Dr. Erica Joseph is in her third year of Ph.D. studies in the College of Nursing and Allied Health at Southern University in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, where she is focusing on risk and protective factors in the prevention of suicide among minority veterans. She credits the American Nurses Association’s Minority Fellowship Program with providing her with the resources and support that she needed to pursue another advanced degree. She had completed her Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) degree at Southern University in 2015. Her scholarly project was titled “The Evaluation of a Computer-based Suicide Prevention Training Course in Veterans Affairs Primary Care Outpatient Clinics.”
“The Minority Fellowship Program has been a wonderful experience for me,” Dr. Joseph said. “I particularly appreciate the opportunity to network with other Fellows and MFP Alumni. The institutes are wonderful and bring together students with more experienced nurses who can help us understand how they were able to put together outstanding careers.” A Louisiana native, Dr. Joseph became a nurse practitioner because she recognized the need for high-quality healthcare in rural communities and underserved areas.
In 2015, Dr. Joseph received several awards for excellence in nursing. She was selected as one of 10 nurses to receive the Culture of Health: Breakthrough Leaders in Nursing Award, sponsored by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and AARP. The award honors nurses from across the country who are chosen for their leadership and innovation in contributing in extraordinary ways to the well-being of residents in their communities. The honor included a leadership development scholarship from the Center for Creative Leadership, fully funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. Dr. Joseph also received the 2015 Advance Practice Nurse of the Year Award from the Louisiana Nurses Foundation/Louisiana State Nurses Association and the Edith Lobue Memorial Scholarship, sponsored by the Baton Rouge Nurses Association.
Dr. Joseph enjoys her work as a practitioner and her research as a scholar, but she also looks for opportunities to influence policy. In an interview for the Campaign for Action newsletter, she stated, “I will continue my research on suicide prevention even as I see myself taking a more active role in the community, by being engaged in health policy, attending council meetings, visiting with legislators, and connecting with others in the nursing profession to help build a culture of health for all Americans.”
Dr. Joseph is a member of the American Psychiatric Nurses Association, for which she serves as treasurer of the Louisiana Chapter; the American Nurses Association; Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society of Nursing; the Louisiana State Nurses Association; the Baton Rouge District Nurses Association; and the National Black Nurses Association. She has worked for the Department of Veterans Affairs since 2009.