Southern Connections

Volume 23 Issue 2

 Spring 2009

Newsletter of the Southern Nursing Research Society




Communications Committee

Anne Stiles, Chair
Jo Azzarello
Carol Boswell
Judy Lewis
, Editor- SOJNR (ex-officio)
Amy Fagan Editor-Doctoral Student Web Pages
Leanne Lefler
Lenora Smith

Editor-Southern Connections
Alison Jones Montpetit
Assistant Editor
Southern Connections
Nan Smith-Blair


Join Our Mailing List

From the President 

"We are the change we seek." 

Elaine AmellaPresident Obama said, "Change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time. We are the ones we've been waiting for. We are the change that we seek." With such a vision for change our country is changing; our educational and healthcare systems will change; and change is even occurring in our national professional organizations. This is an exciting time of opportunity for SNRS members and it's a time of challenge. During our recent 2009 Conference in Baltimore, change was everywhere-from the 'twitter' posts coming from all the presentations, to the video streaming of members that are now posted on YouTube-go to and put "SNRS" in the search term and see who's talking now! Drs. Cynthia Russell and Ann Turner-Henson interviewed senior scientists, conference organizers, poster presenters, and even our 2009 Distinguished Researcher. Interdisciplinary science and leadership were themes throughout the meeting, anchored by Dr. Cathy Gillis's thoughtful keynote of the barriers and enablers to interdisciplinary science, to Drs. Janet Allan's and Mark Walker's reflection on paths to academic leadership, closed by Dr. Kevin Frick's session concerning the economic implications of research (see the Members Only site for his slides and commentary.) All the membership and the Board are extremely grateful to Drs. Russell and Kathryn Montgomery who spear-headed the planning, and the deans and planning committees from the five sponsoring Schools of Nursing: University of Maryland, Johns Hopkins University, Catholic University, Towson University and West Virginia University for a very successful annual meeting. We also acknowledge the special help of Delfie Castro, Ann Mehan, and all the Resource Center staff for a flawless meeting infrastructure.
What else is changing in SNRS? These are tough financial times for everyone including SNRS. The Board is looking long and hard at the 2009 budget, trying to assure the membership that this organization will continue to be financially strong and solvent for at least the next 25 years. As such, we will be conducting a full audit of our finances to determine exactly where we are and how we can achieve the change we seek by supporting research and scholarship across the Southern region. Empowered by the membership at the 2009 Conference town hall meeting, the Foundation Feasibility Task Force led by Dr. Mary Walker is exploring the development of a separate foundation that would direct our research enterprise. Making these changes will allow us to be more nimble and meet the membership's needs as we move forward with our strategic plan.
The Board is changing, too. At the Annual Business Meeting, we welcomed new board members, Vice-president Anne Turner-Henson, Treasurer Demetrius Porche, Membership-Deborah Jones, and Awards-Debra Moser and said a grateful good-bye to Drs. Cynthia Russell, Carolyn Lewis, and Martha Alligood. The Nominating Committee led by Dr. Patty Gray sponsored a wonderful pre-conference on succession planning and welcomed new members Drs. Randy Jones and Donna Neff, and thanked outgoing members Drs. Kay Avant and Doug Sutton. "We are the change we seek." Find a way to become involved in SNRS and make change happen!

Elaine J. Amella, PhD, GNP-BC, FAANP, FAAN President, SNRS



AACN Election 

Please join us in congratulating 3 of our former presidents-Donna Hathaway, Janet Allan, and Mary Walker, who were just re-elected to the AACN board! Mary said it best when she said, "It is a privilege to serve there as well as on the SNRS Board." CONGRATULATIONS TO ALL OF YOU!!



