I recently graduated from the PhD Nursing program at UTMB Graduate school of Biomedical Sciences. My educational background includes a BSN from UTMB in 1983, a BA in Sociology from UT Austin in 1985, and a MSN focusing on Nursing Education and Community Health from Texas Tech Health Science Center in 2012. I am a clinical instructor in the UTMB School of Nursing Masters Program. Courses taught include Public Health Principles in Advanced Practice Nursing and Public Policy. I am part-time nursing faculty for the RN to BSN program at Sul Ross State University, and also have taught in the BSN program at Texas State University. I am a member of Sigma Theta Tau; the National League for Nurses and the American Association of Colleges of Nursing in affiliation with Texas State University; and the National Association of School Nurses. My professional nursing experiences include hospital, home health, research, school, and camp nursing, and nursing education. My research interests include children’s health and nursing education. My dissertation study examined the perspectives of school nurses working with children experiencing homelessness. I anticipate study findings will influence changes in nursing education, school nursing practice, improve care of vulnerable homeless children, and identify needs for health, education, and social policy reform.
Research/Clinical Practice Area: Jonas Scholar – Environmental Health
Dissertation: An Exploration of School Nurses’ Perspectives in Caring for Homeless Children. The study purpose was to explore the experiences of school nurses working with homeless, elementary school-aged children. Naturalistic Inquiry determined school nurses’ perceived ability to meet these children’s needs. Purposive sampling recruitment of potential participants was accomplished from members of the National Association of School Nurses. Snowball sampling supplemented the recruitment. Eligibility criteria were nurses with a minimum of one school year prior experience and current employment as school nurses providing direct care to elementary, school-aged children. Data was collected through demographic forms and semi-structured interviews. Participant enrollment, data collection, and data analysis continued until data saturation was achieved. Interview data was analyzed through Lincoln and Guba’s processes. Study findings identified school nurses’ encounters with the health and social service needs of homeless, elementary school-aged children, explored their perceived ability to provide these children with appropriate care, and discovered additional insights into school nurses’ practice related to issues with the provision of nursing care to homeless, elementary school-aged children. Findings are to provide a foundation for further research into this important but understudied aspect of school nurse practice.