BOX 4-4

Nurse Profile: Jennifer Wenzel*

Pursuing an Academic Career

Although she believes that “all nurses make a difference, wherever we practice, whatever we do,” Jennifer Wenzel, PhD, RN, CCM, said that her primary motivation in choosing an academic career, one that combined research with teaching, was that it gave her a way “to have a wider, broader impact.”

She’s an assistant professor of nursing at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, the manager of the Center for Collaborative Intervention Research, and the principal investigator or co-investigator on 17 research projects in the past decade. In her research Dr. Wenzel has explored, among other topics, rural African Americans with cancer and self-care in patients with diabetes. She has also studied “professional bereavement” and resilience in oncology nurses—how nurses cope with the recurring loss of patients—with lead researcher Sharon Krumm, PhD, RN. Dr. Wenzel said that one not-so-surprising finding has been a discussion of “some of the pressures and demands that nurses place on themselves and on each other.”

What she finds exciting about her work, whether with students or with research subjects, she said, is “the opportunity for sustainability. I’m trying to build something that has a lasting effect. That’s always been my dream—what can we give people that will help them, not just in the situation that they’re in, but in future situations, as well?”

Jennifer Wenzel, PhD, RN, CCM

Jennifer Wenzel, PhD, RN, CCM


*This nurse profile was inadvertently omitted from the prepublication version of this report.

bachelor’s degree to advance to the graduate level over the course of their career (Cleary et al., 2009). Figure 4-6 gives an overview of the highest educational degree obtained by women and men who hold the RN license. It includes RNs who are working as nurses and those who have retired, have changed professions, or are no longer working. According to an analysis by Aiken and colleagues (2009),

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