Nurse Researcher Studying Breast Cancer Prevention is Selected for Prestigious Program to Advance Careers of Nation's Most Promising Junior Nurse Faculty
Los Angeles-Nalo Hamilton, Ph.D., M.S.N., an Assistant Professor at the University of California, Los Angeles, School of Nursing, has won a competitive grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) to develop a screening tool for breast cancer. Hamilton is one of just 12 nurse educators from around the country to receive the three-year $350,000 Nurse Faculty Scholar award this year. It is given to junior faculty who show outstanding promise as future leaders in academic nursing. The grant period begins next month.
"It is a huge honor to be selected as a Nurse Faculty Scholar. This is a pivotal moment in my career, and I am excited to work with phenomenal colleagues and national leaders," Hamilton said. "The mentoring component of the program, in particular, is what I am most looking forward to. You cannot underestimate the power of mentoring-it challenges you and guides you-and I'm looking forward to passing that knowledge along by mentoring someone else in the future."
For her research project, Hamilton will investigate the development of an inexpensive screening tool for breast cancer involving insulin-like growth factor-2 (IGF-2), which plays a role in the development of breast tissue. IGF-2 is a hormone women express when their breasts undergo changes during puberty, lactation and cancer development.. Hamilton's study will determine whether elevated levels of IGF-2 can be utilized as an indicator for the early development of breast cancer.
"The key point about screening for breast cancer is doing it early on," said Hamilton. "Many conditions of aggressive breast cancer occur in women younger than 45, yet currently the only option for screening is mammography-a procedure that some insurance companies do not allow until age 50. That's too late. My study is designed to add another tool for breast cancer screening and prevention."
Hamilton's selection comes as the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation is embarking on a collaborative campaign to transform the nursing profession to improve health and health care. Based on the recommendations from a groundbreaking Institute of Medicine nursing report released last year-The Future of Nursing: Leading Change, Advancing Health, RWJF is spearheading the Future of Nursing: Campaign for Action to engage nurses and non-nurses in a nationwide effort to overhaul the nursing profession. The campaign is working to implement solutions to the challenges facing the nursing profession and to build upon nurse-based approaches to improving quality and transforming the way Americans receive health care.
Her mentors are: Linda Sarna, D.N.sc., R.N., F.A.A.N., A.O.C.N. Professor and Lulu Wolf Hassenplug Endowed Chair at the UCLA School of Nursing and Marcus E. Hobbs Distinguished Professor; and Richard Pietras, Ph.D., M.D., Professor of Hematology and Oncology in the UCLA David Geffen School of Medicine.
The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Nurse Faculty Scholars program aims to strengthen the academic productivity and overall excellence of nursing schools by developing the next generation of national leaders in academic nursing. Supporting junior nurse faculty will help curb a shortage of nurse educators that could undermine the health and health care of all Americans. The Affordable Care Act will vastly increase the number of people who can access health care in the United States. As the number of patients increases, there will be greater demand for skilled nurses and faculty to educate them. Right now, many schools of nursing are turning away qualified applicants because they lack the faculty to teach them.
The RWJF Nurse Faculty Scholars program is helping to curb the shortage by helping more junior faculty succeed in, and commit to, academic careers. The program provides talented junior faculty with salary and research support as well as the chance to participate in institutional and national mentoring activities, leadership training, and networking events with colleagues in nursing and other fields, while continuing to teach and provide institutional, professional and community service at their universities.
The program will also enhance the stature of the scholars' academic institutions, which will benefit fellow nurse educators seeking professional development opportunities.
To receive the award, scholars must be registered nurses who have completed a research doctorate in nursing or a related discipline and who have held a tenure-eligible faculty position at an accredited nursing school for at least two and no more than five years.
This is the fourth cohort of Nurse Faculty Scholars. Many members of the first three cohorts have been published and recognized for outstanding work since they were accepted into the program.
The Nurse Faculty Scholars program is funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and administered through the Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing. It is directed by Jacquelyn Campbell, Ph.D., R.N., F.A.A.N., who is the Anna D. Wolf chair and professor at the Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing.
To learn more about the program, visit www.nursefacultyscholars.org.
The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation focuses on the pressing health and health care issues facing our country. As the nation's largest philanthropy devoted exclusively to health and health care, the Foundation works with a diverse group of organizations and individuals to identify solutions and achieve comprehensive, measureable and timely change. For nearly 40 years the Foundation has brought experience, commitment, and a rigorous, balanced approach to the problems that affect the health and health care of those it serves. When it comes to helping Americans lead healthier lives and get the care they need, the Foundation expects to make a difference in your lifetime. For more information, visit www.rwjf.org.