Before her mother died, Bayhealth Clinical Nurse Specialist Ludmila Santiago-Rotchford, MSN, APRN, ACNS-BC, PCCN, made a promise; a promise to continue her education until she was done school. Santiago-Rotchford is now in her second year of the Ph.D. nursing program at University of Delaware. She is a recent recipient of the Jonas Nurse Leaders Scholar Program grant through the Jonas Center for Nursing Excellence.
The Jonas Nurse Leaders Scholars Program is given through the Jonas Center for Nursing Excellence. The program supports educational development of nurses and prepares doctoral candidates in addressing the needs of future patients.
Santiago-Rotchford has worked at Bayhealth for 16 years and is a clinical nurse specialist for PCU and Centralized Telemetry. Grateful for the scholarship, Santiago-Rotchford said the honor cements why she’s doing this – to learn how to do scholarly research and how to teach future nurses.
“I want to do it all. I want to teach, do research and continue to work in the clinical setting,” she said. “I’m one of those people who don’t mind questions from others, is always asking questions and knows where to find an answer. Plus, I love teaching. Not only am I helping other nurses, but I’m learning from them as well.”
Santiago-Rotchford is in the second year of what is typically a three-year program at UD; it will take her five years to complete the coursework. Her coursework in the doctorate program focuses on research. She plans on doing her dissertation on heart failure.
“It’s a promise I made to my mother and myself before she passed away. I’m not going to stop until I’m finished,” Santiago-Rotchford said. “I’m driven to work in nursing because of the people I work with. I see what my team members do every day and it drives me.”
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