Volume 28 Issue No. 1

Spring  2014



In This Issue

Editor's Note

President's Pen

2014 Award Recipients

Senior Researcher Spotlight

Research Interest Group Corner

Doctoral Student Corner


Communications Committee

Donna Scott Tilley, Chair


Southern Connections Subcommittee

Denise Linton, Editor 



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

The annual SNRS conference has become a time for me to reflect on my program of research; I usually make plans to both conduct research and disseminate my findings. I also receive external motivation from conference presenters, award and grant recipients, and have the opportunity to thank outgoing board members and welcome the incoming board members of our Society.


As I continue to share information about my program of research with you I would like you to know that it became very challenging to implement my plans. It was difficult to incorporate research related activities into my schedule and I procrastinated because I had to review statistics! After instructing myself to "just do it," I took as little as 15, 20, or 30 minutes per day and as much as an hour or more per day to review statistics, input data and analyze the data from my pilot study. I was encouraged by a statistician that I met at our annual conference and the process has become less daunting because I am able to consult with a statistician. So, whatever is preventing your progress tell yourself that you can do it, avail yourself to your resources and "just do it."



President's Pen 

Cindy L. Munro, PhD, RN, ANP-BC,


I am honored to serve as the new president of SNRS! SNRS members include the best nurse scientists in the nation, and we have energy and passion for our mission, to advance nursing research. I feel fortunate to have an exceptionally committed and talented board and to have the legacy of outstanding SNRS past presidents who have built a strong and vibrant society. I was elected to the Board in 2008 as Chair of Grants and Awards (when Grants and Awards were overseen by a single Board position). And, I had the privilege of serving on the Board of Directors during the tenures of 3 remarkable presidents, Drs. Elaine Amella, Marti Rice, and Patricia Crane, who are models of dedication to nursing research and organizational excellence.


Dr. Patricia Crane is the immediate past-president of SNRS and her leadership has been instrumental in the recent successes of SNRS. A quote from Ralph Waldo Emerson exemplifies Dr. Crane's contributions to SNRS and her importance in my own development as a SNRS leader: "Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail." SNRS moved forward under the leadership of Dr. Crane because of her creative endeavors that improved services to the membership and enhanced the reputation of SNRS. Our relationship with Research in Nursing and Health (RINAH) demonstrates her trailblazing initiatives. At the beginning of her presidency, the SNRS membership decided to suspend the production of our online journal, Southern On-line Journal of Nurse Research (SOJNR); at the midpoint of her presidency, the membership voted to discontinue SOJNR and directed the Board to investigate other print mechanisms to support the society's mission. Dr. Crane supported the work of the task force that she commissioned to appraise options and led the board to carefully consider options in light of the SNRS mission to advance nursing research and value to members. Moving from our history of self-publishing a well-loved online journal to selecting a premier nursing research publication as the official journal of SNRS was not without controversy and required trailblazing, but Dr. Crane's leadership enabled the membership to focus on the future and left a clear path for SNRS success. As a testimony to the members' appreciation of her leadership and service, Dr. Crane received a standing ovation from the members at our annual conference during the annual business meeting.


Leaving a trail involves not only moving forward into new territory but also providing a means for others to move forward in the same direction. I was fortunate that when I joined the SNRS Board Dr. Crane was my immediate predecessor as Chair of Grants and Awards because she oriented me to my responsibilities as a SNRS Board member. She has provided valuable mentoring to me, both through her patient instruction and through her modeling of leadership. In my presidency, I will emulate her innovative, inclusive, and mission-focused leadership style.


In the preconference SNRS Board meeting, I shared the "three E words" that will guide my tenure as President. I want to facilitate SNRS membership by being engaged, enabled, and energized. The Board enthusiastically endorsed the "three E words" as a way to keep value to members central to our discussions and decisions. In subsequent newsletter columns, I will develop these ideas further. Over the course of the next two years, I will be seeking to travel the paths provided by previous SNRS presidents and to blaze new trails that will move SNRS forward in advancing nursing research throughout our region and beyond.


Serving SNRS, Cindy L. Munro, President 



 2014 Award Recipients 


SNRS Distinguished Researcher Award


The 2014 recipient of the SNRS Distinguished Researcher Award is Alison Trinkoff, ScD, RN, FAAN from University of Maryland Medical Center. The purpose of the SNRS Distinguished Researcher Award is to recognize the contribution of an individual whose established program of research has enhanced the science and practice of nursing in the Southern region.



