Nursing Grad Student Recognized as a Women's Health Leader

National honor enhances Meghan Brauch's learning and networking as she pursues her passion through the School of Nursing and Health Studies
Nursing graduate student Meghan Brauch

While earning her nursing degree, Meghan Brauch realized her calling was women’s health. Now she pursues her passion as a graduate student in the UMKC Women’s Health Nurse Practitioner program in the School of Nursing and Health Studies. To top it off, her dedication was recognized this fall by the national Nurse Practitioners in Women’s Health organization, which chose her for its Nurse Leader program.

“I received my bachelor of science in nursing in 2016 at the University of Missouri-Columbia,” Brauch said. “When I attended Mizzou, I discovered the Women’s Center," which provided a welcoming gathering place and support for many activities around gender and social justice issues. "I was able to learn so much about myself and those around me. I also went on spring break trips with a focus on women’s health and projects at two other women’s centers. And I volunteered with Planned Parenthood throughout undergrad and loved it.”

When she graduated, Brauch went to work at St. Louis Children’s Hospital in its neonatal intensive care unit. “I met so many amazing families who told me their stories,” she said. “I am inspired by my patients and their families every day. Everything clicked, and I knew what I needed to do.”

She chose UMKC for her graduate studies, she said, because she wanted to stay in the University of Missouri system, “and UMKC has an amazing women’s health program. It’s highly ranked for its online graduate program, and I was inspired by the UMKC goal to build an inclusive, diverse and respectful learning environment while focusing on furthering the field of nursing through research and innovation.”

Having an online program allowed her to stay in St. Louis, where she lives with her husband and two dogs, and keep working at St. Louis Children’s. “I have been a nurse there for four and a half years and have loved every minute of it,” she said. “I am working part-time because of being so busy with grad school.”

“I have been able to network with some amazing women’s health nurse practitioners ... and students who share many of the same passions as I do. We had so much to talk about regarding school, women’s health and our future goals.’’ 

— Meghan Brauch

Brauch is on track to earn her advanced degree from UMKC in December 2021 and then, she hopes, work at an obstetrics and gynecology office in St. Louis.

“I want to use my education to provide high-quality, evidence-based health care,” she said. “I also have another goal of providing birth control and sexual health education to young women in the St. Louis area.”

Having good leadership in women’s health is also important to Brauch, which is why she applied for the Nurse Practitioners in Women’s Health program. As one of 14 student leaders chosen nationwide, she said, she attended the organization’s national conference, held virtually this year.

“I have been able to network with some amazing women’s health nurse practitioners,” she said, and other students “who share many of the same passions as I do. We had so much to talk about regarding school, women’s health and our future goals. We even set up a GroupMe so that we can contact each other easily.”

Does Brauch have any advice for others particularly interested in women’s health?

“I highly recommend any students in the Women’s Health program at UMKC to apply to be a Student Leader next year. The national association provides a wonderful networking and learning opportunity, and it is constantly working to improve women’s health everywhere.”



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Published: Dec 10, 2020

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