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GNSA Bulletin - May 2022 Edition

Published May 02, 2022

Emerging Leaders

Mary Dixon Recio, BA


Entry-MSN Program

Vanderbilt University


Anticipated Graduation Date: August 2023


In 2016, I graduated from the University of Alabama with a BA in Communications. During my time at The University of Alabama, I specialized in documentary film with a focus on inspiring individuals, human interest, and environmental advocacy. It was through documentary film work that I discovered my strong admiration for those who dedicate their lives to serving others. Shortly after graduating I realized that I would rather serve than document those who serve. That decision ultimately led me on the long path toward nursing and where I am today. 

Prior to enrolling at Vanderbilt University School of Nursing (VUSN), I worked as a medical assistant and scribe in urology for almost four years. Urological health is a sensitive topic for many people, and I have come to understand that working in that specialty was a privilege. My work in urology revealed my passion for older adult care and as a result, I have chosen to pursue a career as an Adult Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner.

I chose to enroll at VUSN because of their commitment to students. It is a place where I have experienced immense growth as a student and have become confident in my ability to provide patient-centered and collaborative care to patients. My personal growth inside and out of the classroom is a credit to both the University and its faculty, and I will forever be grateful for the lessons I have and continue to learn.

While at Vanderbilt I have been afforded the opportunity to use my communications background by serving as the chair to the communications committee of the VUSN graduate council. The graduate council is a student run organization dedicated to improving VUSN student life and supplying opportunities for community volunteering and outreach. As the communications chair, I have initiated new brand development and promoted professional growth of the graduate council and its members.

Upon graduation I plan to serve older adult populations by bringing them professional comprehensive care. The education I am receiving at VUSN is invaluable to my future endeavors, and I am excited to continue my education here so I can achieve my goal of service. 



Are you our next emerging leader? Do you excel in your graduate program, demonstrate excitement for your nursing work, and/or have potential to greatly contribute to health care? If so, submit an emerging leader nomination form today to self-nominate or nominate a fellow student. The emerging leader will be selected from the applicants and notified when they will be profiled. Help us recognize future nursing leaders!


Noteworthy Publication: 

In the March/April 2022 issue of Nurse Educator, Dr. Melissa J. Mokel from the University of Saint Joseph and colleagues published a new article on Mentoring and Support for Underrepresented Nursing Faculty. The authors present the results from an integrative review conducted to identify best and evidence-based practices for mentoring faculty from underrepresented groups, including gender, sexual minority, race, ethnicity, and geographic remoteness.

Join the GNSA!
Take advantage of the various benefits that are free to you as a graduate student! Tell your fellow students and make sure they join today! Click here to complete the online application.

Considering Earning a Terminal Nursing Degree?


Throughout your career you will continue to expand your knowledge base due to advances in technology and cutting-edge nursing research. For those wishing to play a part in developing new skills, research, and practice innovations, now is the time for you to consider a terminal nursing degree. 


Doctoral programs in nursing prepare students for careers in health administration, education, clinical research, and advanced clinical practice. Basically, doctoral programs prepare nurses to be experts within the profession, prepared to assume leadership roles in a variety of academic and clinical settings. Through course work and research, students are trained as researchers and scholars to tackle complex healthcare questions.


There are several doctoral programs that you can pursue in nursing. The Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) prepares nurse leaders and practitioners at the highest level of nursing practice to improve patient outcomes and translate research into practice. The Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in nursing is a research focused degree which prepares nurses to conduct research to advance nursing science. Some nurses who want a more education focused doctoral degree consider getting a Doctor of Education (EdD) degree. Accelerated doctoral degrees can take at least 3 years or more to complete.

With a terminal nursing degree you can make a huge impact in advancing nursing science and practice. Both a DNP or a PhD degree will also prepare you for an educator role and allow you to teach the next generation of nurses, which is critical in helping alleviate the nursing shortage. 
Join me in the GNSA Connect community as we explore a conversation around these two degrees and discuss the preparation, the differences among the two degrees, and opportunities for collaboration. 
Shazia Mitha, MSN, AG-ACNP-BC
GNSA Leadership Council Member
Columbia University