SNRS Leadership in Research Award 



The 2014 recipient of the SNRS Leadership in Research Award is Anne  Turner-Henson, DSN, RN, FAAN from University of Alabama at Birmingham, School of Nursing. The purpose of the Leadership in Research Award is to recognize outstanding leadership, contribution, or promotion of nursing and healthcare research. This award is bestowed by the SNRS Board of Directors 



SNRS Research In Minority Health Award


The 2014 recipient of the SNRS Award for Research in Minority Health is Sharon Horner, PhD, RN, MC-CNS, FAAN from University of Texas, Austin. The purpose of the SNRS Award for Research in Minority Health is to recognize the contributions of an individual or group conducting and/or promoting research that has significance for improving the health care of minorities and other under-represented groups in the Southern region.



SNRS Mid-Career Researcher Award 



The 2014 recipient of the SNRS Mid-Career Researcher Award is Sharron L. Docherty, PhD, PNP-BC from Duke University. The purpose of the Mid-Career Award is to recognize the contribution of a member whose scholarly work influences outcomes in nursing practice, nursing education, health policy, or population health and who has demonstrated progress in a program of research following doctoral education completed at least 10 years earlier.




Early Science Investigator Award 


The 2014 recipient of the SNRS Early Science Investigator Award is Jing  Wang, PhD, MPH, RN from University of Texas, Houston. The purpose of the SNRS Early Science Investigator Award is to seek to recognize the contributions of a nurse scientist early in her/his research career who shows potential to develop a sustained program of research to enhance nursing science and practice.  

RINAH Authorship Award


The 2014 recipient of the RINAH Authorship Award is Anne E. Norris, PhD, RN, FAAN from University of Central Florida. The purpose of the Research in Nursing & Health (RINAH) Authorship Award is to recognize a SNRS member who disseminated research findings, or important theoretical, or methodological advances in the official SNRS journal, RINAH, within the past year. The SNRS member may have served as sole author or first author of a team-based paper during the designated time period.


The award acknowledges the partnership between SNRS and RINAH to support high quality, peer-reviewed research/scholarship that covers a broad range of research and theory that impacts nursing practice/science and other health disciplines. The award also supports the SNRS mission to "promote the image of nursing as a scientific discipline" and recognizes a SNRS member's contribution to research dissemination, facilitation of career development of nurses and nursing students, and enhancement of science and nursing practice in the Southern Region.



D. Jean Wood Nursing Scholarship Award 


The 2014 recipient of the SNRS D. Jean Wood Nursing Scholarship Award is Patricia Kinser, PhD, RN, WHNP-BCfrom the Virginia Commonwealth University. The purpose of the D. Jean Wood Nursing Scholarship Award is to recognize the contributions of a researcher who has enhanced the science and practice of nursing in the Southern region. The award is named in honor of the first SNRS President, D. Jean Wood whose leadership set the course for the positive growth and development of the Society.


Grant Award Recipients


STTI/SNRS Grant Award


The 2013 STTI/SNRS Grant Award recipient was Cheryl Postlewaite, MSN, CWOCN from Mission Hospitals for Exploration of the Accuracy and Precision of the Scott Triggers Instrument in Predicting Postoperative Pressure Ulcer Development.


SNRS Dissertation Award


Ansley Stanfill from University of Tennessee-Memphis was the recipient of the 2013 SNRS Dissertation Grant Award. The title of her dissertation was, Dopaminergic Genetic Contributions to Obesity in Kidney Transplant.


CANS/SNRS Dissertation Award


Jessica Gordon from University of South Florida was the 2013 CANS/SNRS Dissertation Grant Award recipient for Skin to Skin Contact and Oxytocin.


SNRS Research Grant Award


Pei-Ying Chuang from University of Texas Health Science Center - Houston was the 2013 SNRS Research Grant Award for her research The Link between Neuroglobin and Cerebral Infarct following Aneurysmal Subarachnoid Hemorrhage.


SNRS/ANF Scholar Award


Jiayun Xu, PhD(c), RN from Johns Hopkins University was the recipient of the 2013 SNRS/ANF Scholar Award for Decision Making Prior to a Rehospitalization Among Patients with Heart Fail. 


Special Feature Corner

A Senior Researcher: Lorraine Frazier, PhD, RN, FAAN 

Dr. Lorraine Frazier is Dean, Professor, and Linda C Hodges Dean's Chair of the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS) College of Nursing.  Prior to assuming the UAMS deanship she was Assistant Dean and Chair of the Department of Nursing Systems in the School of Nursing at the University of Texas (UT) Health Science Center at Houston. Dr. Frazier earned her doctorate in nursing in 2000 from UT Health Science Center at Houston, where she also completed a Master of Science in Clinical Research in 2005. She also holds a Master of Science in Nursing from the University of Texas at Houston (1998) and a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from the University of Oklahoma at Oklahoma City (1993). 

