Jonas IV Nurse Leader Scholar Alumni

Lauren Bentley, RN

University of Maryland

I am a full time PhD student at the University of Maryland School of Nursing. Research has always been an interest of mine as I conducted an undergraduate degree in Neuroscience at Franklin and Marshall College. I realized in college, however, that bench science was not my passion and that I craved patient interaction. After completing an internship my sophomore year, where I shadowed both residents and nurses, I immediately fell in love with the nursing role and decided to pursue the Clinical Nurse Leader Program at UMSON, post college. This accelerated masters program is intended for students who did not pursue nursing in their undergraduate degree. While in the program, my passion for research still remained, and I was encouraged to apply to the PhD program. Upon acceptance, I chose to defer my enrollment for a year so that I could work full time clinically as a bedside nurse in the Pediatric ICU at Sinai hospital. This position is what has led me to my research focus. The vast majority of children that we treat in the PICU are overweight and living with chronic diseases such as asthma and diabetes, which are only exacerbated by their unhealthy lifestyles. Few interventions can be implemented in the acute care setting in regards to promoting healthy eating and lifestyle choices. This realization has led to my desire to implement healthy lifestyle interventions in the community setting, in an attempt to battle the pediatric obesity epidemic.