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UW Nursing Students Taylor, Teichert Named Jonas Scholars

June 1, 2016
Nichole Taylor and Monica Telchert

Two University of Wyoming doctoral nursing students will represent the next generation of nursing leaders in the state.

Nichole Taylor, of Douglas, and Monica Teichert, from Torrington, were recently named the 2016-18 Jonas Scholars. The Jonas Nurse Leaders Scholar Program was established in 2008 by Barbara and Donald Jonas through their Jonas Center for Nursing Excellence. The goal of the program is to support the doctoral education of nursing leaders who will promote nursing excellence in clinical practice and/or as academic faculty leaders.

Both students will receive $20,000 in scholarship money toward their doctoral studies.

“I am honored to be a Jonas Scholar, and I will embrace the leadership skills I learn to assist mental health within rural Wyoming,” says Taylor, who has a family psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner focus. “It means a great deal to have the opportunity to learn and inspire others to lead.”

Teichert, who has a family nurse practitioner focus, has similar sentiments.

“I am beyond grateful and exceptionally honored,” she says. “I am even more motivated than ever to be a service to my community as a future doctor of nursing practice and a leader within the profession.”

As part of being Jonas Scholars, both also will participate in an online leadership series, where they will connect with other Jonas Scholars across the country. Their experience will culminate with an in-person national meeting in October 2017. At that event, Taylor and Teichert will meet other Jonas Scholars, gain exposure to national nursing leaders and speak with legislators.

“The conference is a wonderful way to meet national nursing leaders and to hear about their career paths,” says Rebecca Carron, a UW assistant professor in the Fay W. Whitney School of Nursing, who was a Jonas Scholar from 2012-14.

Carron, who will serve as Teichert’s adviser, adds that the national conference is a good way to know other nursing leaders in one’s own state.

“Monica’s nursing background has provided her with nursing leadership experience, which will serve her well going forward with her family nurse practitioner career,” Carron says. “Monica is an excellent student, as well as being warm and compassionate.”

J’Laine Proctor, a UW clinical assistant professor of nursing, is Taylor’s adviser.

“Nichole has proven to be a natural leader of her cohort, and dedicated to her studies and the mental health care profession,” Proctor says. “She will make an excellent future practitioner. I feel fortunate that, in a couple years, I will be able to call on her as a colleague.”

In their written applications, both Teichert and Taylor shared their goals for their practice after they finish their education.

“I plan to be deeply rooted within my rural community in order to fully understand the culture, health needs, resources and barriers on the community,” Teichert says. “I plan to use leadership skills developed from former positions within a rural family practice specialty to influence the overall health community with an integration of evidence-based research, innovative practice ideas, and promotion of health behavior change and disease prevention.”

Taylor says she aspires to create and promote an effective preventive mental health program for screening mental health disparities in primary care.

“I seek to continue research on depressive screening tools that can be utilized in an educational prevention program directed toward primary care providers, with an emphasis to assist in detecting and providing early treatments to mental health disparities.”

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