2022 Tillman Scholar

Mykel Jess

Duke University
Doctor of Nursing

“Safety and security are of the utmost importance to me; that’s why my top priority as a nurse is listening and advocating for patients’ needs and care.”

Mykel enlisted in the U.S. Navy at age 17 and found the most fulfilling part of her military service was helping others by participating in the ship’s emergency response team and mentoring other sailors. She made the decision to obtain her bachelor’s degree in Biology from Pacific Lutheran University where she also found herself in service to others as a residential assistant, teaching assistant and lab assistant. She believed her education, interest, and dedication to others would suit well as a nurse; Mykel then went on to obtain her master’s in nursing from Yale University.

Her nursing passion has lead career into both palliative care and critical care cardiology. In an attempt to meld the two passions she is now seeking her Doctorate of Nursing Practice at Duke University. She plans to conduct a research project aimed to improve patients’ (and their families) quality of life and experiences through the progression of advanced heart failure symptoms. With her doctoral degree, she will also begin her teaching/mentorship career for new and advancing nurses in an attempt to promote a more holistic treatment plan for their future patients.

Outside of her nursing career and education plans, she also works within her community in two ways: She works with local veterans to ensure they are utilizing their benefits and mentoring school age children with their STEM projects.