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Joshua Porat-Dahlerbruch, Nu’17, GNu’18

“While considering what to write for this post, I kept coming back to a central purpose. In sharing my passions and background, I hope to motivate students to begin pursuing their goals.

A single dogma has driven me to and within nursing: Nurses are the key to improving care quality and advancing health system efficiency. We account for the largest healthcare workforce and are particularly well-situated to care for individuals with complex needs across a wide variety of settings. However, I believe that the nursing workforce has yet to reach its full potential. Often, policy at both the organizational and government level is a large factor hindering nurses from expanding their ability to improve health care quality and access. To help solve this issue, I have dedicated my forthcoming career in nursing research to driving change that can help bolster the impact of nurses on health systems. Penn Nursing has helped foster and facilitate this passion.

I was an undergraduate student with ambitious goals. I had no idea how to even begin pursuing these interests until my senior year at Penn Nursing. As part of the undergraduate research residency, I was matched with Dr. Linda Aiken. Throughout the research residency, I was able to begin exploring my policy interests. After completing my BSN at Penn Nursing, I was offered the opportunity to continue onto a PhD at the Center for Health Outcomes and Policy Research. There, I had the opportunity to continue developing health systems knowledge, to gain exposure to health policy research, and begin conceptualizing methods in which nurses may advance health care around the world.

After graduating with my PhD this coming May, I am thrilled to say that I will be taking the next step in this journey. I have been awarded a Fulbright Scholarship at Ben-Gurion University in Israel to pursue my proposed project: “Nurse Practitioner Integration into the Israeli Healthcare System.” Israel implemented the nurse practitioner role just a few years ago. Now, health system-level challenges are hindering their full ability to help improve care. Through this research project, I will explore barriers, facilitators, and possible solutions to help ease the integration of nurse practitioners into the Israeli healthcare system. I would not have built the skill set to understand and conceptualize this project without my doctoral training and mentorship.

I cannot emphasize enough how important it is to take full advantage of one’s educational opportunities. Because I leveraged a chance to work with a senior faculty mentor with similar interests, the relationship evolved, and now I have the opportunity to pursue my goals. For students with strong passions, I urge them to do the same. Feel free to reach out to anyone in the Penn community, and I am almost certain that opportunities fitting your interests will present themselves.”

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