Jessica A. Arter, MSN, RN is the M. Elizabeth Carnegie Scholarship recipient. Currently, she is a third-year Ph.D. student at The University of Alabama and The University of Alabama in Huntsville Joint Nursing Science Ph.D. Program, where her research focuses on investigating the barriers to pediatric healthcare access from a minority parent/caregiver perspective.
Jessica has always had interests in science and helping others which led her to pursue nursing. She received her Bachelor of Science in Nursing from the University of Connecticut where her academic and community services experiences motivated her to pursue public health nursing. She also participated in the Northeast Alliance Summer Program as a research assistant in nutritional sciences and interdisciplinary HIV prevention, which served as a catalyst for her research interest. Jessica obtained her Master of Science in Nursing with a public health focus at the University of Hartford. While in her graduate nursing program, Jessica participated in a Brazilian global health study abroad program and conducted the “Black Women and Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis: Investigating Risk and Awareness” research study.
Jessica has always had a passion for health equity and providing care for the medically underserved. Her experiences in case management, quality improvement initiatives for people living with HIV/AIDS, teen pregnancy prevention, reproductive health, STI prevention, disease prevention, and school health focused on improving health outcomes for children have fueled her passion for health equity. Her work at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic served as motivation to apply to start her doctoral education focus on health equity.
Since starting her doctoral journey, Jessica has sought opportunities for growth. She presented at the American Association of Colleges of Nursing Doctoral Education Conference on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion recruitment and retention through personal storytelling. She also presented at the Sigma Research Congress in Edinburg, Scotland on the social determinants of health related to COVID-19.
Jessica continues her public health work serving health centers in quality improvement initiatives focused on the healthcare workforce and behavioral health. She remains engaged in the community, serving in leadership roles in the National Black Nurses Association, Chi Eta Phi Sorority Incorporated, and Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society of Nursing.
Her future goals are to address health equity through public health service and research that investigates and understands barriers to care in ways that will inform care delivery changes, impact health policy, and develop public health programs that address health disparities. Jessica would like to continue serving her community through mentorship to underserved students, education, and focus on diversity, equity, and inclusion in nursing.
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