SOJNR Update 
New Journal Information


SOJNR Mini Header

We are pleased with the positive response to the new SOJNR. This response has come in terms of positive feedback from readers and Society members, increased submission rate for manuscripts, and increased interest by SNRS members in serving as peer reviewers. The first issue of 2009, which focused on qualitative research, had a record number of manuscripts published. There were more manuscripts published  in this one issue than in any two previous years combined.  Look for the 2009 Conference Abstracts to be published shortly. The other issues in 2009 will focus on Aging and on Ethics. Upcoming issues for 2010 are in the planning stage and include Community Health, Parent-Child, and Psychometrics. If you have an interest in submitting a paper for any of the topics listed above [except Aging] or if you have a paper that you'd like to submit for review, please contact me at:

Best wishes for a productive summer.

Judith A. Lewis, PhD, RN, WHNP-BC, FAAN
Professor  Emerita
School of Nursing
Virginia Commonwealth University

Southern Online Journal of Nursing Research




Foundation Feasibility Task Force 
Spring Newsletter Update


Committee Members are Mary Walker, Board Member at Large for Development, Loyola University Chicago, Chair; Janet Allan, University of Maryland; Jean McSweeney, University of Arkansas Medical Sciences; Debra Wallace, University of North Carolina, Greensboro; Martha Hill, The Johns Hopkins University. 
 At the direction of the membership at its Business meeting in Baltimore, MD, on February 13th, 2009, the Committee met regarding the formation of a 501(c)3 Foundation for the Society. There was general discussion concerning the direction of the Southern Nursing Research Society at this time and the strengths and limitations of retaining a singular 501(c)3 designation as a membership organization only. In general, the Task Force began its exploratory work with a discussion of seven key questions:

1.     What is the purpose and purview of such a Foundation?

2.     What is the linkage of a Foundation to the SNRS strategic plan/its Charter and Bylaws?

3.     What decisions of the membership (Bylaws, e.g.) support such an exploration?

4.     What is an appropriate scope for a regional research group?

5.     What is the feasibility of a Foundation proposal?

6.     What is the relationship of a Foundation 501(c)3 to the current 501(c)3?

7.     What are the anticipated foci, goals, outcomes and impact of such an undertaking for the Society?

Following expansive discussion regarding these key questions, the Task Force determined that:

  1. Funding the small grants and dissertation awards from operating dollars is no longer a viable mechanism for assuring long-term stability of these important SNRS programs.
  2. Articles of incorporation of SNRS, membership decisions, and Board strategic plan support the continued consideration regarding a Foundation.
  3. A separately incorporated, free-standing Foundation is appropriate for continued Board consideration at this time.
  4. Resources to support the ongoing operations of an independent Foundation would need to be determined once the scope of activities overseen by the Foundation is determined.
  5. Elements included in Function 1A of the current strategic plan could reasonably constitute the initial work of the Foundation.
  6. The Articles of Incorporation intentionally reflect additional strategic priorities of the Board that could reasonably be directed toward the Foundation once incorporated.
  7. Funding for the current Board priorities reflected in the strategic plan would require an endowment of approximately $1M in order that they are fully funded.

Dr. Allan and Dr. Walker will meet separately to discuss Collaborative Foundation issues including partnerships and collaborations, SNRS member involvement, and conflicts of interest presented by the present Foundation proposal.  Dr. Wallace and Dr. McSweeney will meet separately to discussion the actual 501(c)3 Foundation application, requirements for start-up and maintenance, Foundation Board membership (structure and processes for election), logistics and costs including operational expenses, and structure an evaluation plan. 
Mary K. Walker, PhD, RN, FAAN
Task Force Chair



Doctoral Discussions:

A Communications Forum for PhD Students


Doctoral students now have a virtual meeting room open 24/7! A student blog site has been created at The purpose of the blog is to stimulate conversations, offer support to fellow students, and provide a forum for sharing resources and research experiences among your peers.
Amy Fagan, the student representative of the Communications Committee, edits and manages the blog and is a doctoral student at the University of Mississippi Medical Center. "It has been fun to hear from other students all across the Southeast, and very helpful to me as they share their research interests and advice," she said.
The blog currently has several threads in progress-Introductions, Pearls for PhD Success, and a Suggestion Box for other topics. To read comments posted by other students, click on any of the headings on the page. To post a message yourself, click on "Comments" under any of the headings.  So get started and meet other SNRS doctoral students-join the blog!



