PHOTO: Brooke Rakes

Brooke Rakes

Brooke Rakes is the recipient of the 2020-2021 combined NEF Barbara L. Tate and Evelyn J. Barclay Scholarships. She completed her BSN from Point Loma Nazarene University in 2013 and is a doctoral student at the University of San Diego (USD) Hahn School of Nursing & Health Science, BSN to PHD (Executive Nurse Leader specialty) program. Brooke completed the Master of Science in Nursing component and was conferred her Master’s degree, August 2019. Currently, she is finalizing her second year of the Philosophy in Nursing (PhD) program and achieved her candidacy in May of 2020.

Brooke has worked as a registered nurse for 7 years in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) at a large urban women's health medical center located in southern California. Recognized for her clinical skills, teamwork, and leadership abilities, she quickly advanced, accepting a Neurological Intensive Care Nursery - Advanced Clinician (NICN-AC) position in 2015. As NICN-AC nurse, she specialized in the care of newborns requiring advanced neurologic assessment and treatment. In May of 2018, I became a NICU Charge Nurse and collaborated with diverse stakeholders, resource staff, to solve complex problems and assure quality of care within the NICU. Over the past 7 years she has participated in and led evidence-based practice, research projects, and numerous councils.

The clinical questions and challenges she has observed at the bedside have compelled her to further her education with a research doctorate. Her dissertation research focuses on infants with suspected Hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy (HIE), a type of neurological dysfunction resulting in devastating long-term neurological morbidity and/or mortality. Through Brooke’s research, she hopes to improve infant outcomes by generating new knowledge related to HIE identification, treatment initiation, and management.

The USD doctoral curriculum, support by faculty, and associated community of nursing scholars, will facilitate her growth in nursing science, philosophy, policy, research methodology, and statistics The funding she has received from the combined NEF Barbara L. Tate and Evelyn J. Barclay Scholarships will support her in her final year of doctoral education, when she will examine retrospective data extracted from electronic health records (EHR). She hopes to advance nursing science and utilize research findings to inform and improve neonatal neurological outcomes and health care services in the NICU.

The PhD will provide knowledge and skills required to achieve her goals. After graduation, Brooke plans to become a journal reviewer and apply for a postdoctoral fellowship program to advance her training in outcomes research. Her long-term goal is to become a Program Director of Research within a healthcare system and obtain an adjunct faculty position. Brooke wants to give back through mentoring nurses as they further contribute to the art and science of nursing in both the clinical and academic settings.

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