PHOTO: Kristen Sinay

Kristen Sinay

Kristen Sinay, MSN, RN is the recipient of the Margaret Gould Tyson Scholarship. Kristen earned her BSN in 2008 and MSN in 2012, both from The University of Texas at Austin (UT Austin) School of Nursing. Being local to the Austin area her whole life, Kristen is back UT Austin pursuing a PhD in Nursing. In the fall of 2023, she will begin her fourth year of the doctoral program. Thrice a Longhorn; Hook ‘em, Horns!

The importance of education was instilled in Kristen from a young age; with that drive, and the support of family and mentors, she became the first person in her family to attend college in the fall of 2004. She owes her call to become a nurse to a volunteer position she had at a local hospital her freshman year of college. Kristen observed the nurse-patient relationship firsthand and saw how instrumental nurses are, not only to patients’ care experiences but also their outcomes. She initially wanted to work with geriatric populations; but, once in nursing school, she literally had an epiphany moment on her first day of clinical rotation in her maternity practicum. Right away, she knew she was meant to be a labor and delivery nurse.

Upon graduating from undergraduate school, she worked as a registered nurse in labor and delivery as well as several other obstetrical and women’s health settings. She then went on to earn a master’s degree and taught nursing students in their obstetrics clinical rotations. After several years working in direct patient care, Kristen put her knowledge of clinical practice to work in a different way, serving as a patient advocate in a nursing regulatory role as a nurse investigator and nursing consultant. She has also taught childbirth, infant care, and breastfeeding classes to expectant parents for over a decade.

So far in her doctoral program, Kristen has had the pleasure of being a graduate fellow and teaching assistant. After earning her PhD, Kristen plans to work in academia as a faculty member and researcher. Kristen is eager to continue her work with mother-child dyads and women of childbearing age through her work as a nurse scientist. Her ideal career involves performing women’s health-related research with a focus on creating practice and policy changes to improve outcomes in this vulnerable population.

Without the skills and training she is acquiring in her PhD program Kristen would not be able to develop an independent program of research to promote the health of women and children through her planned research contributions. Receiving a NEF Scholarship is a huge blessing for Kristen and her family. She is a full-time student and mother to a toddler, while her supportive husband financially provides for their growing family. Because of NEF’s scholarship support, Kristen is able to pursue her goal of earning a PhD in Nursing. Many thanks to NEF and the generous donors!

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