RIGs Update 
New RIG Chairs and Chairs-elect Take Office


This is an exciting time as SNRS is moving forward to become an organization that is more heavily focused around the RIGs. We have a number of initiatives, including SOJNR RIG-sponsored issues, RIG-sponsored symposia and individual RIG awards. In the coming year, we will also be developing policies and procedures for the RIGs, so this is an exciting time for our leadership. I am pleased to introduce the following individuals who have recently become a part of our RIG leadership:

  • Minority Health Chair: Maren Coffman, PhD, RN, University of North Carolina-Charlotte
  • Minority Health Chair-elect: Angela Jukkala, PhD, RN from the University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Nursing
  • Health Promotion Chair-elect: Deborah Jones, PhD, RN from the Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing
  • Education Chair-elect: Karen Karlowicz, RN, MSN, EdD from Old Dominion University
  • Parent-Child Chair: Julie Meaux, PhD, RNC from the University of Central Arkansas
  • Research in Clinical Settings Chair: Cathy Campbell, PhD, APRN-BC from the University of Virginia
  • Psychometrics Chair: Ruth M. Tappen, EdD, RN, FAAN from Florida Atlantic University
  • Psychometrics Chair-elect: Eugenia Millender, Florida Atlantic University
  • Academic Nurse Managed Clinics Chair: Jennell Charles, PhD, RN, Clayton State University

Jennifer Wenzel, PhD, RN, CCM
Director of Research Interest Groups



RIGs Call for Volunteers 

Are you looking for an opportunity to provide service and leadership?
The Southern Nursing Research Society (SNRS) is seeking individuals to fill leadership positions in the Research Interest Groups (RIGs). The following RIG Chair and Chair-elect positions are currently available:
Academic Nurse Managed Clinics
Research in Clinical Settings
Don't miss this opportunity to be a part of our vibrant and growing nursing research society.
Please note, current roles and responsibilities of RIG Chairs and Chairs-elect are under development by the SNRS Board. Currently, Chairs will serve for a two-year term. At the end of the two-year term, the Chair-elect (formerly known as co-chair) will assume the Chair position, and a new Chair-elect will be selected.
This is an excellent opportunity and all interested SNRS members are encouraged to apply. The application process is easy; just send a brief biosketch and any inquiries to Dr. Jennifer Wenzel, Director of Research Interest Groups.
Deadline: May 29, 2009 



RIG Update: Health Promotion 

Welcome from Sheila P. Davis, PhD, RN, FAAN, Chair and Deborah Jones, PhD, Chair-elect of the Health Promotion Research Interest Group. The mission of the Health Promotion RIG is: To serve as a conduit for presentation of health promotion research conducted by nurse researchers in the southern region, nationally and beyond. We offer networking opportunities, peer support, and inspiration to others interested in this area of work and research. We encourage all members to participate. We welcome all interested parties in our area of work-researchers, clinicians, academicians, and students to our RIG. Be sure to sign-up by logging in to the Members-Only section of the SNRS web site and choose which
RIG(s) to join. There is no fee to participate and you can join up to three RIGs as part of your membership benefits. Just click on the topic and the Resource Center will do the rest!

We met at the 2009 Annual SNRS Conference in Baltimore and discussed the following:

  • Development of our Goals, Purposes, Etc.
  • Election of Chair-elect: Dr. Deborah Jones
  • Election of Sharon Lock as Communication Secretary
  • Election of Dr. Carol Staley-Collins and Dr. Eun-Shim Nahm as List Serve Managers

Our recent activities and/or current projects include a dedicated health promotion SOJNR issue in 2008 and a dedicated health promotion symposium at the 2009 conference. We were trail blazers in both these events! Thanks to all SNRS members who participated in these endeavors. Presently, we are investigating ways to make the web site and list serv more dynamic for our members.