Dr. Frazier is regarded as one of the nation's biobanking experts.  She was selected for the prestigious Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Executive Nurse Fellows program in 2009. The three-year fellowship allowed her to further develop and strengthen her leadership skills. She also completed the American Heart Association's Fellowship in Epidemiology and Prevention of Cardiovascular Disease in 2004 and has won several research, education and leadership awards during her career. 


Dr. Frazier is the principal investigator on R01NR010235 "Depressive Symptoms and Genetic Influences on Cardiac Outcomes," funded by the National Institute of Nursing Research. For nine years she was the project director of TexGen Research, which supports multi-center, multi-institutional biobank development of clinical data and biological samplings of cardiovascular and cancer patients at the Texas Medical Center. Her responsibilities included overseeing the collection, organization, and distribution of samples and sample related data. She was also the director of the Center for Clinical and Translational Science BioBank at University of Texas Health Science Center - Houston (UTHSC-H). These biobank efforts currently have a total of 135,000 biological samples and corresponding clinical data and incorporate eight hospitals and six universities. The University of Texas Clinical and Translational Science Award recipients (UTHSC-H /UT MD Anderson Cancer Center, UT San Antonio) have identified the biobank effort as a priority for Texas Clinical and Translational Science collaboration. She led the efforts for the Center for Clinical and Translational Sciences (No.1 UL1 RR024148-01, Principal investigator, David McPherson), National Center for Research Resources, National Institutes of Health, 2006-2011, ($34,889,184 total funded), to develop a prototype for an automated system for the administration processes of biobanking. In this role, she was a consultant for other Clinical and Translational Science sites.  Most recently, In 2012, she received $2,800,000 for "Arkansas Partnership for Nursing's Future," Arkansas Workforce Investment Board, Arkansas Department of Workforce Services, U.S. Department of Labor.  Dr. Frazier's career path and advice to aspiring nurse scientists are presented below.


What influenced you to become a nurse scientist? 


The burning question that influenced me to become a nurse scientist came from clinical practice in cardiac rehabilitation. We observed that in some patients, high blood pressure (BP) responses to psychological stressors occurred despite their blood pressure medications. This increased BP response to stressors occurred not only in cardiac rehab when they shared their stories during BP monitoring, but also as they encountered stress throughout their day with 24 hour BP monitoring. I was interested in why some of the patients had extremely high increases in their BP to environmental stressors in spite of their medication. The individual response of the biobehavioral aspects of anger and depression on blood pressure and cardiovascular disease became my research focus.


During my PhD program, I developed a model on the risk factors of hypertension with a genetic component. The risk factor model guided me to pursue a post-doctoral study in genetics and hypertension at the University of Texas Institute of Molecular Medicine. My program of study went on to focus specifically on why some, but not all, depressed patients with cardiovascular disease go on to have subsequent cardiovascular events. My hypothesis is that there is a genetic propensity in some people that put them at increased risk to physiological changes when exposed to environmental (psychological) stressors. Because nursing care considers the body's (physiological and psychosocial) response to environmental stressors, discovery of a relationship among depression (psychological stress), inflammatory protein levels (physiological response), and subsequent cardiac events in a patient subgroup would provide a rationale for targeting this high-risk subgroup for individualized depression interventions.


My journey to become an independent nurse scientist was the result of excellent mentoring from my PhD faculty in both nursing and genetics throughout my PhD program and early career. PhD students at our program were encouraged to attend SNRS conferences. The ability to work with outstanding faculty mentors and to meet other nursing scientists at SNRS whose NINR funded research was making a difference in the health care of patients encouraged me to go into research.


My research on adults with cardiovascular disease was a perfect fit for my mentor's model of Cardiovascular Research across the Lifespan. With the guidance and encouragement of my PhD mentors, I went on to successfully apply for the NRSA pre and post doc awards and the inaugural class of the Summer Genetic Institute (SGI). The eight week experience at the SGI on the NIH campus was life altering as we met patients and families of the Phase I trials who are the real heroes of the research efforts.  As my research progressed, I began to work with large populations and pursued further training in research methods for large cohorts and databases. Support of CTSA resources was necessary for my database development. It takes a village to provide the support and encouragement that our early investigators need to become successful researchers.  I was privileged to have a great village of supporters who believed in me and privileged to work at institutions that support and value research.


What advice would you like to give aspiring nurse scientists?


Aspiring young scientists should align themselves with good mentors in an institution where research and the researcher's time is supported and valued.  The institution ideally should have faculty members who are a good fit for the young scientist's interest. It is no longer possible to have a program of research in a silo. The inclusion of other disciplines and a research team is a crucial step for young researchers to be successful.  


