welcoming to Latinx people and queer people, I intend to stay here for a long time.”

Lyndsay DeGroot is available if her patients in the ICU need to talk. She’s experienced traumatic end of life; her aunt and best friend’s mom died of sepsis. While practicing in the ICU, her passion to care for patients with multiple chronic illnesses grew into PhD research in palliative care.

My advisers always encouraged me to pursue a nursing PhD, but I thought I’d be at the bedside forever. But after two and a half years of practicing, I was ready to pursue my PhD.


The Sunrise Scholars tour Johns Hopkins Hospital with admissions officer Deb Driscoll and PhD student Lyndsey DeGroot

Who are the Sunrise Scholars?

Yazmin Gamez, Research interest: Neuroscience & neurodegenerative diseases

Doing research in neuroscience and neurodegenerative diseases has always been one of Yazmin’s long-term goals; she finds the complexity of the brain intriguing.

“As a first-generation college student, I never imagined I would have an opportunity like this. I want to to be a researcher and inspire others to pursue research.”

Katrina Lopez, Research interest: Use of technology in student run clinics to provide overall patient healthcare

As a military dependent, Katrina traveled around the world throughout her childhood. It made her appreciate cultural diversity, which enhanced her desire to address digital and health disparities among Hispanics through nursing research.

Yatzil Sanchez, Research interest: Basic research in mice with gestational diabetes

Yatzil graduated from Northwest Vista College, where she she developed an interest in research while working in a science lab. Her passion for nursing grew while volunteering at a retirement home. Now a BSN student, Yatzil is working on a project that involves basic research in mice with gestational diabetes.

Rebekah Gardea, Research interest: Implications of contact precautions on patient care time in NICU patients

Rebekah’s passion for serving humanity and fascination with the world of medicine kept her on an unwavering path to nursing school. In the spirit of nursing, she recognizes that health care providers need to understand how medical interventions impact the human experience physiologically, psychologically, and emotionally.

“I truly believe the work we are doing will have a positive impact on the care of our patients, which should be at the heart of all nursing research.”

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Sydnee Logan is the Social Media and Digital Content Coordinator for Johns Hopkins School of Nursing. She shares what’s going on here with the world.


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