The Nursing Honors Program

Female professor is showing male nursing student how to fill IV bag with fluid

By Julia Ciotti, student

Duquesne University’s School of Nursing offers a very exciting academic opportunity for their attendees.

Junior level students who have earned a minimum of a 3.7 GPA in nursing courses and a cumulative GPA of at least 3.3 are invited to apply to this program. It is geared towards ambitious individuals who will collaborate with a faculty mentor to develop a project in an area of interest significant to the professional goals.

Through this partnership, students are able to gain hands-on experience with the process of nursing research and the implementation of evidence-based practice in the clinical setting. In addition, participants will stand out from their graduating class when their transcript indicates “Nursing Honors.”

Upon receiving this program’s application, students are asked to submit a brief essay regarding their nursing interests and what they aspire to gain from this experience. Based on their submissions, individuals are paired with a faculty mentor who possesses corresponding values and passions. Through these unique partnerships, students are given the opportunity to assist in conducting and analyzing prestigious research projects that directly affect clinical nursing practice today.

Over three semesters; spring of junior year and both fall and spring of senior year; mentees work alongside their assigned faculty to analyze the current literature, hypothesize possible interventions, conduct research studies, interpret the data, and implement clinical improvements.

I was privileged to join the Nursing Honors Program this spring and was paired with an incredible mentor, Dr. Baumgartel. Her expertise in genetic research in regards to maternal breast milk parallels my passions for obstetric and neonatal health. I believe that this experience will deepen my knowledge of nursing research and play an integral role in my success as a future nurse.

As a student, it is easy to feel separated from the profession because we spend the majority of our time focusing on books and lectures; however, this program allows you to take a step further and truly make a difference in the future of nursing care. To all the high achieving students eager to feel a deeper connection to their major, I encourage you to seize this opportunity and challenge yourself to positively impact nursing today.

This article has been reprinted from The Scope, Preview Day 2020 edition.


Julia Ciotti is an undergraduate Nursing student (Class of 2021) and serves as DUSNA Secretary.

Photo credit: lauren e. bliss photography


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