Dual DNP/PhD program student wins national scholarship

Youjia Wang, a third-year dual DNP/PhD program student, received the Virginia K. Saba Nursing Student Scholarship to attend the 2024 International Nursing Informatics Conference in Manchester, England, July 28-31, 2024. Only two scholarships are awarded yearly.

“I was so excited and shared this great news with my mentor, Pitt Nursing professor Dr. Young Ji Lee, and all my close friends and family,” Wang said. “This scholarship will help to defer my conference expenses, which take place in Manchester, UK. This scholarship reduces my financial burden and makes me more ready to attend my first international conference.”

Virginia K. Saba, Ed D, RN, FACMI, FAAN, was an ardent supporter of nursing and nursing education and helped many nurses navigate the male-dominated field of medical informatics while advancing and contributing to the field of nursing informatics. Funds have been collected since her death in 2021 to provide two scholarships to be awarded to nursing informatics students ($1580 each) to attend the 2024 International Nursing Informatics Conference.

“I started to build my interest in nursing informatics after becoming a mentee of Dr. Young Ji Lee, a renowned leader in nursing informatics,” she said. “Her expertise, great passion, and strategic guidance helped me to learn more about nursing informatics and develop my research interest in examining the quality information on social media platforms for gynecologic cancer patients and families.”

Wang said she’s also been fortunate to be involved in several informatics projects as a graduate student researcher at Pitt Nursing, including HELPeR with Dr. Lee, SmartCare with Dr. Heidi Donovan, and STRONGTOGETHER with Dr. Teresa Thomas. She said these experiences have honed her research skills and given her a deep understanding of the intersection between nursing informatics and oncology nursing.

“Being a Pitt Nurse means learning from my role models and trying to become a role model myself in the future of nursing,” she said. “I’m always so grateful to have had so many great mentors throughout my time at Pitt Nursing, from undergraduate to now. These mentors not only helped me to become a professional nurse but also shaped me to become a nursing researcher, educator, and clinician. I have always believed that I could not get this far without my mentors and with Pitt Nursing. I wish I could also become my students’ role model, sharing everything I’ve learned at Pitt Nursing, just like my mentors have been doing for so long.”

Congratulations, Youjia!