RIG Update: Community Health 


Welcome from  Janice Collins-McNeil, Chair, and Laura Hein, Chair-elect of the  Community Public Health Research Interest Group. The mission of the Community Public Health Research Interest Group is: To support research that is relevant, preventive and informs nursing science, practice, education and policy.
We offer networking opportunities, peer support, and inspiration to others interested in this area of work and research. We encourage all members to participate. We welcome all interested parties in our area of work-researchers, clinicians, academicians, and students to our RIG. Be sure to sign-up by logging in to the Members-Only section of the SNRS website and choose which RIG(s) to join. There is no fee to participate and you can join up to three RIGs as part of your membership benefits. Just click on the topic link and the Resource Center will do the rest!
We met at the 2009 Annual SNRS Conference in Baltimore and discussed the following: 

  • Mission Statement: Working collaboratively RIG members developed and adopted the following mission statement: "The mission of the Community Public Health Research Interest Group is to support research that is relevant, preventive and informs nursing science, practice, education and policy."
  • Web Page: It was the consensus of RIG members that we adopt the following theme: "Mentoring and supporting community public health researchers." Research Mentors and their areas of interest are now posted on our web page.
  • Symposium 2010: RIG members decided the theme for the Community/Public Health RIG Symposium in 2010 is as follows: "Improving Health in our Current Economy"
  • SOJNR: Community Public Health special issue due 2010. We need manuscripts (4), Dr. Carolyn Blue and Dr. Louise Ivanov at the University of North Carolina Greensboro have agreed to be the guest co-editors for the special issue. A majority of RIG members have volunteered as abstract reviewers. The theme for the special issue is: "Meeting the National Public Health Objectives in all Populations."

We are excited about our upcoming Community/Public Health symposium to be held in Austin, Texas next year! Please feel free to contact Jan Collins-McNeil, PhD, APRN, BC or Laura Hein, PhD, RN, NP-C for more information.



RIG Update: Gerontology 


Hello and Greetings from our new RIG administration: Leanne Lefler, PhD, APN, RIG Chair, Saunjoo "Sunny" Yoon, PhD, RN, and Karen M. Rose, PhD, RN, RIG Co-Chairs-Elect.


LeflerLeanne is an Assistant Professor and John A. Hartford Claire M. Fagan Fellow from the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences. Leanne's research interest focuses on elders with cardiovascular disease.

Sunny is an Associate Professor and
Yoon 2001 John A. Hartford Summer Scholar from the University of Florida with research interests in complementary and alternative therapies (CAM) for older adults with chronic health problems. Her current study is focusing on CAM intervention to manage chronic pain and sleep disturbance in older adults.

RoseKaren is an Assistant Professor and John A. Hartford Claire M. Fagan Fellow from the University of Virginia, conducting research regarding sleep disturbances in persons with dementia and in their family caregivers.
It is our job to facilitate your SNRS experience by supplying a network of colleagues. To provide opportunities through SNRS-to share information, promote evidence-based practice and promote each other. We also identify nursing leaders in gerontology and are active in promoting health care policy for elder Americans and Nursing.

We wanted to give all our members an update from our annual meeting in Baltimore. We are proud to report that we continue to be the most supported RIG at SNRS! (We have bragging rights because we have the most annual meeting attendees!)

We re-announced the call for papers for a Gerontology special edition for the Southern Online Journal of Nursing Research that was sent out as an e-blast earlier. We selected a Guest Editor, Dr. Elaine Souder, PhD and Professor from the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences to assist Dr. Judith Lewis, the Editor for SOJNR in reviewing and selecting manuscripts for this edition. All members were encouraged to submit these manuscripts before March 1, 2009.

We agreed to promote several activities among members of the RIG for 2010. We would like to facilitate the Rising New Investigator Award again this year. The purpose of this award is to recognize the contribution of a rising investigator who has conducted gerontological nursing research, which has the potential to enhance the science and practice of gerontological nursing. Nominations for this award will be due in January 2010. We would like to add a Dissertation Award (this would be for those who graduated during the previous year) and a Mid-Career Award in the RIG for 2010. Stay tuned for the call for nominations and criteria for these awards.

