University of Rhode Island announces first Barcott-Kim nursing fellow

THE COLLEGE OF NURSING at the University of Rhode Island has announced Kristin Robin as the inaugural member of its Dr. Donna Schwartz-Barcott and Dr. Hesook Suzie Kim Nursing Fellowship. / COURTESY UNIVERSITY OF RHODE ISLAND

SOUTH KINGSTOWN – The University of Rhode Island College of Nursing’s new nursing fellowship has secured its first graduate student, who will start the college’s doctorate in nursing program in January.

Kristine Robin, a women’s health nurse practitioner, will be the inaugural member of the Dr. Donna Schwartz-Barcott and Dr. Hesook Suzie Kim Nursing Fellowship. Robin says she plans to continue specializing in women’s health, with the goal of expanding her research portfolio and eventually teaching at the collegiate level.

“I’ve been practicing as a nurse practitioner since 2011, and I always thought about going back and teaching and doing research,” Robin said. “I’m from Rhode Island, I grew up in Rhode Island, and URI is such a wonderful program doing some really great research. As I was looking at what programs I should apply to, URI was very highly recommended. It’s a very well-thought-of program, and this gives me a chance to work with people I really respect.”

Robin is currently a nurse practitioner at the Family Health Center of Worcester in Massachusetts, where she cares for a diverse population with gynecological and obstetrical health concerns, including contraception and sexually transmitted infection screening and treatment, among others. She has previously focused on women’s health as a nurse practitioner at JBSA-Randolph Clinic on the Randolph Air Force Base in Texas, at Planned Parenthood of Southern New England and at Thameside ObGyn Centre in Groton, Conn.

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Robin also earned her Master of Science in nursing degree from Boston College and her bachelor’s degree in biology from Colby College.

She says she plans to continue focusing on women’s health and her research specifically on contraceptive health.

“I’m very interested in contraceptive access, contraceptive counseling, and that is what I’d like to research,” Robin said. “I think we’ve seen so much policy throughout the U.S. about reproductive health and I would like to see what are the outcomes of these policies through the lens of patient decision-making and provider contraceptive counseling. Are we seeing geographic trends? What can we do to empower our patients and our providers in this kind of climate right now?”

Another goal of Robin’s is to help educate the next generation of health care leaders, which she shares with the Barcott-Kim fellowship. The endowment has earned more than $1.7 million in contributions and aims to address a nationwide shortage of nursing faculty members that has caused schools to turn away thousands of qualified applicants from baccalaureate and graduate nursing programs, according to the American Association of Colleges of Nursing.

“We are so grateful for the generosity of donors who have made the Barcott-Kim fellowship possible,” said University of Rhode Island Provost Barbara Wolfe. “This fellowship recognizes the legacies of Dr. Barcott and Dr. Kim and provides an enormous opportunity to recruit exceptional and talented graduate students like Kristine to study at the state’s flagship university.”

The fellowship is named after two former URI College of Nursing professors and plans to build the faculty pipeline by selecting and supporting registered nurses whose research interest comes from their area of practice, according to a news release. Those on the doctorate track are preferred, but Doctor of Nursing Practice candidates will also be considered.

“The fellowship is important in so many ways. It will increase access to full-time study and address the nursing faculty shortage,” Schwartz-Barcott said. “These nursing scholars will be able to take insights from practice, generate and synthesize new knowledge, and bring this back to the classroom and practice.”

Professor Emerita Kim was a URI College of Nursing professor from 1973 until she retired in 2004 and served as dean of the college from 1983 to 1988. Kim was also a professor at the University of Oslo in Norway from 1992 to 2003 and has been an international researcher and leader in nursing theory development, with an emphasis on the nature of nursing practice, according to the release.

Schwartz-Barcott has more than 20 years of experience in guiding graduate students and mentoring faculty. She has also collaborated internationally with researchers in Finland, Sweden, Norway and Korea. Her research is focused on community health, inductive approaches to theory development, sociocultural influences on health and wellness, as well as phenomena felt by patients such as pain and anxiety.

Katie Castellani is a PBN staff writer. You may contact her at

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