PHOTO: Chun-An Sun

Chun-An Sun

Chun-An Sun is the recipient of the Judith G. Whitaker Scholarship. She is currently a DNP/PhD student at Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing. She earned her Bachelor of Science in Nursing from National Taiwan University, Taiwan in 2011 and her Master of Philosophy in International Community Health from the University of Oslo, Norway in 2014.

Chun-An has had opportunities to serve patients with chronic illnesses and vulnerable populations in various communities. Her Master’s research involved a field study in collaboration with a Cambodian NGO that provides affordable diabetes care to low-income communities through peer-educator networks. Her study findings provided the NGO a list of recommendations that could improve diabetes care delivery and guidelines for training peer educators to enhance the communication between peer educators and patients. Chun-An also worked as a Registered Nurse in a cardiovascular medical unit in a medical center and had experiences in community care related to chronic illnesses as a Public Health Nurse in Taiwan. Additionally, Chun-An has volunteered to serve those in need, including people experiencing homelessness in Oslo, Norway and Baltimore, MD. She now works as a Community Health Nurse in House of Ruth, Maryland, a shelter for women and children experiencing interpersonal violence. 

Through her nursing experience and life experience as a first-generation immigrant in the US, Chun-An is particularly interested in interpersonal influences (e.g., the relationships and communication between healthcare professionals and patients) in patient engagement in chronic illness care. Her doctoral dissertation is to understand the predictors of appointment-keeping behavior among patients with T2DM with a focus on interpersonal influences using electronic medical records and individual interviews. The findings from this study will be a foundation for future research designed to enhance patient engagement in diabetes care and to promote quality diabetes care. The focus of interpersonal factors in the study may provide information on how to improve patient engagement in diabetes care through enhancing interpersonal processes between providers and patients in both in-person and tele-health visits.

Chun-An’s future goal is to become a nurse educator and a clinician-scientist. She hopes to integrate research on interpersonal influences in patient engagement with advanced nurse practices to improve practice processes and patient outcomes, to contribute to nursing science, and to mentor future nurse students in this area. She also hopes to become a role model for nursing students coming from an immigrant or minority background.

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