Forging my Own Path in Research at NYU

Samantha Cueto, NUR ’24, Union City, NJ

Throughout this summer, I was graciously granted the opportunity to continue my work as a Clinical Research Assistant with Dr. Clark-Cutaia. I was more than happy to continue strengthening my connection with Dr. Clark-Cutaia, who is an Assistant Professor at the Rory Meyers College of Nursing at New York University. She also is an active Nurse Practitioner in Penn Medicine, within the General Medicine Unit. She has previously won several awards for her pioneering research towards improving patient outcomes in disadvantaged populations experiencing ESRD and hemodialysis renal replacement, by lessening such disparities and decreasing symptom burden through effective methods. NYU Langone is also a world-renowned hospital institution, alongside NYU Rory Meyers College of Nursing as a nationally recognized nursing school which deliver top-quality nursing education and care.

Last summer with Dr. Clark-Cutaia, I mainly focused on manuscript development, educational Powerpoint creations, and drafting up research articles. This summer, I dove deeper into what it means to be a nursing researcher, especially the grueling work that is necessary to succeed. Dr. Clark-Cutaia herself had recently been awarded the Betty Irene Moore Fellowship for Nurse Leaders and Innovators by the UC Davis nursing institution. Through the receipt of her fellowship, I was able to expose myself on how to go about applying for grants and maximizing your chances of receiving one. I knew how to analyze what a fellowship is asking for from its applicants and how to make yourself seem like the “best fit” for the award. I learned how an IRB template to send a research study proposal is structured, and how to describe one’s study to be approved.

She is also an amazing research mentor who really granted me much more freedom while still being under her guidance, which I immensely enjoyed as someone who wanted to further their nursing research career but didn’t know where to start. I was given the helm in developing an entire handbook of policies for an incoming nursing student cohort that would be working towards one of her studies in the fall. I conducted immense research on basic nursing ethical principles, confidentiality policies, and general knowledge regarding ESRD and renal replacement for students to become acquainted with in the handbook. Furthermore, I was given free reign to begin my own research study, entirely devised of my own idea that I had shared with her last summer. I connected with both NYU and Penn librarians to begin my scoping review on the intersection of suicidal ideation and spirituality in Hispanic elderly individuals. I learned how to correctly flesh out my methods section, where to conduct my research, as well as how to devise the background and reasoning for the review. The experience I gained this summer has been the most useful to date, and the most valuable for my future career as a nursing researcher. I am so grateful to Penn Career Services for allowing me to pursue this opportunity, and sincerely thank them.

This is part of a series of posts by recipients of the 2023 Career Services Summer Funding Grant. We’ve asked funding recipients to reflect on their summer experiences and talk about the industries in which they spent their summer. You can read the entire series here

By Career Services
Career Services