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PhD student Sunniva Zaratkiewicz selected as Health Sciences Scholar


Date: April 11, 2013
Media Contact: Ashley Wiggin,, 206-221-2456

Third year PhD student Sunniva Zaratkiewicz, BSN, RN, CWCN, has been named one of six Magnuson Health Sciences Scholars for 2013-2014. The Scholars were selected by their Deans on the basis of academic performance and potential contributions to research in the health sciences. Their achievements embody Senator Warren G. Magnuson’s healthcare legacy.

Following nine years of nursing experience at Harborview Medical Center that led to her current position as Wound Program Coordinator, Zaratkiewicz seeks to improve wound care and patient related outcomes through research, education, collaboration and direct patient care. Zaratkiewicz is interested in the significant association between diabetes and wound development and healing. The presence of diabetes increases the risk for development of diabetic ulcers, pressure ulcers and other wounds. Diabetes also increases the time to heal wounds and patients require additional treatment. Zaratkiewicz believes that her doctoral dissertation work will lead to greater understanding of pressure ulcer assessment, prevention and care. Her current study is focused on the healing trajectory of pressure ulcers and is based on three years of data from a level one trauma center. This may lead to increased understanding critical to appropriate prevention and care.

She anticipates her research will not only add to the body of knowledge on wound healing but also assist in developing and implementing evidence-based practice for prevention and treatment of chronic wounds. Zaratkiewicz’ overall goal is to reduce the incidence of chronic wounds and improve patient experiences and outcomes. Faculty commented in her Magnuson Scholar nomination, “She is a very thorough student and already a leader in her field. One of her most valuable assets is her ability to combine her invaluable experience as a nurse researcher and educator; she is currently completing a preliminary study on the natural history of pressure ulcers that are classified clinically using the standard national assessment system as ‘unstagable’. This study is breaking new ground by increasing understanding of this level of tissue injury.” She looks forward to contributing to the body of knowledge on wound healing and assisting in developing and implementing evidence based practice for prevention and treatment of chronic wounds with the overall goal of reducing wound related morbidity and improving patient experiences and outcomes."

Read more about all of the Health Sciences Scholars here.


The University of Washington School of Nursing is consistently a top-rated nursing school, according to U.S. News & World Report. Ranked No. 3 in research funding from the National Institutes of Health, the UW School of Nursing is a national and international leader in improving the health and well-being of individuals, families and communities. The school addresses society’s most pressing challenges in health care through innovative teaching, award winning research and community service. For more information, visit