Scholars

Each of these nurses is poised to become an exemplary nurse leader who will transform health care in communities and nationwide, help build a Culture of Health, and inspire the next generation of nurses.

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Pamela Weber
2016 cohort, Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences

Pamela Weber, MSN, BSN, RN, a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Future of Nursing Scholar, is interested in studying the meta-cognitive aspects of experiential learning using simulation. She is particularly interested in research using simulation as an investigative methodology to improve the quality of care and clinical outcomes for Veteran patients.

She earned her Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Eastern Michigan University and graduated with honors from the University of Michigan with a Master of Science in Nursing Business and Health Systems.

Weber is the Associate Chief Nurse of Education and Director of the Simulation Center at the VA Ann Arbor Healthcare System, and an Adjunct Clinical Instructor at the University Of Michigan School Of Nursing. Prior to her work in the nurse executive field, Weber was instrumental in transforming and implementing systems that have improved nursing practice and structural development as the Ann Arbor VA Recruitment and Academics Program Coordinator. Weber’s past clinical experience includes working as a Emergency Department registered nurse at three large tertiary health care systems in Michigan including; the University of Michigan Medical Center, Oakwood Healthcare, and Saint Joseph Mercy Hospital Ann Arbor.

In May 2016, she was awarded both the Veterans Integrated Service Network (VISN) 11 Department of Veterans Affairs Secretary’s Award for Excellence in Nursing and the VA Ann Arbor Healthcare System Department of Veterans Affairs Secretary’s Award for Excellence in Nursing.

Weber lives in Ann Arbor, MI.

Rachel Wells
2016 cohort, University of Alabama at Birmingham

Rachel D. Wells, MSN, RN, CNL, a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Future of Nursing Scholar, is focusing on the early introduction of palliative care for advanced heart failure patients and their family caregivers. Her primary research goal is to examine the dose-effect relationship of early palliative care interventions for older adult, advanced heart failure patients and their caregivers. She also plans to explore health literacy and educational needs of this population with an emphasis on rural, underserved areas of the Deep South. Her focus on educational needs and healthcare disparities started early as she witnessed her own family and their rural West Alabama community struggle with lack of access to primary and specialty care, including palliative care, lack of culturally competent healthcare education, and communication barriers.

Wells earned her Bachelors of Science in Biology, English, and the Classics at the University of Alabama where she first became involved with health disparities research as an undergraduate honors student. She was a graduate in the first Accelerated Masters of Nursing Program (AMNP) at UAB.

Wells has worked as a staff nurse in a variety of cardiac environments including the Heart and Lung Transplant ICU at UAB as well as the Cardiac ICU and outpatient cardiology in Mobile, Alabama. She has also worked as a graduate teaching assistant and adjunct clinical faculty at UAB School of Nursing. She currently works as a research nurse on a R01 funded palliative care and heart failure study, providing a behavioral intervention for both patients and caregivers, assisting in preparation of manuscripts and grants, and training new research nurses and other ancillary staff.

Wells lives in Hoover, AL.

Ben White
2018 cohort, University of Washington

Ben White, BSN, RN, CCRN is researching the issues surrounding quality of sleep for caregivers of children with complex health conditions. White will examine if delivery of children’s needed care and caregiver anxiety affect caregivers' sleep and how that sleep might affect the children and their outcomes.

He earned his Bachelor of Science in Nursing from the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences.

White has previous experience as a staff nurse in the pediatric intensive care unit (PICU) and post-anesthesia care unit (PACU) at Arkansas Children’s Hospital and Seattle Children’s Hospital. At Seattle Children’s Hospital, White is a Unit Based Educator, overseeing the competency and continuing education of over 120 nurses.

White lives in Seattle, Washington.

Abigail Wilpers
2016 cohort, Yale University

Abigail B. Wilpers, MSN, WHNP-BC, a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Future of Nursing Scholar, is pursuing her PhD with a focus on fetal diagnosis and therapy and how nurses can support women throughout these high-risk pregnancies. She is particularly interested in the evolution of fetal care centers and the nursing roles within them.

She earned her Bachelor of Arts from Barnard College of Columbia University, and her Master of Science in Nursing from Yale University.

Wilpers began her career in healthcare as a clinical research coordinator in the Department of Pediatric Cardiology at New York Presbyterian Hospital. She collaborated closely with the Center for Prenatal Pediatrics working with pregnant women who had received fetal diagnoses of congenital heart disease. She was inspired to become a nurse by the center’s nurse care coordinator. Wilpers graduated from her graduate entry nursing program in 2016 and plans to work both clinically, and as a nurse scientist, with women diagnosed with fetal anomalies.

Wilpers lives in New Haven, CT.