University of South Carolina

Nursing doctoral students named Jonas scholars

By Laura McClure,, 803-777-3705

The paths that led Carly Eklund and Sheri Webster to the University of South Carolina’s doctoral programs in nursing have been distinctly different, but being named Jonas Nurse Leaders Scholars puts the two in a league of their own at USC.

Eklund, of Greensboro, N.C., and Webster, of Clemson, S.C., are the first students in the state and at USC to be inducted into the Jonas Scholars program, which supports educational development of new nursing faculty and stimulates models for joint faculty appointments between schools of nursing and clinical affiliates.

“We are excited and proud to have Sheri and Carly represent the USC College of Nursing in this prestigious leadership development program,” said College of Nursing Dean Peggy Hewlett.“We know the Jonas Nurse Leader Scholar Program will provide them with valuable resources to launch a successful career in academic nursing.”

Carly EklundAs the daughter of a family physician who also is a medical school professor, Eklund was raised with an understanding of both the value of primary care and the importance of lifelong education. With the goal of becoming a hospital administrator, Eklund enrolled in the USC’s Darla Moore School of Business.

After an internship at the Moses Cone Healthcare System in Greensboro, N.C., Eklund realized that her career goals had shifted from hospital administration to nursing. Eklund decided to complete her bachelor of science in business administration and then pursue a higher degree in nursing. She expects to graduate from the Doctor of Nursing Practice program in 2015.

 “I wanted to become a nurse who would have a personal investment in every patient and yet maintain the emotional stability needed to cope with life’s tragedies,” Eklund said.

Webster, with the skills and knowledge acquired through 32 years of experience as a nurse, decided to return to school to pursue her doctoral degree in nursing science so she could educate others.

Sheri Webster

 “My desire to be a role-model and a mentor to those entering the nursing profession greatly influenced my decision to begin a new career path in nursing education and to pursue my doctoral degree. The Jonas Nurse Leaders Scholars Program understands the challenges facing nursing education during this time of rapid change in healthcare. It is truly an honor to have this opportunity to join other colleagues on the leading edge of reform,” she said.

Webster, a native of Spartanburg, S.C., received her bachelor of science in nursing from Clemson University and her master of science in nursing from Georgia Baptist College of Nursing of Mercer University. Webster expects to graduate in 2014 with a doctoral degree in nursing science.

Webster has worked as a pediatric emergency care nurse at the Grady Health System in Atlanta. She also worked as a certified specialist in poison information and assistant director of the Georgia Poison Center.  Webster is a lecturer at Clemson University’s School of Nursing and serves as the lead teacher and clinical coordinator for the leadership, management and senior practicum course.

The Jonas Nurse Leaders Scholar Program, created in 2008, helps students address the needs of future patients. The program will more than double in size this year with the addition of 200 new scholars, spreading the program’s reach across all 50 states.

News and Internal Communications

Posted: 09/18/12 @ 12:00 AM | Updated: 09/24/12 @ 5:20 PM | Permalink