Two UAMS Doctoral Nursing Students Named Jonas Scholars

By Spencer Watson

The recipients are Vivian White, MNSc., RN, a psychology and mental health scholar, and Rachel Pascoe, BSN, RN, a vision health scholar. Both are students in the Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) program. Their research and clinical foci address some of the nation’s urgent health care needs.

The grant will empower and support nursing students with financial assistance, leadership development and networking to expand the pipeline of future nursing faculty, researchers and advanced practice nurses.

“The pandemic magnified the need for well-educated nurses to provide expert clinical care, leadership, and serve as clinical faculty to educate the nursing workforce,” said Patricia A. Cowan, Ph.D., RN, dean and professor of the UAMS College of Nursing. “Vivian and Rachel are stepping up to meet those challenges as leaders in nursing, and we are very proud of what they are accomplishing.”

White will use the two-year funding for research into providing mental health services for African American veterans. Pascoe’s research will provide screening for vision loss related to Type II diabetes in the Hispanic community.

As 2021-2023 Jonas Nursing Scholars, the two UAMS students join more than 75 others pursuing doctoral degrees at 49 universities across the country whose work focuses on critical health priorities.

“Each year, we grow more in awe of all our Jonas Scholars have achieved. It is with great honor that we welcome and celebrate this new cohort of nurse leaders,” said Donald Jonas, who co-founded Jonas Philanthropies with his late wife Barbara Jonas. “With more than 1,400 Jonas Scholars to date who are committed to meeting the greatest health needs of our time, we look forward to continuing our work with our partner nursing schools and expanding our impact to advance care for the country’s most vulnerable populations.”