PHOTO: Rachelle Gray

Rachelle Gray

Rachelle Gray, PhD(c), DNP, MBA, FNP-BC, is the proud recipient of the NEF AJN/Thelma Schorr Scholarship award. Rachelle earned her Associate of Applied Science as a registered nurse from Owens Community College in 1987, her Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Eastern Michigan University in 1994, her Master of Science in Nursing from the University of Toledo with a concentration as a family nurse practitioner in 1998, her Master in Business Administration in 2004 from Walsh College, and her Doctor of Nursing Practice degree from the University of Detroit Mercy in 2012. 

A primary care nurse practitioner at the Veterans Health Administration since 2000, Rachelle has been in the nursing profession for 32 years.

Rachelle is currently a PhD candidate in Educational Studies with a concentration in nursing education at Eastern Michigan University in Ypsilanti, MI. She is committed to conducting research to evaluate nursing students' current knowledge of health literacy and determine if simulation enhances the use of the knowledge and strategies for health literacy in practice. This commitment is evidenced in her dissertation research which focuses on improving undergraduate nursing students’ health literacy knowledge, application, and confidence using clinical simulation. She has developed two passions—nursing and education—during her educational journey, and she is dedicated to both. Earning a doctorate reflects her dedication to these passions. Rachelle is currently recruiting participants for her study.

Being a role model in higher education to those who are economically and/or educationally disadvantaged, is Rachelle’s career vision. For example, she plans to bring more diverse students into nursing programs by engaging them in the learning process and developing strategies to better represent the profession.

Among her many extra curricular activities, Rachelle developed and presented two separate podium presentations, in 2011 and published a peer-reviewed article in the Federal Practitioner 

in 2016.  She also served as a fellow in the Excellence in Government Fellows program from 2017 to 2018 in Washington, DC. This public service leadership development training program was designed to train effective public service leaders. She completed coursework designed to train in the Senior Executive Service competencies such as: driving results, leading people, leading change, building partnerships and coalitions, business acumen, and synthesis and celebration. This program allowed her to be coached by experts and government leaders and network with fellow leaders to foster a community that supports continued learning. This experience as a fellow helped shape her path as a nurse leader and enhanced her confidence in collaborating with other healthcare professionals from various disciplines. 

Rachelle is an active member of several professional organizations, including the Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society of Nursing, Mary Mahoney Professional Nurse-Detroit, National Council of Negro Women, and Chi Eta Phi Nursing Sorority. Rachelle resides in Michigan. 

The NEF AJN/Thelma Schorr Scholarship award will help Rachelle meet her academic and higher education career goals - becoming a faculty member in a graduate nursing program. This scholarship also serves as a dedication to friends and family who encouraged her to pursue her dream.

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