PHOTO: Caitlin I. Webster

Caitlin I. Webster

Caitlin I. Webster, MSN, RN, CPHON, is the recipient of the Lucy Perry Scholarship. Caitlin obtained a Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree at Texas Christian University in May 2015 and a Master of Science in Nursing Education Degree at Auburn University in May 2021. Currently enrolled in the Ph.D. in Nursing Science Program at Emory University, Caitlin plans to become an independent nurse researcher focusing on symptom management and treatment-related side effects in the pediatric oncology population. She was selected as a 2022-2023 National Institute of Health/National Institute of Nursing Research T32 pre-doctoral trainee for the Interventions to Improve Outcomes in Chronic Conditions training program.

Caitlin was drawn to the oncology nursing profession in high school after a friend was diagnosed with a pediatric bone tumor called osteosarcoma. She went on to become a pediatric hematology/oncology nurse at Children's Healthcare of Atlanta for six years. In 2017, she became certified by the Oncology Nursing Certification Corporation as a Certified Pediatric Hematology Oncology Nurse (CPHON).

Caitlin held numerous shared leadership positions on her unit, including serving as chair of the Patient and Family Experience Committee and the Nurses Education and Development Committee. Her passion for nursing education grew as she became one of the first Simulation Educators for the pediatric hematology/oncology service line. In 2020, Caitlin was awarded Children's Healthcare of Atlanta's Golden Apple Award for Excellence in Healthcare Education for her work in simulation. She continued to advance in her nursing and simulation career by becoming a Simulation Coordinator. Key responsibilities included overseeing the implementation of simulation-based clinical process testing initiatives and educational simulations for healthcare clinicians across three inpatient hospital systems and numerous outpatient clinical areas. Caitlin quickly became versed in outcome measurement and program evaluation methods, allowing her to develop crucial project management skills and sparking her interest in nursing research.

In 2022, Caitlin chose to pursue a Ph.D. in Nursing Degree from the Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing at Emory University due to their dedication to mentorship and renowned innovation in research. Caitlin's early scholarly work has examined associations between the social determinants of health, microbiome, and psychoneurological symptoms. Caitlin has had the opportunity to present this work at numerous local, national, and international conferences. She was awarded third place at Emory University's Students and Fellows Scholars' Day for her work titled "The Association of the Oral Microbiome with Depressive Symptoms, Anxiety, and Sleep Disturbance among Chinese and Korean Immigrants." Currently, her dissertation will focus on examining associations between the oral microbiome, food insecurity, and chemotherapy-induced oral mucositis in the pediatric oncology population.

Upon receiving her doctoral degree, Caitlin plans to continue to grow as an independent pediatric oncology nurse researcher and provide education and mentorship to the future nursing workforce. She is grateful for the financial support that the Lucy Perry Scholarship and the Nurses Educational Funds have provided, as their support will be crucial in the completion of her studies and dissertation work.

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