Georgia Baptist College of Nursing Ph.D. Student Selected for Research Award from Southern Nursing Research Society, National League for Nursing


ATLANTA – Sarah O. Watts, a Ph.D. student in Mercer University's Georgia Baptist College of Nursing, has been selected to receive the 2016 Southern Nursing Research Society (SNRS)/National League for Nursing (NLN) Doctoral Dissertation Award. This award is made annually to one doctoral nursing student in the country. 

Watts was selected based on her dissertation research proposal, titled “Learning Experiences of Senior-Level, Pre-licensure Nursing Students: An Interpretive Phenomenological Analysis.”

“Ms. Watts is most deserving of this competitive award,” said Dr. Linda A. Streit, dean of the Georgia Baptist College of Nursing. “I sincerely congratulate her for the research she is conducting to advance the science of nursing education.”

SNRS and NLN will present Watts with $5,000 to support completion of her dissertation work. Additionally, she will receive a one-year student membership to the NLN.

Watts will formally receive the award at the 2016 NLN Education Summit in Orlando, Florida, on Sept. 22.

SNRS and NLN have a strong and mutual interest in promoting nursing education research conducted by doctoral nursing students. Together, they strive to increase the quality and quantities of nursing education-focused research, as well as support the advancement of the science of nursing education.

About the Southern Nursing Research Society

Southern Nursing Research Society was founded in 1986 when 60 nurses met in Atlanta and debated the possibility of an organization for nursing researchers in the southern region. In 1987, SNRS was declared an independent organization. In 1992 and 1993, several organizational procedures were streamlined and formalized, Society archives were established and strategic planning was initiated. There are 14 states in the Society region: Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia and West Virginia. In 1991, the boundaries were expanded to include the Caribbean, Latin America and the Bahamas. For more information, visit

About the National League for Nursing

Dedicated to excellence in nursing, the National League for Nursing is the premier organization for nurse faculty and leaders in nursing education. The NLN offers professional development, networking opportunities, testing services, nursing research grants and public policy initiatives to its 40,000 individual and 1,200 institutional members. NLN members represent nursing education programs across the spectrum of higher education, and healthcare organizations and agencies. For more information, visit

About the Georgia Baptist College of Nursing

Founded in 1902 as a school of nursing, the Georgia Baptist College of Nursing is the oldest nursing program in Georgia. Over its 114-year history, the College has graduated more than 7,500 nurses. The College remains dedicated to educating the person, fostering the passion and shaping the future of nursing. The College merged with Mercer University in 2001 and offers a Bachelor of Science in Nursing, a Master of Science in Nursing, a Doctor of Nursing Practice and a Ph.D. in nursing. The College of Nursing is one of four academic units within the Mercer Health Sciences Center.

Kyle is senior director of media relations at Mercer. In addition to being the primary media contact for most academic and administrative units of the university, he serves as editor of the Mercerian alumni magazine and News@Mercer e-newsletters, and he coordinates hometown and university news releases.