Volume 27 Issue No. 3

Winter 2013



In This Issue

Editor's Note

President's Pen

Senior Researcher Spotlight

Doctoral Student Corner


Communications Committee

Donna Scott Tilley, Chair


Southern Connections Subcommittee

Denise Linton, Editor 



Editor's Note - Denise Linton, DNS, FNP-BC

Denise Linton, DNS, FNP-BC

I have been thinking about the mission of our Society and it is my hope that your New Year's resolution includes a recommitment or continued commitment to our Society. I would like to say a special thank you to our website committee for their excellent and painstaking service. The committee consists of Michael Young (Chair), Ronda Mintz-Binder, Rasheeta Chandler, Catherine Sykes, and Pamela F. Ashcraft. The committee does not consist of the individuals who were mentioned in our Summer Issue.


Part of my continued commitment to our Society is to attend our 28th Annual Conference where I intend to be inspired and reenergized by the program. My involvement with SNRS has facilitated the development and implementation of my program of research in the area of cervical cancer prevention. During my dissertation as a Doctor of Nursing Science (DNS) student I developed the Pap Smear Intention Questionnaire (PSIQ) to measure intention to obtain a Pap smear among women in two rural Southeast Louisiana Parishes. It was at our annual conference last year that I discovered how to continue to build upon my initial research. My epiphany came as I listened attentively when I attended various podium and poster presentations and networked with presenters and conference attendees. My 2013 Summer Research Award involved the development of my proposal to validate my instrument. I conducted my pilot during the Fall 2013 semester; I am still amazed at how quickly I collected data for the pilot!


In keeping with the mission of our Society, one of my goals is to emphasize "career development of nurses and nursing students as researchers." It could be because one of my personal goals for this year is to become more involved

 in the future of nursing and nurses. I wonder if this is related to my age. I will be 50 years of age this year and I have been in nursing for more than 26 years. Let us see our Society as a place where our nurses and nursing students can be mentored. To that end, I would love to use this media to share your (membership) stories, research, journey in our great profession, successes, setbacks, and triumphs! Please email me at dli1609796@aol.com. I look forward to hearing from you. Let this be a special year for us as a Society.


President's Pen - Patricia B Crane, PhD, RN, FAHA   

Patricia B Crane, PhD, RN, FAHA

As I write this message, the end of 2013 is drawing near. This special season of the year is a time for thankfulness and reflection. I am thankful for all the members of SNRS who value our mission - advancing nursing research. Your commitment to this important endeavor through your membership, applying for grants and awards, serving on task forces, Research Interest Groups, a state liaison, board member, committee chair, donor, etc. (the list is long), is what sustains this organization. With reflection, I pause to evaluate the past year. This is sometimes hard for many of us because we fail to take time to see how we have grown or contributed and instead, we focus on what we did not get done or completed in the way we dreamed. While reflection is good, we become so busy 'filing' the thorns in our lives that we fail to see the beauty of the rose. Please take the time during this season of life and notice the beauty of your scholarship, lives, and our profession.   We are the essence of SNRS and thus, should see the good in the membership.  


This time of the year is also an opportunity for new beginnings. The New Year always brings excitement and hope! In 2014 we will transition our board under the leadership of your new President, Dr. Cindy Munro. I am excited to see how this board will continue to advance nursing science in our region to affect the health and lives of others. As I conclude my last message as President, my final thoughts focus on the hope for this New Year for SNRS. As a board we have talked about the membership's return on investment. My hope is that each of you invests not only your membership dues, but your time and talents into SNRS. The returns on your investment will multiply as you watch our science grow! Thank you for the privilege of serving SNRS.




 Senior Nurse Researcher Spotlight - Dr. Kathy Richards PhD, RN, FAAN 

Kathy Richards, PhD, RN, FAAN, FGSA

Dr. Richards is a nationally renowned sleep and geriatrics researcher. Since 2011, she has been the Assistant Dean, Doctoral Programs and Research Development, and University Professor, in the School of Nursing, George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia. Prior to her current position at George Mason University, she held the position of Ralston House Endowed Professor, and Director of the Center for Integrative Science in Aging and the Hartford Center of Geriatric Nursing at the University of Pennsylvania. Prior to her work at University of Pennsylvania, she was at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences for 12 years. While in Arkansas she was Alice Sun Professor of Nursing, Director of the NIH funded Tailored Biobehavioral Interventions Research Center, and Co-Director of the Arkansas John A. Hartford Center of Geriatric Nursing Excellence. She also held a joint appointment at the Central Arkansas Veterans Healthcare System where she was Associate Chief Nurse, Research and the Associate Director of the Geriatric Research, Education, and Clinical Center.