Initially, I would encourage PhD graduates who are aspiring researchers to complete a postdoc in their area of interest. Post-doctoral studies provide an opportunity for the aspiring researcher to work with other disciplines, join a research team, and focus the majority of their time on research and publishing. If done correctly, this can lead to pilot work in preparation for other funding. My postdoc experience at the Institute of Molecular Medicine changed my career; those collegial relationships are ongoing and remain important to my research.


Upon completion of postdoc, new researchers should start on a tenure track and further develop a five year timeline of research and publication goals to accomplish. I would recommend that these goals be developed with faculty mentors and shared with department chairs for input and support.  A research career takes incredible focus and tenacity and institutional support, but, with the right team, is very fulfilling and can be a lot of fun! 





Research Interest Group Corner 

 Pamela B. Dunagan, PhD, RN, Chair, Education RIG


Education Research Interest Group 


Whether it is their primary or secondary choice for Research Interest Group (RIG) participation, a large percent of Southern Nursing Research Society (SNRS) members have interest in the Education RIG.  The purpose of the RIG is to promote, conduct, and disseminate nursing education research. Nursing education research provides evidence for best practice in teaching and learning.  Although many studies in nursing education can be found, many more are needed as huge gaps in teaching and learning evidence exist.


In an effort to disseminate research findings and promote interest in research, the Education RIG awarded honors to four participants for student poster excellence at our recent conference in San Antonio.  All SNRS accepted student posters with an emphasis on nursing education were reviewed and scored using a grading rubric that was developed, reviewed, and critiqued by members of the Education RIG prior to the conference. The winners received a certificate of award created by Ann Mehan. Awards were given to the following students. First place: Julie McCulloch Nair, Students as research participants: A thematic analysis of university IRB policy.  Second place: Pamela deGravelles, The tobacco use, exposure to second hand smoke, attitudes and cessation behaviors of third year BSN nursing students in Arkansas: Findings from the global health professional students surveys.   Third place: Elizabeth Hassen, TIGERS: The investigation of genetic education for nursing students. Honorable mention: Florence Schaefer, Educating nursing students to recognize and report negative behavior in the clinical setting. The grading rubric that was used to score the student posters related to nursing education will be reevaluated for future awards to students. 


A plan to provide additional awards to non-student RIG members at the 2015 conference was made by the Education RIG in their annual meeting at the conference. And, members of the RIG were encouraged to conduct and disseminate rigorous education research at future conferences.  The Education RIG leadership plan to meet bi-monthly to discuss future endeavors of the Education RIG.




Doctoral Student Corner  

Alexis B. Dunn, CNM, MSN, PhD Student

"With Women" Through Research


My love for the health of women began long ago at the age of three, when I charismatically informed a family member that smoking and drinking was "bad" for her and the baby.  Questions about childbirth were a constant topic of discussion, so my mother decided to purchase a book that explained the process. She skipped a few pages, but soon realized that she would have to tell the truth. Well, the questions never stopped, and I pursued a career as a certified nurse midwife only to discover that there were many more unanswered questions. Midwife means "with woman," and I soon realized that my calling would be to provide care for thousands of women and be "with them" through research. After starting doctoral studies, I became a member of SNRS to begin my professional journey towards research excellence and to gain knowledge from leading nurse researchers.


My research interests developed due to clinical observations during my time as a practicing certified nurse midwife (CNM) caring for women with high risk pregnancies, as well as the adverse pregnancy outcomes that I personally observed in many of my own African American (AA) friends and family members. I decided to pursue doctoral studies in 2012 at the highly ranked nursing program at the Emory University School of Nursing under the mentorship of three world renowned researchers, Drs. Elizabeth J. Corwin, Ann Rogers, and Andy Miller. The purpose of my dissertation proposal is to characterize the relationship between sleep disturbance, inflammatory pathways, and poor pregnancy outcomes in AA women. The project will be incorporated into Dr. Corwin's R01 study "Investigating the Microbiome of Preterm Birth in Black Women." Future research will focus on circadian and genetic mechanisms of inflammation and the link to poor pregnancy outcomes. 


Doctoral Student Poster Award Recipients 


1st Place   


Christina ThompsonUniversity of Kentucky

Examining the Impact of Anxiety and Prenatal BMI on Preterm 

Birth in Diverse Women  


   2nd Place   

Sara Tomaso, Emory University

The Influence of Exercise on Physical and Psychological Function of Family Caregivers of Persons with Heart Failure 


3rd Place  


 Neil Peterson, University of Virginia

Incline to believe? Novel Methods of Measuring Sedentary Behavior