SEN scholarship enables nursing student to further develop clinical and research skills


DUNMORE, PA – Logan DeSanto developed a genuine passion for the clinical and research aspects of nursing during his time at Penn State Scranton.

Now the Specialty Nursing student has the opportunity to take her work on a larger scale, thanks to the Distance Innovation Grant from the University’s Student Engagement Network (SEN).

DeSanto recently received a $ 2,000 SEN grant which allows him to work with Michael Evans, Assistant Dean of Undergraduate Nursing Education at Commonwealth Campuses and Associate Professor of Nursing, and his research team.

The grant application process was “intimidating but exciting,” according to DeSanto, a junior from Dickson City.

“I was very excited when I found out that I had received the grant,” she said. “I was studying for an exam when I got the email. I immediately smiled and rushed over to tell my parents and the rest of the search party. Receiving the grant made me even more motivated and excited to start my work with Dr. Evans.

“It’s great to work with Logan. She is very detail-oriented, hardworking and motivated,” said Evans. “Students like her inspire me to continue to do more for the profession and our students. They bring a perspective. new on a project and ask a lot of good questions, which often allows me to think about the project in a new light.

The SEN grant provides students with the necessary funding to work with a faculty member on projects that they might not otherwise have the chance to do due to other professional commitments.

Thanks to the grant, DeSanto will now have the time and financial resources to follow Evans as he tours as a part-time nurse for the Visiting Nurse Association (VNA) Hospice & Home Health in Lackawanna County.

“In the Penn State Nursing Program, students typically only have a few days of experience in hospice and / or home care. But, thanks to the SEN grant, Logan is able to follow me one-on-one as I work and really hone his clinical assessment skills, as well as his clinical reasoning and judgment skills, ”Evans said. “She is learning how to provide person-centered care to home care patients and palliative care patients with life-limiting illnesses. Through this work, she learns to be part of an interdisciplinary team of providers to provide patients with the best possible care.

Meanwhile, DeSanto is also collaborating with Evans and his research team, consisting of campus alumni Kiernan Riley and Kalei Kowalchik, both doctoral students at University Park, and Lucy Adams and Megan Lucey, currently nursing graduates from the campus. All four students are former SEN scholarship recipients who have published manuscripts and given scientific presentations on their work.

DeSanto assists the group with literature reviews, data collection and analysis, and grant proposals. In particular, she is working with the Lyme Disease Research Team, which includes the development of a manuscript titled “The Role of the Nurse in the Treatment of People Affected by Lyme Disease”.

“Logan is involved in all stages of manuscript development and works with my research team. We hope to complete the manuscript by the end of the year to submit it for publication, ”said Evans.

“I’m really enjoying the research so far,” DeSanto said. “I like that I can find more information on certain topics that we could cover in class, but maybe not in such depth. The topics I am learning about will help me prepare to become a better nurse by receiving more knowledge during my undergraduate experience. And Dr Evans has been very supportive; I feel like I’ve learned so much already.

A desire to help

In high school, DeSanto developed a constant interest in science and medicine. Combined with her long-standing desire to help others, nursing seemed like a great career option, she said.

On campus, she found a high-quality nursing program that provided her with advanced, relevant and useful knowledge both in the clinical setting and in the classroom. Along the way, she becomes more and more interested in research. For her, the interest lies in acquiring information that goes beyond lectures and allows her to deepen various diseases, syndromes and practices.

And the nursing faculty has been top notch, she said.

“They go above and beyond to make sure we are successful in the classroom and in the clinical setting. They are always ready to meet with us to make sure we understand the material provided to us, ”DeSanto said. “In addition, I am able to find opportunities and experiences with the help of the faculty, such as with Dr. Evans. I am really happy that I chose to study at Penn State Scranton.

After graduation, DeSanto envisioned several potential avenues, including further education to become a nurse practitioner and work in intensive care, which would give her the experience needed to eventually become a nurse anesthetist.

No doubt her current work with Evans and the research team will help illuminate that future, she said.

“I really appreciate the knowledge I have received so far,” DeSanto said. “My ultimate hopes are to gain as much experience as possible and to learn more about the field of nursing. This opportunity can provide me with more information about what I want to do with my degree in the future.

“I am so fortunate to work with Penn State Scranton students like Logan who strive to be the best at what they do,” Evans said. “I expect her to pursue graduate studies and become a leader in the nursing profession. “


Paul N. Strickland

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