PHOTO: Rhonda Smith Wright

Rhonda Smith Wright

Rhonda Smith Wright is the honored recipient of the Laura D. Smith National Student Nurses’ Association Scholarship and currently entering her fourth year as a doctoral candidate at Johns Hopkins Univerity School of Nursing. She received a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Pennsylvania, a Masters of Health Services Administration from the University of Michigan, and a Masters of Science in Nursing from Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing.

Ms. Wright first became passionate about improving treatment access and outcomes for marginalized and underrepresented populations in 2003, during heralized service as an administrator in the Baltimore City Health Department. In the role as an administrator and later deputy assistant commissioner, she managed oversight and data collection of health promotion, disease prevention, and surveillance programs addressing the spread of TB, HIV, and sexually transmitted infection. From this perspective, she could clearly see the obvious disparities in health outcomes that disproportionately affected communities of color and resource-deprived neighborhoods. Through this experience she became acutely aware of the many complex factors – social, economic, geographic, etc. — that play a role in the successful prevention and treatment of communicable diseases, as well as how the impact of these factors is exacerbated in racially segregated cities and low-resource settings. This formative experience influenced a 15-year journey of serving marginalized populations in regions across the globe through program development, oversight, and nursing care and has culminated in her long-term career goal as an independent researcher.

Ms. Wright is determined to develop a program of research that incorporates the use of community-level data, health outcomes, and nursing intervention to address health inequity. Her proposed dissertation study and completed doctoral education will provide a foundation for her future program of research through the examination of neighborhood stressors impact on pain medication use and acute care utilization among adults living with sickle cell disease.

Receiving the NEF Laura D. Smith National Student Nurses’ Association Scholarship means not only financial support for her education and research endeavors but also represents a vote of confidence for her goals to make a meaningful difference among communities affected by health inequity and to assume a leadership role in the education of future nurses who have the potential to directly disrupt health inequity mechianisms that occur during the patient experience.

Donate Today

Support a Graduate Nurse’s Education

NEF’s only purpose is to provide nursing scholarship assistance to make graduate level nursing education possible. NEF is the largest, single, private, professionally endorsed source of funds for advanced nursing study with over one hundred years of service to and for professional nursing.

NEF’s Board of Directors is comprised of leaders from nursing, education, technology, and business communities. Members donate their time and talent to the advancement of the nursing profession. NEF operates with exceptionally low overhead. NEF employs only one individual who serves in several capacities. NEF is a non-profit organization with 501(c) status; thus, your contributions are fully tax-deductible.