Dr. Richards received a BSN from University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences in 1976, MSN from University of Arizona in 1985, and PhD from the University of Texas at Austin in 1993. Her doctoral research, under the mentorship of Drs. Alice Redland and Angela Clark, was a randomized clinical trial on the effects of massage and a taped relaxation intervention on sleep in critically ill older adults.


Dr. Richards' experience in translational sleep and aging research spans over 20 years. The focus of her research has been on improving sleep and delaying cognitive decline in older adults. She conducted randomized controlled clinical trials of interventions, such as massage, exercise and individualized social activity programs, resulting in large, clinically significant improvements in sleep and other debilitating symptoms in institutionalized and hospitalized older adults. She developed and validated measures, including a measure of sleep quality for use in critically ill older adults. Dr. Richards conducted studies that have illuminated relationships between sleep disorders, such as restless legs syndrome, and behavioral symptoms, such as wandering, in community-dwelling older adults with cognitive impairment. Her program of research has advanced the science regarding design of clinical trials to test the efficacy of tailored, patient-centered interventions. The results of her research are disseminated in over 100 publications.


At George Mason, she is the Principal Investigator on the "Mild Cognitive Impairment and Obstructive Sleep Apnea" study funded by the National Institute on Aging.

She has received over $12 million in funding as principal investigator and over $10 million in funding as co-investigator from the National Institutes of Nursing and Aging, Department of Veterans Affairs, and the John A. Harford Foundation. Dr. Richards shared her career path and counsel for young scientists in the following paragraphs.  


What influenced you to become a nurse scientist?  


While I was a student at the University of Arizona and University of Texas at Austin, I was fortunate to have amazing teachers and role models.   Some of them were Drs. Ada Sue Hinshaw, Joyce Verran, Carolyn Murdaugh, Merle MIshel, Linda Phillips, Lynn Rew, Angela Clark, and Alice Redland. They did what great teachers are supposed to do. They encouraged me to become a creative thinker - to be curious, to ask good questions, and to search outside the boundaries of convention for new solutions to important questions. They also instilled in me the courage to tackle difficult clinical problems, no matter what I needed to learn to investigate them. I am very grateful to these amazing teachers and role models.


What advice would you like to give to aspiring nurse scientists?  


Listen carefully and respectfully to everyone. Treat everyone the way you would like to be treated. Ask a lot of questions. Find a place to work that provides you with what you need to be successful as a human being and as a scientist. Find some good mentors. Mentor and be mentored every day. Learn something every day. Take good care of your body. Have some fun every day. Be transparent. Be courageous. Anger, fear, and judgment are three of your greatest barriers. Watch out for these and learn how to extinguish them. Care passionately about something. Remember that most important is who you are, not what you are. 


Doctoral Student Corner  

Ayasha Patel Thomason and Fay Mitchell-Brown

Ayasha Patel Thomason MNSc, APRN, WHNP-BC

Ayasha Patel Thomason


My name is Ayasha Patel Thomason and I am the Director of the Women's Health Nurse Practitioner Program at University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS) in the College of Nursing. I just recently got married amongst the craziness of the end of the semester as a second year doctoral student at UAMS College of Nursing PhD Program.


My research interests have evolved over the 10 years as Clinical Assistant Professor at the College of Nursing. As a WHNP, and director of the WHNP Program, I have been interested in cervical and vulvar cancer, mainly HPV and its relationship with smoking. As co-PI, I recently completed a study funded with extramural Tobacco Settlement money aimed at identifying genetic fragile sites in cervical DNA in relation to secondhand smoke exposure in women. I am currently in the process of data analysis and dissemination of results. In my spare time, I volunteer my services to a local assisted living facility overseeing nursing care plans. 


As a WHNP, educator, and PhD student, I have been confronted with the lack of clinical education and application for gynecologic and sexual health care needs of older women, especially those in assisted living facilities. I am very concerned about recent policy changes regarding discontinuation of Pap smears in women over the age of 65, as important ramifications in older women's gynecologic health have not been considered. My work will be some of the first to study the gynecologic and sexual health of older women in the assisted living setting. There is very little data regarding risk behaviors of women in these facilities, and as the older population moves toward assisted living, I predict an impending crisis of sexually transmitted diseases and increased rates of gynecologic cancers.  


My goals are to complete my dissertation and accelerate my career development as an  

interdisciplinary leader in gerontological gynecologic and sexual health research while continuing on an academic trajectory toward tenure. My ultimate goal is to inform advanced nursing and medical practices, help shape health policy, and improve gynecologic health in assisted living facilities.   



