PHOTO: Megan E. Mayfield

Megan E. Mayfield

Megan E. Mayfield is the 2023-2024 proud recipient of the Judith G. Whitaker Scholarship. She is a PhD candidate at Emory University Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing and a 2023 graduate (MS) of The James T. Laney School of Graduate Studies at Emory University. Megan earned a MS (Nursing) in 2018 and a BS (Nursing) in 2013 from the Clemson University School of Nursing. She is currently employed as a part-time faculty member in the undergraduate program and is a Certified Nurse Educator through the National League for Nursing.

Fueled by a passion for the study of the human body and caring for individuals with cardiovascular disease, Megan began her career as a registered nurse on a progressive coronary care unit in 2014. During this time, she had the opportunity to precept undergraduate nursing students and newly hired registered nurses, which ignited her passion for nursing education. After losing her grandfather to heart failure (2017) and her father to sudden cardiac death (2018), Megan knew that the remainder of her professional career would be dedicated to promoting optimal health outcomes for patients with cardiovascular disease and their families.

In 2020, Megan began her journey as a PhD student at Emory University Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing, which is globally renowned for its preeminence in the field of cardiovascular nursing research. Under the guidance of her advisor, Dr. Rebecca Gary, Megan’s dissertation research focuses on stress and cardiovascular disease risk in rural heart failure caregivers. In her first year of the doctoral program, Megan was awarded a predoctoral T32 award, “Improving Outcomes in Chronic Conditions.” While at Emory University, Megan has had the opportunity to serve as President of the Laney Graduate Student Council (2022 – 2023), Vice President of the PhD Nursing Student Association (2021 – 2022), and First Year Co-Representative of the PhD Nursing Student Association (2020 – 2021). She has presented her work at multiple, highly visible domestic and international venues including American Heart Association Scientific Sessions (2021 and 2022), Sigma’s 33rd International Nursing Research Congress (2022), and Southern Nursing Research Society’s 36th and 37th Annual Conferences (2022 and 2023).

Professionally, Megan is a member of Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society of Nursing, Southern Nursing Research Society, The American Heart Association, and The Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi. Last year, she was selected as a Scholar in Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society of Nursing’s 2022 Nursing Now Challenge and had the privilege to be mentored by Dr. Kenneth Dion (President of Sigma). Currently, Megan serves as Vice President/President-Elect of the Gamma Mu Chapter of Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society of Nursing and Campus and Community Relations Co-Chair for the Clemson Nursing Alumni Council. Additionally, she is employed as a PRN registered nurse in the Cardiopulmonary Lab and Heart Failure Clinic at Spartanburg Medical Center in Spartanburg, South Carolina.

After obtaining her PhD in Nursing, Megan plans to pursue an academic, tenure-track position at an R1 institution, where she can continue to advance the necessary skills and knowledge to develop into an independent nurse scientist. Receiving the Judith G. Whitaker Scholarship is a true honor for Megan, as she plans to utilize funds awarded to support her graduate education, dissertation completion, and development as a nurse leader.

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