Jonas V Nurse Leader Scholar

Eleanor Rivera, MSN, RN

University of Illinois at Chicago
PhD Student

I am a PhD student at the University of Illinois at Chicago College of Nursing. I am currently a Bridges to the Doctorate student, an NIH-funded grant to increase the diversity of PhD-prepared faculty in nursing. I received my MSN at DePaul University in 2013, and have since been working as a staff nurse at Saint Anthony Hospital for the past 2 years. My experience there and my passion for patient education have inspired my research interest in the the empowerment of patients to improve their self-care. My dissertation research will focus on adults diagnosed with chronic illness and their perception of that illness (called illness representation, which includes concepts such as timeline, level of personal control, etc.) My hypothesis is that there are distinct clusters characterized by similar illness representation profiles which differentially predict self-care management, ER visits, and hospitalizations. I am particularly interested in whether persons with different diseases (COPD, kidney disease and heart failure) are equally represented across the different profiles. The results of my dissertation will inform future interventions that are tailored to specific illness representation profiles which are associated with positive or negative outcomes. As a student at DePaul, I was chosen to present a poster of my master's research at the MNRS Conference in 2014. That project examined the relationship between the performance of proactive health behaviors and perceptions of their relative importance. I was selected to attend a summer research institute at the University of Pennsylvania in summer of 2016.