Faye Mitchell - Brown   

Faye Mitchell - Brown BSN, MSN



I am a second year doctoral student at the MUSC College of  

Nursing. Although I reside in California, I plan to attend the upcoming SNRS annual conference in San Antonio, Texas. Last year I attended the WIN conference for the first time and realized that, as a doctoral student, this was a great venue to hear, see and critique research. It was also encouraging for me to meet fellow doctoral students and to learn about their research from presentations and posters. I enjoyed meeting renowned nurse researchers whose work I have been reading and I appreciated their willingness to mentor novice researchers like myself. These interactions have helped me to develop and refine my research interest. I hope that by attending the Annual Conference of SNRS I will be able to continue to refine my research question, network, and develop relationships in the world of research. 



My research interest involves exploring cultural barriers to the management of diabetes in the Hmong population. The Hmongs are an ethnic group whose origins are in Southern China. They were forced from their home country in the late 1970's. This resulted in a mass migration of Hmongs to the USA, with a large number of them settling in California. Despite settling in a foreign country, their culture did not disappear once they were assimilated in the western way of living. As with many ethnic groups, diabetes in the Hmong population is on the rise. Hmongs are understudied; they are a vulnerable group because of poverty, language isolation, and a low literacy rate. I look forward to studying this group as I am fascinated with their culture and I am interested in discovering how their health is impacted by the practice of their cultural beliefs.   



 SNRS 28th Annual Conference, February 12 - 15, 2014, San Antonio, TX

The Southern Nursing Research Society (SNRS) and University of Texas Health Science Center, School of Nursing, our host school, invites you to join us February 12-15, 2014, in San Antonio, Texas, as we celebrate our 28th year of supporting and advancing quality nursing research at the 2014 Annual Conference. The SNRS Program Committee has planned a full program with scholarly papers, symposia, poster discussion sessions, posters, plenary sessions, and networking sessions. It's not too late to register. Don't delay, register today!



Opening Reception

 The local planning committee at our host school, the University of Texas Health Science Center, San Antonio, will welcome attendees at a San Antonio-style opening reception on Wednesday evening, February 12, 2014, from 6:00 to 7:30 p.m. Network with friends and colleagues, enjoy great food and drinks, and be entertained by,
Mariachi Las Altenas an all-female mariachi group. You won't want to miss it, so make your travel plans accordingly!



Opening Keynote


 Robin Newhouse, PhD, RN, NEA-BC, FAAN, will open the 28th Annual Conference on Thursday morning. Dr. Newhouse is chair and professor of Organizational Systems and Adult Health at the University of Maryland School of Nursing. She is a leading expert in evidence-based practice for direct care nurses and implementation research. As a health services researcher, she studies health care processes and related patient outcomes. She is the Principal Investigator of two funded studies that test nursing interventions to improve patient outcomes in acute care hospitals.  She is the recent recipient of a $1.1 million grant from the U.S. Health Resources and Services Administration to enhance the School of Nursing's Doctor of Nursing Practice program in ways that will benefit executive nurse leaders and the communities where they live and work.


Funding Panel Breakfast Keynote

Dr. Lynn Sibley, RN, PhD, FAAN, FACNM, is director of the Maternal and Newborn Health  in Ethiopia Partnership. In this role, she provides overall strategic direction and leadership to the initiative. Sibley is associate professor in the Emory University School of Nursing and Rollins School of Public Health, and affiliate associate professor in the Department of Anthropology at Emory University. She also serves as director of the Center for Research on Maternal and Newborn Survival of the Emory University School of Nursing. Sibley develops and tests community-oriented strategies to reduce maternal and newborn mortality and morbidity in resource-limited countries. She is currently principal investigator on an Emory Global Health Institute-supported project to improve recognition of and response to prolonged labor and birth asphyxia in Bangladesh. This project is being undertaken in collaboration with the International Center for Diarrheal Disease Study/Bangladesh, BRAC and LAMB World Mission Prayer League. 


8th Annual Silent Auction

The primary mission of SNRS is to support nursing research. To that end, we are continuing, as part of our Annual Conference, a Silent Auction to generate funds for additional research grants.


For the past several years we have had a silent auction and raffle at the conference that has been extremely successful. All proceeds have been designated to help build a foundation for research grants for promising future nurse researchers. This year we hope to top previous years in terms of the amount raised! We can't reach this goal unless you help us through your generous donation of auction and raffle items. Individuals and schools have historically donated items valued at more than $50.00. Soft sacks were used last year and several "winners" loved the fact that they could carry their silent auction items on the plane or pack them easier.


Please consider submitting a soft sack filled with items to represent your school and/or region and help us raise money for research grants. The modest cost of creating the sack can provide advertising for your school and generates excitement about the silent auction.


More information regarding the silent auction will be available on the SNRS website soon or you may email Jennifer Lanphere or call her at 877-314-SNRS (7677). Download the Silent Auction Contribution form today.


Looking forward to seeing you in San Antonio!