Kristen Choi

Dr. Kristen Choi, a psychiatric nurse and assistant professor at the UCLA School of Nursing has become the only nurse to be named to the prestigious “30 Under 30” list for healthcare in the US this year. Kristen’s work in mental health policy for vulnerable and adolescent populations has been published in more than 30 articles. Most recently, Choi was featured by CalMatters and STAT in commentaries on COVID-19 vaccine side effects and the contributions of nurses and nurse scientists in the COVID-19 pandemic.

“I am very honored by this recognition, and I hope it brings attention to the contributions nurses are making in healthcare,” Choi said. “Nurses are the largest healthcare profession in the U.S. and the world, but they are often under-recognized as healthcare change agents. I am proud to be one of many thousands of young nurses who are working to improve healthcare every day, especially in the current pandemic conditions.”

The 2021 30 Under 30 list features 600 honorees in 20 different categories. The healthcare category includes non-profit leaders, researchers, physicians, CEOs, and app developers.

“We are so pleased to celebrate Dr. Choi and this important honor,” said Linda Sarna, Dean of the UCLA School of Nursing, who nominated Choi. “Kristen’s contributions to the School of Nursing, and to the nursing profession will make a significant and positive impact on the health and wellness of vulnerable populations. She is truly a leader in this field – and we are proud that she is a Bruin.”

Choi, who holds a joint appointment at the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health and the UCLA School of Nursing, is a a Fielding School alumnus (MS, Health Policy and Management, ‘18) and a mental health services researcher. A graduate of the University of Michigan (PhD, ‘17), she also serves as associate director of nursing for the UCLA National Clinician Scholars Program. As both a clinician and a scientist, Choi maintains a clinical practice as a registered nurse (RN) at psychiatric hospital in Los Angeles, and has taught at UCLA since 2019.