Gabby Paniagua-Stolz, a graduate student in UVA School of Nursing’s Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) program, has been named a Jonas Scholar by the Jonas center for Nursing and Veterans Healthcare.
Paniagua-Stolz is one of approximately 200 American nursing doctoral students selected to receive $10,000 over two years, and the ninth student at UVA to win the recognition since 2014.
"While I’m excited about the financial support, what I’m really, really excited about is being part of this incredible network.”Gabriela Paniagua-Stolz, DNP student, Jonas Scholar
Jonas Scholarships are given annually to advanced practice and doctoral nursing students who are expected to fill leadership roles as professors, clinical leaders, and nurse scientists and help address the nursing faculty shortage.
“I first heard about the Jonas Scholars program when I attended nursing conferences, and was always impressed by these students’ posters and presentations,” says Paniagua-Stolz. “When I found out I was nominated and accepted, and part of the 2018 cohort, I was thrilled and honored to be part of such a group. While I’m excited about the financial support, what I’m really, really excited about is being part of this incredible network.”
Paniagua-Stolz, a native of Northern Virginia, is a former critical care nurse who worked with cardiac patients in a New York City hospital. Now DNP student and nurse activist with the Latino Health Initiative, she hopes to teach and work in a primary care environment after graduating in summer 2019.
Paniagua-Stolz’s scholarly project is focused on improving pathways to primary care within the Latino community, a vulnerable population that often doesn’t seek out care due to financial stress and immigration concerns, behaviors that can leave them vulnerable to the net effects of hypertension, obesity, and heart disease.
“While the primary care family environment is where I’m most needed,” says Paniagua-Stolz, “I also know the DNP will open up other pathways, too. I can also picture myself teaching, doing quality improvement projects, and community health work.
"I know DNP skills are essential to moving forward in nursing.”