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NUR Member Profile

Wanda M Gibson-Scipio

Wanda Gibson-Scipio, PhD, APRN, BC
Assistant Professor-Clinical
Wayne State University
College of Nursing

What is your current position?

Assistant Professor-Clinical
Wayne State University
College of Nursing

What are you passionate about in your work?

I am currently working with a community advisory group to inform my research on health care transitions from pediatric to adult health care for urban African American emerging adults (18-29 years) with asthma. My group of community advisors is awesome. My passion comes from their passion to make a difference for this population that experiences significant health care disparities. Sometimes as researchers we rely on our scientific reviews of the literature alone. I am finding that although science is essential towards informing research, alone it is not enough. Scientists such as myself that engage in research focused on health behavior should consider using an ecological framework when seeking to  fully understand the dilemma under investigation. An ecological framework provides a very holistic approach towards understanding the multiple layers of influence beyond the individual that can significantly influence health outcomes. 

Tell us about a memorable patient or student that you worked with?

My most memorable student was a young woman enrolled in the DNP program at Wayne State University. She always had the most positive attitude no matter what the challenge and a high level of self-motivation. Her professional objective was to influence behaviors of young women that are socially disadvantaged to prevent the spread of HIV. During her doctoral studies she was able to begin to meet her goal by implementing an evidence based model of empowerment in a community. She has become one of our role models for other students in the program.

Tell us about your latest or favorite research project?

My current research is focused on addressing a gap in care that occurs during the transition from pediatric to adult health care. Despite the fact that asthma is one of the most common chronic diseases that affects a person across the lifespan, the issue of transition in health care has not been addressed. I am working with an interdisciplinary team to influence transition readiness behaviors and skills of urban African American emerging adults (18-24 years)that have uncontrolled asthma.  We are analyzing the results of a preliminary descriptive study and a feasibility study of this population. We are currently developing a grant for an intervention study to address transition readiness. 

How do you spend your leisure time (yes, hopefully you have leisure time)?

Leisure time!!! When possible I like to travel to places that I have never been. I have been to many places in the US and have traveled a bit in Europe and Asia. My favorite place to travel is Hawaii. My family has plans to return to Hawaii over the Thanksgiving holiday and explore the island of Waikoloa

Do you have children? Tell us about them.

I have 4 children. I have a son (the oldest) and three daughters. They are all young adults and pursing their own professional careers. My youngest daughter is entering her junior year in college and tells us that she decided to attend college close to home for her undergraduate education to ease our transition into becoming empty nesters. Fortunately for me they all live relatively close by and so we get together often. As a mom I am proud of each of them for very different reasons. My life is enriched by the wonderful conversations we have now as they continue to discover their purpose in life and to define their world views.

Do you have pets? Tell us about them.

We have a mixed breed dog that we rescued 7 years ago as a puppy. She was not in good shape when we originally brought her home, but she improved quickly with a little love and medical care. She is a beautiful mix of dark brown and a caramel color so we call her Snickers. Everyone laughs at me because I tell them that she can talk; which she can (LOL). She is my constant companion especially on those long days when I am spending a lot of time at my desk. She will crawl under the desk and lay right in front of my feet. Periodically she will remind me to take a break by coming from under the desk and using her nose to nudge my hands away from the computer. Thank goodness she knows the importance of taking a break.

How has your view of nursing changed over the years?

Over the years my view of nursing has continued to evolve. I would say that my view has changed most in terms of what I believe to be true about the professional role of nurses. My initial education as a nurse started in a hospital based diploma program. As a result, my early years as a nurse were very task oriented, and I was not aware of the greater role of nurses beyond the bedside. As my career continued and I returned to school to further my education, I learned that the professional role of nurses extends well beyond the bedside. Nurses are not only responsible for the delivery of health care, we are also responsible for informing health care delivery from the bedside to the White House.

How long have you been a member in ATS?

About 10 years.

Do you have a mentor that has helped you?

I have had the good fortune of benefitting from many great mentors. In fact, one of my mentors, Audrey Gift, introduced me to ATS and the Nursing Assembly. It seems that as my needs have changed over the years so have my mentors. I tend to stay in touch with my mentors long after their role in my life has changed to good friend. I am thankful for mentors and hope that I have been a good mentor to others.

What is the value of your membership in ATS?

Each year I ask myself this very question prior to renewing my membership. I find the opportunity to network with some of the most highly regarded clinicians and researchers in pulmonary, critical care and sleep medicine to be extremely valuable. I also value the fact that you are in contact with a multidisciplinary group of professionals that represent diverse ethnic and cultural backgrounds worldwide.


Last Reviewed: June 2016