PHOTO: Caitlin M. Vlaeminck

Caitlin M. Vlaeminck

Caitlin M. Vlaeminck is the recipient of the Mary Insall Scholarship which is awarded to nurses interested in advanced practice, research, and education in adult health, orthopedic specialization, and rehabilitation nursing. Caitlin obtained her Bachelor of Science in Nursing Degree from Bethel University in Mishawaka, IN in May 2003 and a Master of Science in Nursing Degree: Family Nurse Practitioner from Indiana University South Bend in December 2010. She began the Ph.D. in Nursing Science program at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis in May 2020.

Caitlin knew in high school that she wanted to be a nurse. While no family member was a clinical healthcare worker, her high school’s “world of work” rotation with a pediatric nurse helped her realize her calling. After becoming an RN, she began clinical practice in cardiac step-down units. After three years as a travel nurse, Caitlin decided to further her education – and the care she was able to provide her community.

As for her specialty, Caitlin is drawn to helping patients with osteoporosis as it is a silent disease that is underdiagnosed and often untreated. She currently maintains a practice at Beacon Bone & Joint Specialists in South Bend, IN. Caitlin affects positive change by connecting with her patients and using their interests and goals to optimize their care.

Caitlin is a Clinical Associate Professor in Nursing and the Graduate Program Director for the MSN program at IU South Bend. She teaches Leadership, Advanced Health Assessment, and the capstone management course for the FNP track. She balances her administrative and teaching responsibilities while also completing campus and college service.

Caitlin is dedicated to service to the community. She is the medical coordinator for the Bone Health and Osteoporosis Foundation Osteoporosis Support Group at the LifePlex in Plymouth IN. She is also the Past President of the Coalition of Advanced Practice Registered Nurses of Indiana (CAPNI) which advocates and supports Advanced Practice Registered Nurses in scope, education, and legal matters. She is a member of the Indiana State Nurses Association, American Nurses Association, American Association of Nurse Practitioners, and Sigma Theta Tau International.

After working for 10 years as an FNP, the desire to obtain a terminal nursing degree led her to apply and be accepted to the Ph.D. program at IUPUI. Her area of research is patients with osteoporosis and she plans to study the patient perception of being diagnosed with osteoporosis and the impact on quality of life.

Obtaining the Ph.D. will open opportunities within the realm of nursing science and academia. Her individualized minor in Communication and Health Policy will help increase her ability to advocate for the needs of nurses and their patients. She would like to continue teaching at the graduate and doctoral levels and continue her research with patients with osteoporosis. Receiving the Mary Insall Scholarship will help alleviate financial challenges during the dissertation and research phases. As a novice nurse researcher, obtaining scholarships such as this will support her ability to further her degree and research.

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