Four Outstanding Nurses Recognized in 2013 by March of Dimes for Dedication to Maternal and Infant Health

June 19, 2013

Four exceptional nurses have been awarded nursing scholarships by the March of Dimes for graduate and doctoral studies in the field of maternal-child nursing.

“These promising candidates are poised to make great strides in their fields, and the March of Dimes is proud to help them continue their education,” says Dr. Jennifer L. Howse, president of the March of Dimes. “We hope these scholarships will help them achieve their goals of improving the health of mothers and babies in their communities.”

  • Nicole Carlson, MS, CNM, of Decatur, Georgia, is pursuing a doctorate in nursing at the University of Colorado in Denver. Ms. Carlson is focusing on the increased health risks obese women face during pregnancy, such as difficult labor, premature births, and unplanned cesarean deliveries. She hopes to improve labor management techniques for this group of women. Her research seeks to reduce risk factors, and contribute to better care for both mother and baby.
  • Kathleen Danhausen, SNM, MPH, of Nashville, Tennessee, is seeking a master’s of science in nursing with a specialization in nurse midwifery and family health at the Vanderbilt University School of Nursing. Her goal is to address the roles social and environmental factors such as stress, poverty, and housing, play in pregnancy and parental care. Ms. Danhausen has volunteered extensively to provide low-income women with medical and prenatal care.
  • Samantha Port, MSN, MBA, RNC-OB, C-EFM, of Campbellsville, Kentucky, is pursuing a doctorate of nursing practice at Western Kentucky University. Her research focuses on the rates of cesarean deliveries in her home state of Kentucky, and how the rates both statewide and nationally have risen drastically. Ms. Port will examine possible nursing interventions to decrease these rates of cesarean deliveries in order to help more women have full term pregnancies and healthy babies.
  • Donna Schminkey, PhDc, MPH, RN, CNM, of Harrisonburg, Virginia, is seeking to obtain her doctorate in nursing from the University of Virginia. She is specializing in multidisciplinary research on how social, emotional, and psychological factors influence the biological processes of birth, including the social and psychological impacts of tobacco use during and after pregnancy, and its effect on babies. She has more than 26 years of experience in nursing and midwifery.

Qualified applicants for the March of Dimes graduate nursing scholarships are registered nurses currently enrolled in a graduate program in maternal-child nursing at the master’s or doctoral level. Applicants must be a member of the American College of Nurse-Midwives, the Association of Women's Health, Obstetric and Neonatal Nurses, or the National Association of Neonatal Nurses. Applications for the 2014 scholarships will be available this fall on the March of Dimes website at, or by calling the March of Dimes at (914) 997-4609. Applications are due January 15, 2014.