Saluting Student Excellence This National Nurses Month

SONHS PhD candidate Khulud Almutairi, MSN ’19, FNP, RN, is inducted into Yale’s Bouchet Graduate Honor Society.
Saluting Student Excellence This National Nurses Month

Incoming SONHS Dean Dr. Hudson Santos, far right, accompanied UM graduate students, including Khulud Almutairi, third from right, to the 2024 Bouchet Graduate Honor Society induction ceremony at Yale. Photo courtesy of Khulud Almutairi

The prestigious Edward Alexander Bouchet Graduate Honor Society at Yale University recognizes individuals who embody the attributes of scholarship, leadership, character, service, and advocacy. Khulud Almutairi, a third-year PhD in Nursing Science candidate at the University of Miami School of Nursing and Health Studies, is just such an individual.

She was inducted in April during the Annual Yale University Bouchet Conference on Diversity and Graduate Education. The conference’s theme, “Rediscovering the Legacy of Edward A. Bouchet: A Catalyst for Historical Reckoning,” highlighted the impact of the society’s namesake as the first African American to earn a doctorate degree from an American university.  

Almutairi said being inducted in the 2024 class “has been a significant part of my academic journey, affirming my dedication to my research and the broader community.” She went on to thank the University of Miami Graduate School and School of Nursing and Health Studies (SONHS), as well as SONHS mentors Dr. Karina Gattamorta and Dr. Hudson Santos, “for their unwavering support and guidance.”

During the conference, she had the opportunity to present her poster titled, "Intersectionality and Perceived Discrimination Among Muslims in the United States: Exploring the Interplay of Race, Occupation, Political Identity, and Gender,” in the “Race Relations, Social Movements” presentation category.

Her willingness to address these complex issues in her scholarship undoubtedly prompted Almutairi’s nomination and selection to the prestigious honor society. She was the only nurse among ten UM students inducted this year, and one of just four nursing students in the entire 2024 class of over 125 inductees nationwide.

“My doctoral research focuses on the nuances of religiosity as a moderator in the relationship between religious discrimination and quality of life among Muslim nurses in the USA,” she said. “This topic is not only relevant, but crucial for creating more inclusive health care environments that recognize and mitigate the impacts of discrimination.”

Almutairi earned her bachelor’s degree in nursing and a master’s degree in physiology at King Saud University in her native Saudi Arabia. In 2019 she completed her MSN degree at SONHS and became a family nurse practitioner. Two years later, she was accepted into the SONHS PhD program in nursing science. She is scheduled to defend her dissertation in June.

She cites the diverse atmosphere, supportive academic environment, and “opportunity to delve deeply into research areas that are close to my heart, such as religious discrimination's impact on quality of life,” as a few of the reasons she elected to complete two advanced degrees at SONHS.

“I’ve navigated the challenges of being an international student with a commitment to excellence and a passion for nursing,” she added. “My nursing journey began out of a deep-seated desire to make a meaningful impact in health care, particularly in understanding and advocating for underrepresented groups like Muslim nurses in the U.S. This passion stems not only from my personal identity as a Muslim Arab woman, but also from a professional commitment to advancing health care equity.”

In addition to her Bouchet Graduate Honor Society induction, she presented two posters at the American Public Health Association Annual Meeting and Expo in November 2023. These were “Investigating the relationship between religiosity and advising on prophetic medicine among Muslim health care providers,” a study investigating the correlation between the religiosity of Muslim health care providers and how often they advise on the use of a type of Complementary Alternative Medicine called Prophetic medicine to their Muslim patients, and “Assessing Arabs’ knowledge of medicinal cannabis: A pilot content analysis study.”

More recently Almutairi received a PhD Student Scholarly Project Grant from the SONHS chapter of Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society of Nursing, Beta Tau, presented to her by her former PhD classmate, SONHS double alumnus Roberto Roman, MSN ’14, PhD ’23, who not only chairs Beta Tau’s research committee, but also was a 2023 Bouchet Graduate Honor Society inductee.

With her program completion fast approaching, Almutairi looks forward to a future of continuing advocacy. She said she wants to support the needs of underrepresented communities in health care, “aiming to blend research, teaching, and policy advocacy to foster environments that value diversity and inclusivity.”

These values align closely with her pride in being a ’Cane Nurse two times over. “Being a ‘Cane Nurse is a badge of honor that represents resilience, excellence, and the relentless pursuit of knowledge,” said Almutairi. “It is a commitment to not only personal growth but also to empowering others and making a tangible difference in the world.”