Meet the Class of 2010 - 2011

Bethany M. Andrews, MSN, RN
Nashville, TN
Track: Clinical Research Track
Faculty Adviser: Dr. Sheila Ridner


My name is Bethany Andrews and I reside in Nashville, TN. I am currently employed as a registered nurse in the medical-surgical ICU at Centennial Medical Center. I first became interested in research while completing my senior honors thesis in genetics at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. I attended Vanderbilt University School of Nursing for the Bridge Program as well as the Acute Care Nurse Practitioner Program. The school’s commitment to excellence in research as well as practice made Vanderbilt an ideal place to pursue my PhD. I am interested in researching individuals who have experienced a dramatic body image disturbance. Specifically how these individuals navigate the reimaging process and nursing interventions that enhance self-care behaviors in these individuals are areas of particular interest to me.


Gail Armstrong

Gail E. Armstrong, ND, RN
Denver, CO
Track: Health Services Research
Faculty Adviser: Drs. Lorraine Mion and Linda Norman

I live in Denver, Colorado. I am an Assistant Professor at the University of Colorado, College of Nursing. Since 2007 I have been involved in the national initiative, Quality and Safety Education for Nurses (QSEN).This work has piqued my interest in doing research in quality and safety that impacts healthcare systems.Vanderbilt has a strong reputation in the PhD community.I know Vanderbilt’s program is rigorous and robust. There are two researchers in quality and safety that I wanted to work with (Drs. Norman and Mion). The option of a blended program (week long intensives) and synchronous distance modalities was the optimal blend for me. Some of my previous graduate work was done with asynchronous distance teaching/learning modalities, and I think the synchronous distance teaching/learning modalities are a better fit for me and how I best engage. I am interested in looking at new graduate nurse clinician’s knowledge of quality improvement processes, patient safety at a systems level, and their perception of how this understanding fits into their emerging practice. I am interested in how much new graduate nurses value this knowledge and how their pre-licensure curricula prepared them for these vital aspects of current nursing practice.


Julia Martin

Julia M. Martin, MSN, RN
Murfreesboro, TN
Track: Clinical Research
Faculty Adviser: Drs. Shelagh Mulvaney and Ann Minnick


I am Julia Marie Martin, a native of Memphis, currently living in Murfreesboro, Tennessee where I am employed as a registered nurse on a medical/surgical unit at Middle Tennessee Medical Center. I graduated in August of this year from Vanderbilt University with a master's degree and chose to begin further educational advancement in nursing science before venturing into work as an Advanced Practice Nurse in Family Practice. As an undergraduate nursing student at Middle Tennessee State University, I was selected to participate in the Ronald E. McNair Post-Baccalaureate Achievement Program for scholars interested in pursuing a PhD in the future. Through this opportunity, I was allowed to design and conduct an original research project and during the Summer Symposium presented an oral and poster presentation. This study, “Painful Experiences among College Students,” was published in the program’s annual review. Since that experience, a career in research has been undeniable. I choose Vanderbilt University as the institution in which to achieve my terminal degree because of its abundance of healthcare resources, research support, and interdisciplinary collaborations. Additionally, I was impressed by the prestige and expertise of the nursing faculty members. My research interest lies in health literacy and numeracy; and during my doctoral studies, I intend to develop and test interventions to decrease morbidity associated with preventable chronic disease.


Clinta Che’ Reed, MSN, RN
Conway, AR
Track: Health Services Research
Faculty Adviser: Dr. Ann Minnick


Preferred Name: Che’
Position: Clinical Instructor, University of Central Arkansas in Conway, AR
Research Interest: Situation Awareness in Nursing

In 2009, I conducted a small study using the NLN Simulation Tools to measure student satisfaction and self-confidence following a Nursing Leadership and Management simulation experience. The study was based on a scenario that I created and wrote up for publication in Clinical Simulation in Nursing. In June 2010, I presented a poster at the International Nursing Simulation/Learning Resource Centers Conference titled, “Situation Awareness in Nursing: The Future of Effectiveness Measurement in Simulation.” What brought me to Vanderbilt:  I felt that the faculty would be able to mentor me in exploration of my phenomenon of interest and that the resources available at Vanderbilt would give me the greatest opportunity to develop as a scholar. The potential to draw from other departments in the university such as cognitive neuroscience and engineering will also add to the strength of my study.


Amanda Stefancyk

Amanda L. Stefancyk, MSN, MBA, RN, CNML
Boston, MA
Track: Health Services Research
Faculty Adviser: Dr. Ann Minnick


 I am currently a nursing director at Massachusetts General Hospital.  During my graduate studies, I had the opportunity to work with a seasoned researcher as a research assistant.  This opportunity and subsequent mentoring relationship solidified my interest in nursing research.  For two years I worked on a variety of different research initiatives involving pain management.  I chose Vanderbilt for their faculty and Health Services Research concentration.  I looked at many schools and Vanderbilt's program and faculty were the best fit. I would like to utilize knowledge from my MSN and MBA graduate studies to advance the knowledge of the nurse-quality-economic relationship.