SON Assistant Professor Cheryl Giscombé, PhD, RN, FAEN, won a highly competitive grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) Nurse Faculty Scholars program.
Dr. Mary R. Lynn was awarded a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) Evaluating Innovations in Nursing Education (EIN) grant for her study, “Hiring Practices and Intentions of Directors of Nursing Programs.”
A recent article in The American Nurse, the official publication of the American Nurses Association, took an in-depth look at SON’s new Hillman Scholars Program in Nursing Innovation. The article includes interviews with Dean Kristen M. Swanson as well as Drs. Merle Mishel and Carol Durham, directors of the Hillman Scholars Program.
Hillman scholars enter a rigorous curriculum of inquiry and research that is designed to take students five yearsfrom undergraduate entry into the nursing program to completion of a PhD.
New research from the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill School of Nursing has shown that older African-Americans use religious songs in a personal way to cope with stressful life events. Songs long have been an important way for religious African-Americans to express their beliefs and faith, and the study provided evidence that religious songs are linked to the mental health of older African-Americans.
Jill Hamilton, Ph.D., R.N., an assistant professor at the School of Nursing, led the study, which appears online in The Gerontologist, a bimonthly journal that provides a multidisciplinary perspective on human aging through research and analysis in gerontology.
The research findings could help improve the cultural relevance of mental health programs and achieve better communication between older African-Americans and health-care providers. For example, a health-care provider could ask about a favorite song to help a patient feel more comfortable talking about mental health problems.
Although other studies have examined the collective mental health benefits of religious songs to a group, such as in a church service, this is one of the first studies to examine how African-Americans use religious songs and the personal meanings associated with them.
The study grew out of Hamilton’s desire to document religious songs that older African-Americans knew but that were no longer being taught to younger generations. “As I gathered song titles and lyrics, people would tell me about the personal meaning of the songs,” she said. “I realized that they were using religious songs to support their mental health in their day-to-day lives.”
The study included 65 African-American older adults living in the southeastern United States. They said that during times of stress, religious songs helped them feel comforted, strengthened, uplifted, able to endure and able to find peace. Of the five types of religious songs studied, Hamilton found that those evoking thanksgiving and praise were most often used to cope with stress. “They were praising God even during difficult times,” she said. “These songs were reminders that God had brought them through hard times before and would do it again.”
Many study participants told Hamilton they learned songs at a young age and that their older relatives taught them that a song could get them through a stressful situation. “I don’t know that this form of intergenerational support is still taking place today,” she said. “It would be interesting to see if younger African-Americans use the same religious coping mechanisms as older African-Americans, especially since other studies have shown that younger African-Americans are more at risk for depression than older African-Americans.”
The study’s authors include Margarete Sandelowski, Ph.D., and Mansi Agarwal, M.P.H., from the School of Nursing; Lt. Col. Angelo D. Moore, Ph.D., from Tripler Army Medical Center; and Harold G. Koenig, M.D., from the Center for Spirituality, Theology and Health at Duke University Medical Center.
Clinical Professor and Psychiatric Mental Health APA Coordinator Victoria Soltis-Jarrett presided over her first International Society for Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurses (ISPN) Annual Conference in March 2012.
Soltis-Jarrett, who began her tenure as President-Elect in 2010, was inducted as President at the ISPN Annual Conference in Tuscan, AZ, last April. This year, at the ISPN 14th Annual Conference held in Atlanta, March 27-31, 2012, Soltis-Jarrett welcomed more than 200 attendees, including keynote speaker and former first lady Rosalynn Carter.
Mrs. Carter delivered the keynote address, “The Carter Center Mental Health Care Initiatives – National and International.” The conference theme was “Innovation, Integration, and Transformation of Psychiatric Mental Health Nursing for the 21st Century.” Solits-Jarrett was joined by the ISPN’s new President-Elect, Evelyn Parrish, PhD, APRN, Professor and Coordinator at Eastern Kentucky University.
The School of Nursing’s own Eric Hodges shaved his head to help kids with cancer and to support childhood cancer research. Thanks in large part to SON’s faculty and staff he raised $3,500, well beyond his original $1,000 goal.
Dr. Hodges is an assistant professor at the School of Nursing and also a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Nurse Faculty Scholar. For the last two years he grew a mustache to support health and environmental education through donorschoose.org. This year, he wanted to do something a little different, so he shaved his head to support St. Baldrick’s Foundation.
Read more about his journey to baldness in blog post on the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation web site.
Dr. Hodges before and after
The National Organization of Nurse Practitioner Faculties (NONPF) announces that SON Associate Professor Debra J. Barksdale, PhD, FNP-BC, ANP-BC, CNE, FAANP has assumed the position of President of the organization. Dr. Barksdale’s term will continue until April 2014.
As the number of breast cancer survivors increases, now estimated at 2.8 million, more will be living with the chronic effects of cancer treatments or with advanced disease.
An international panel of experts, including a UNC School of Nursing faculty and UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center member, was convened by the American Cancer Society to review current practices and to make recommendations to improve surveillance and rehabilitation of breast cancer patients and survivors and published their results in the April 15, 2012 issue of the journal Cancer.
Deborah K. Mayer, PhD, RN, AOCN, FAAN, explains, “Our current model is to treat breast cancer and then monitor for possible disease recurrence and resolution of any side effects of treatment. As more women are surviving breast cancer, they are living with a range of physical issues that may affect them long after therapy. Our panel developed models for rehabilitation and surveillance to identify and address these physical issues as part of the continuum of care.”
Dr. Mayer co-authored two articles addressing cancer-related fatigue and chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy (nerve damage).
Read more in the UNC Health Care press release: International panel recommends new model for breast cancer care.
Nursing students Danielle Fried and Lisa Skiver presented Honors posters at the University’s Celebration of Undergraduate Research on April 16.
Fried studied how parents of pediatric oncology patients use web sites to record, express and share their experiences. “Most of the existing literature about the experiences of pediatric oncology patients and their families was conducted by in-person interviews and surveys, so I was able to look at their experiences from a different perspective,” she says.
Fried identified four overall themes in the parents’ writing: seeking knowledge, relationships with others, care received, and sharing emotions. She says that during the course of the Honors project, she learned more about the research process and how the results of research can influence practice.
After a first-hand experience with a family, Skiver identified the need for teaching tool for parents of children who will be discharged with subcutaneous injection medication. For her honors project she developed a tool that can be used by nurses to teach parents while in the hospital and by the family as a reference after discharge.
“I gained a much better understanding of nursing research and its wide applicability, especially in bedside nursing,” Skiver says. “I learned that you don’t need to have a PhD to do nursing research and that it’s important for us as nurses to seek ways to improve patient care using bedside research.”
Both students expressed gratitude for the support they received from their advisor, Clinical Assistant Professor Diane Yorke.
Danielle Cathryn Fried
The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), the health services research arm of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, is currently featuring research by SON faculty member Debbie Travers.
Her discoveries have set new standards for pediatric triage and form the basis of an updated handbook published by the AHRQ.
Read more about Dr. Travers’ work in the AHRQ’s online Newsletter, Research Activities: http://www.ahrq.gov/research/mar12/0312RA1.htm