Submit an Abstract for the 2022 GNSA Conference

posterimage_2210964.jpgAre you ready to share your practice or research work with your fellow nursing colleagues? If you are looking for an opportunity to practice your presentation skills, submit an abstract for the 2022 GNSA Conference, Charting a Future for Nursing Through Innovation. 
If your research or practice project embodies the theme of the conference and addresses leadership development, nursing innovation, mentoring, health policy and advocacy, research, practice, healthcare administration, or education, then don't delay and submit an abstract today!
Is this your first time submitting an abstract for a poster presentation? If so, the GNSA recently offered a webinar titled Tips on Writing a Successful Abstract. Review this webinar to help you develop and submit an abstract proposal. You can register for the recording here.
Take this opportunity to engage in a conversation with graduate nursing students and share your work. To learn more about the call for abstracts, click here. All abstracts will be accepted until Friday, May 13. We look forward to seeing your work!


Join the Conversation: GNSA Connect Community

GNSA-Community-ICON_830807.pngAre you looking for a tool to measure reliability or validity? Are you interested in recommendations for potential program electives? Are you getting ready to apply for jobs and looking for tips on how to prepare for a job negotiation? These are all recent conversations in the GNSA Connect Community. As a GNSA member, access to this community provides you with the benefit of networking, learning from other graduate students, and sharing resources. Be sure to login today through your MyAACN dashboard (GNSA Student Center -> GNSA Community) and explore the topics. In addition, you can explore the members tab, which includes a directory of the GNSA members across the county. Be sure to have your profile completed so that others can connect with you. If you have any questions on this resource, contact Autumn Spriggs at


Register for the 2022 GNSA Conference

The GNSA will be hosting a conference exclusively for graduate students on August 4-5, 2022 in Washington, DC. The conference focused on Charting a Future for Nursing Through Innovation: A Graduate Nursing Student Conference will feature sessions on professional development, leadership, nursing innovation, and personal brand development. Sessions on transitioning into advanced practice, academia, research, or leadership will give you a chance to ask questions and learn from nursing experts. The conference is open to students in master's, doctoral, or dual degree graduate programs. The registration fee is $249 per person with an opportunity to earn CE credits for the conference sessions. Be sure to join the GNSA for this stimulating enrichment experience. To learn more and register, click here. If you are interested in learning about the past conference and hearing member testimonials, click here

Leadership Education Modules 

Lead with Ethics, Intention, and Purpose

This resource was developed for nursing professionals at all levels, including those aspiring to leadership roles.

This on-demand module series offers guidance and practical strategies on how to navigate real-world challenges and amplify your effectiveness. Content is designed to stimulate fresh thinking and provide solutions to some of your most pressing challenges.  Modules will enrich your understanding of key principles and practices needed for leaders to succeed in the academic arena.  Those that complete all 4 modules are eligible to receive 11.5 continuing education credits.

Buy all 4 modules and save with bulk purchase and institutional bundles now available!
Buy All 4 Modules Institutional Bundle

If you have questions, contact Dr. Cynthia Leaver at

Serve as a Student Leader and Become a GNSA Liaison! 
Is your institution represented by a GNSA Liaison? You can explore the list of current Liaisons here. If you are looking to grow as a leader and network with graduate nursing students across the country, then this is the opportunity for you. You will serve as the primary point of contact and connect your fellow students with GNSA resources that may be of interest to them. Sign up to serve as a GNSA Liaison for your institution today! As a GNSA Liaison you will be among the first to know about opportunities, scholarships, and events. Click here to learn more about the role. If you have any questions, contact Autumn Spriggs at

Designing an Engaging Poster
May 31, 2022 at 4:00 pm ET

After your abstract submission has been accepted for presentation, it is time to think about developing your poster. This webinar will focus on the key elements of creating a scholarly poster while using creative techniques to engage the reader. 



  • Understand how to highlight data and findings without overwhelming the reader.
  • Outline the necessary components of a scholarly poster.
  • Explain ways to utilize QR codes to further engage the reader. 
Pamela Smith, EdD, APRN-Rx, FNP-BC
Associate Dean
School of Nursing and Health Professions
Chaminade University of Honolulu


2022 National Health Service Corps (NHSC) Scholarship Program

This scholarship supports Nurse Practitioner of Certified Nurse-Midwife students pursuing a career in primary health care who receive funding for their education in exchange for practicing in rural, urban, and tribal communities with limited access to care. To learn more about this program, click here. The scholarship deadline is May 5, 2022

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