We are not on the SNRS schedule for a symposium for 2010, but several RIG members wanted to organize a symposium for 2010 to showcase the work we are doing in the South. If you plan to have a paper presentation for the 24th Annual Conference in Austin next year, think about whether you are interested in participating in a symposium concerning Health Care Challenges of the Next Decade (SNRS conference theme), Maybe a title such as: "The Challenge of Caring for Aging Baby Boomers" would be easy to work with. We can get a committee together to edit/select the abstracts and write the organization framework for the symposium. Volunteers are welcome.

Our RIG is scheduled to have a symposium for the Conference in 2011 and for a Pre-Conference workshop in 2012. So, think about these upcoming events as well.

We will plan an annual meeting of our RIG members on February 2-6, 2010 at the Hilton, Austin. Look for e-blasts from the society for upcoming events, and be sure to register and log into our website. See you in cyberspace and in Austin! 



RIG Update: Parent-Child 

Julie MeauxDr. Julie Meaux is the new Chair of the Parent-Child RIG. Her research interest is in the development of self-management and coping strategies for children and adolescents with ADHD. Dr. Meaux is an Associate Professor of Nursing at the University of Central Arkansas in Conway, Arkansas. 


Robin Bartlett
Dr. Robin Bartlett is the Chair-elect of the Parent-Child RIG. Her research interest is in problem behaviors of children and adolescents. Dr Bartlett is an Associate Professor at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. 


Turner-Henson, Pados, AmellaAt this year's Annual meeting of the Southern Nursing Research Society in Baltimore, UNC-Chapel Hill second year doctoral student, Britt Pados, was awarded both the Parent/Child Research Interest Group Poster Award and first place in the Doctoral Student Poster Award. Her poster was entitled "Heart Rate Variability as an Indicator of Physiologic Stability During Gentle, Co-Regulated Feeding in the Preterm Infant." Britt is a second year pre-doctoral fellow in Interventions to Prevent or Manage Chronic Illness (T32 NR007091) at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Nursing. Her clinical background is as a Neonatal Nurse Practitioner and her area of research interest is feeding in infants with complex congenital heart disease. This was a preliminary study to Britt's dissertation to determine the usefulness of heart rate variability (HRV) as a measure of physiologic work during feeding. The study was a secondary analysis of Dr. Suzanne Thoyre's within-subjects cross-over design study of a gentle, co-regulated feeding approach to feeding (K01 NR07668).  



SNRS 2010 Research Conference 
2010 Conference Information

The 2010 SNRS Research Conference will be held in beautiful Austin, Texas where the winters are mild and usually sunny. The Austin Hilton is located within a few short blocks of the fabulous hike and bike trail that runs along Lady Bird Lake. Eclectic and artistic boutiques abound in the historical downtown location.Austin2 The 2010 conference theme is "Health Care Challenges of the Next Decade" with an opening keynote address delivered by Ada Sue Hinshaw, PhD, RN, FAAN. Please join us in Austin on February 3-6, 2010.



30th Video Completes How to Try This Assessment Series

The How to Try This assessment series, published in the American Journal of Nursing and a collaborative project of the Hartford Institute for Geriatric Nursing at NYU's College of Nursing and the American Journal of Nursing, is now complete. Started in October 2007, the Hartford Institute's How to Try This series now includes 30 topics available as cost-free, Web-based demonstration videos and companion articles designed to build knowledge and assessment skills among those caring for older adults. The videos are unique in that they feature students, practicing nurses, other health professionals, and patients. Some of these topics include: fall risk assessment, delirium screening, restraint prevention, and pressure ulcer prevention.

The How to Try This assessment series showcases best practices and interdisciplinary approaches and is recommended for associate, baccalaureate, and graduate nursing programs as well as for practicing nurses. CEs are available for both the articles and the videos. To view the videos, go to the Nursing Center's library page.


Southern Nursing Research Society

Phone: 303-327-7548

Toll Free: 877-314-7677