2016-2019 Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Future of Nursing Scholars Selected

The MU Sinclair School of Nursing is pleased to announce Karen Cochran Clark, MSN, RN, of Baton Rouge, LA, and Meridith Noland Rice, MSN, RN, CNL, TNCC, of Tuscaloosa, AL, have been selected as Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Future of Nursing Scholars recipients for the 2016-2019 cohort (Cohort 3).

As a PhD student, Ms. Clark is studying caregiver stress of grandparents raising their grandchildren. Karen is co-mentored by Lorraine Phillips, PhD, RN, FAAN, Associate Professor of Nursing, and Urmeka Jefferson, PhD, RN, Assistant Professor of Nursing. 

As a PhD student, Ms. Rice is studying ways to address hypertension and other risk factors for hemorrhagic stroke among racial and ethnic minorities in rural community. Meridith is mentored by Todd Ruppar, PhD, APRN, GCNS-BC, Associate Professor of Nursing.

MU Sinclair School of Nursing is one of only 32 schools of nursing nationwide to receive a grant to increase the number of nurses holding PhDs. The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s Future of Nursing Scholars program will provide financial support, mentoring and leadership development to nurses who commit to earn their PhDs in three years.

In its landmark nursing report, the Institute of Medicine recommended the country double the number of nurses with doctorates; doing so will prepare and enable nurses to lead change to advance health, promote nurse-led science and discovery and put more educators in place to prepare the next generation of nurses. The Future of Nursing Scholars program is intended to help address that recommendation.

“Since the release of the IOM report, enrollment in doctorate of nursing practice programs has increased in an incredible 160% from 2010 to 2014. However, the increase of PhD enrollment has only been 14.6%. At RWJF, we are striving to grow the number of nurses with PhDs who will be prepared to assume leadership positions across all levels,” said Susan Hassmiller, PhD, RN, FAAN, co-director of the program and RWJF’s senior adviser for nursing.

The number of nurses enrolled in PhD programs is not the only issue addressed by this program. The average age at which nurses get their PhDs in the United States is 46 — 13 years older than PhD earners in other fields. This program will proved an incentive for nurses to start PhD programs earlier, so that they can have long leadership careers after earning their PhDs.

“The Future of Nursing Scholars represent a group of students who are already making considerable contributions to the field,” said Julie Fairman, PhD, RN, FAAN, Future of Nursing Scholars program co-director. “These nurses are publishing their research and meeting with national leaders, while working at an advanced pace so that they can complete their PhD education in only three years.” Fairman is also the Nightingale professor of nursing and the chair of the Department of Biobehavioral Health Sciences at the University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing.

Nursing PhD Graduate Receives Research Poster Award

Vanessa Lyons, a December 2015 PhD graduate, presented her dissertation research poster entitled “Checking Out Checklists: A Mixed Methods Study Comparing the Use of Surgical Safely Checklists in Rural and Urban Operating Rooms” at the Association of peri-Operative Registered Nurses (AORN) Surgical Conference and Expo in Anaheim, CA.

Her poster received the Attendee Choice Award for Research.

Congratulations to Vanessa on her award!

Elizabeth Monsees named Jonas Nurse Leaders Scholar

The MU Sinclair School of Nursing is pleased to announce that Elizabeth Monsees, MSN, MBA, RN, CIC has been selected as a Jonas Nurse Leaders Scholar recipient for the 2016-2018 cohort of Jonas Scholars.

As a PhD student, she is studying strategies to understand and enhance registered nurse involvement in antibiotic stewardship. Additionally, Ms. Monsees recently has been selected to be part of a national workgroup comprised of Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the American Nurses Association (ANA) to discuss nursing practice in antibiotic stewardship — clear evidence of her leadership in this area.

Elizabeth is mentored by Lori Popejoy, PhD, APRN, GCNS-BC, FAAN, Associate Professor of Nursing.

The goal of the Jonas Nurse Leaders Program is to increase the number of doctorally-prepared faculty available to teach in nursing schools nationwide, as well as the number of advanced practice nurses providing direct patient care. Supported by the Jonas Center for Nursing and Veterans Healthcare (Jonas Center), both programs provide financial assistance, leadership development and networking support to expand the pipeline of future nurse faculty and advanced practice nurses. As part of their scholarship experience, all Jonas Scholars attend the Jonas Nurse Scholar Conference, a three-day event in Washington, DC, designed to convene the current Jonas Scholars for networking, mentoring and educational opportunities with prominent nurse educators, executives and policy experts in the field.

Graduate Receives MU Dissertation Discipline Award in Biological and Life Sciences

Jennifer Hulett, PhD, APRN, FNP-BC, a 2015 graduate of the Sinclair School of Nursing’s PhD program, was honored at the the Graduate Awards Banquet Wednesday, April 27, 2016. Dr. Hulett received the MU Dissertation Discipline Award in Biological and Life Sciences for her dissertation research entitled “Impact of Religious and Spiritual Beliefs on Neuroendocrine Function and Health Outcomes in Breast Cancer Survivors.”

Her dissertation research involved exploration of relationships between and among spirituality, stress and neuroimmune biomarkers in breast cancer survivorship outcomes, an increasingly ‘hot topic’ in the field of psychoneuroimmunology (PNI). Dr. Hulett’s focus on neuroimmune biomarkers, breast cancer survivorship outcomes and PNI-based symptom intervention design comprises one of the priority program initiatives currently funded by the National Institute of Health (NIH) and the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health. 

During her innovative and rigorous dissertation research, Dr. Hulett reached out to MU collaborators for her research program, including CAFNR Fisheries and Wildlife, Health Psychology, Medical Pharmacology and Physiology, Human Development and Family Science, and Nursing.

The completion of this novel psychoneuroimmunological research has provided Dr. Hulett the opportunity to significantly extend her dissertation accomplishments through an appointment for a highly competitive post-doctoral fellowship at University of Utah in the NIH-funded (T32 mechanism) Interdisciplinary Training Center on Cancer, Aging and End-of-Life Care for 2015-2017.