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Shaping the Direction of Resources for US Graduate Nursing Students

PhD Student Akeeka Davis, USN, NC Appointed to National AACN Graduate Nursing Student Academy Leadership Council

Lt. Akeeka Davis, USN, NC

Lt. Akeeka Davis, USN, NC, MSN, MBA, BSHCS, AMB-BC, CLSSGB was appointed, following a competitive process, to the American Association of Colleges of Nursing’s (AACN) national Leadership Council of its Graduate Nursing Student Academy (GNSA). She will serve a two-year term. In addition to being a PhD student at the Fitzpatrick College of Nursing, she is, as of September 1, the Executive Officer-Military Aide to the Defense Health Agency Chief Informatics Officer and Deputy Director for Information Operations J-6 Division at the Defense Health Agency Headquarters (DHHQ) in Falls Church, Va.

The 10 graduate nursing student members of the GSNA Leadership Council help shape the formation of GNSA and provide direction on what programs, services, and resources should be developed to meet the needs of nursing students in master’s and doctoral degree programs in the United States.

Lt. Davis brings 28 years of military service to the role, having joined the Navy at age 17 as a sailor and later transitioning to an officer. Her doctoral studies brought Lt. Davis back to Villanova’s campus. In 2012, she was sworn in as a Navy Nurse Corps officer at Corr Chapel and notes she performed all of her military duties at Villanova University with the NROTC Unit based in John Barry Hall.

Leadership and service are embedded in her career. Her recent GNSA appointment is not her first connection to the group. She served as a GNSA Graduate Liaison for Simmons University when she was pursing her MSN.

" I absolutely love to lead, influence, and inspire and most of all I love giving back to the profession that I am completely dedicated to serving.” - Lt. Akeeka Davis, USN, NC

Via her efforts with the council, Lt. Davis hopes to fight for advocacy and policy efforts that affect nursing students at the graduate level and promote advanced education of the nursing workforce, thus aligning with the recent National Academy of Medicine Future of Nursing 2020-2030 Report. Further, she says she desires to work with industry leaders to achieve “appropriate nurse to patient ratios in the United States and look for ways to increase our nursing workforce by focusing on the social determinants of health, thereby closing the gap on inequality and inclusivity that can be detrimental to the psychological safety of our nursing workforce.” She envisions working collectively both with her fellow council members and with physicians and other allied health professionals to increase partnerships within the United States and globally. Lt. Davis sees a future of nurses prepared with graduate education to fill a gap in policy and government reform and tackling numerous high-level issues within and outside the profession.

In parallel, Lt. Davis will be moving closer to her desire to become a nurse scientist. She has a very specific goal: “I want to take all that I have learned to improve health outcomes for patients in underserved areas that do not have appropriate access to care and who struggle with inequities within the health care system.”

One of the reasons Lt. Davis chose FCN’s PhD program is its teacher-scholar model. She explains that “preparing nurse researchers to be scholars in the classroom is something that is desperately needed in our field. We need more educators to produce more nurses. I absolutely love to lead, influence, and inspire and most of all I love giving back to the profession that I am completely dedicated to serving.”