Volume 29 Issue No. 2

 Summer 2015



In This Issue

Editor's Note

President's Pen

SNRS Membership Drive

Senior Researcher Spotlight

Research Interest Group Corner

Doctoral Student Corner


Communications Committee

Donna Scott Tilley, Chair


Southern Connections Subcommittee

Rebecca Green, Editor

Maryellen Potts, Associate Editor 


Editor's Note 

Green, DNS, RN, NCSN 

Greetings! My name is Rebecca Green, and I would like to introduce myself as the new editor of Southern Connections.  I feel most fortunate to be working with Maryellen Potts, the new associate editor, and with Denise Linton, who has kindly shared her expertise with us as we have undertaken this new adventure.


Currently, I am transitioning from Valdosta State University to Georgia Gwinnett College. I have been a practicing nurse since 1991 (BSN, 1991, Western Carolina University; MSN, 1994, Medical University of South Carolina), working in pediatric acute care and in school health. I completed my DNS at Kennesaw State University in 2012, and began teaching that same year. My research and publications have been focused in the areas of innovative teaching methods, patient-provider relationships, and school health.


Again I look forward to working with all of you to publicize the great things that are going on with SNRS. Please feel free to contact either me or Maryellen if you have an idea or contribution for Southern Connections!


I'm delighted to serve as associate editor of Southern

Maryellen Potts, PhD

Connections with Rebecca Green, editor, with the helpful guidance of former editor Denise Linton. I have a background in public relations for for non-profits and I am English professor. I am transitioning to a new career in nursing science and am a second year student in the online PhD program at the Medical University of South Carolina. My current areas of research are gerontology, wellness, physical activity, and quality of life, particularly for residents of assisted living communities. I am interested in qualitative research and mixed methods designs.


Southern Connections Production Schedule - SNRS members, please use this schedule for planning purposes:   

Southern Connections is produced three times a year. To be sure that your material is included in the appropriate issue, copy deadline dates are listed below. Please send all copy to Rebecca Green, rgreen8@ggc.edu, and Maryellen Potts, pottsm@musc.edu

  • Winter Issue: copy due December 1; publication January 15
  • Spring Issue: March 25; publication May 1
  • Late Summer Issue: copy due July 25; publication September 1


President's Pen 

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


Summer is my favorite season. My childhood experiences with summer vacation primed me to anticipate that summer will bring more relaxation, a change of pace, and new adventures. I am no longer lucky enough to have the whole summer off, and the difference in my daily routine between summer and the other seasons is no longer as distinct as it was when I was a child. However, I still view summer as a special pause that punctuates the academic calendar; it still offers a chance to refocus and renew my energy.


SNRS activities also shift gears in the summer. Summer marks a transition from closing out the current year's annual conference to planning for next year's conference. Although the pace of activity in preparation for the 2016 Annual Conference will accelerate in the fall and winter, planning is already well underway. For the members of the SNRS Annual Conference Planning Committee and the 2016 Local Planning Committee, this summer has been busy!


In 2016, SNRS will celebrate its 30th Anniversary. Additional planning has begun this summer for our Pearl anniversary celebration, including an anniversary banquet to be held during the annual conference. When we meet for the 30th annual conference, we will honor our legacy of leadership in nursing research and look forward to a bright future. Williamsburg, Virginia, is steeped in history and will be a fitting venue for SNRS members to reflect on our strong past and move toward an even stronger future.


Important SNRS activities continue during the summer, but some may have a slightly slower tempo. For example, The Grants Committee, Membership Committee and Awards Committee are preparing for a very busy fall. 


As always, I want to support SNRS members being engaged, enabled, and energized. Even if we have moved beyond long childhood summers of leisure, summer is still a special season. It offers a change of pace, opportunities to recharge, and variations in our activities that can energize us. I hope each of you has had a wonderful summer!


Serving SNRS,


Associate Dean of Research and Innovation, Professor

University of South Florida College of Nursing

President, Southern Nursing Research Society

Co-Editor in Chief, American Journal of Critical Care

SNRS Membership Drive

Having just returned from a week at the NIH attending the NINR Big Data Bootcamp, I am reflecting upon the enormous impact nursing research has had on our nation's healthcare and the opportunities it affords for the nursing profession.  As researchers worldwide seek answers to improve the health of individuals, families, communities and populations, corresponding research questions and data are mounting.  According to the NINR, 7.9 billion zetabytes of information have been collected in the first half of this year! Nursing is primed to lead the way into the future, and to get there, we need to focus even more on training new investigators and creating multidisciplinary and interprofessional teams.


In 2016, both SNRS and NINR will celebrate 30 years of mentoring and funding of nurse scientists. SNRS will celebrate its 30th Year Anniversary in Williamsburg, Virginia on February 24-27, 2016 with the theme, A Solid Legacy, A Bright Tomorrow: Bridging the Past and Future of Nursing Research.  To achieve that future we must continually develop new investigators, and the board has voted to launch a SNRS 30th Anniversary Yearlong Membership Drive. There will be more information coming soon about the membership drive, but for now, I hope all student and faculty members will reach out to your peers, from BSN to PhD, and invite them to join SNRS. Share some of the many SNRS benefits:

  • Opportunities to disseminate research
  • Small grant funding sponsored by the Society
  • Research awards for achievement
  • Active Research Interest Groups
  • Networking opportunities with research colleagues and clinicians in 14 states
  • Opportunities to volunteer for committees and serve in elected positions
  • Quarterly issues of the Southern Connections: The SNRS Newsletter
  • Subscription to Research in Nursing & Health, the Society's official journal
  • Discounted membership to Council for the Advancement of Nursing Science

This year the Student Network is inviting all new members to our preconference reception for an evening of fun and networking. So invite your friends to join SNRS and plan on joining us in Williamsburg!


SNRS Membership Drive - 30th Anniversary

by Cathy Pantik, BA, BSN, RN, PhD/DNP (C)

University of Tennessee Health Science Center


Researcher Spotlight

Deborah McGuire, PhD, RN, FAAN

Deborah B. McGuire, PhD, RN, FAAN

Florence E. Elliott Professor and Associate Dean for Research

Virginia Commonwealth University School of Nursing

1100 E. Leigh St., PO Box 980567

Richmond, VA 23298-0567

Tel:  804-828-2095


Brief Bio and Research Interests

Dr. McGuire is the Florence E. Elliott Professor and Associate Dean for Research at Virginia Commonwealth University School of Nursing. Her interdisciplinary program of research focuses on palliative care and symptoms, specifically pain assessment in non-communicative individuals and management of oral complications resulting from cancer therapy. Her current NINR-funded research is an intervention study examining the effects of a pain management algorithm for acute pain in critically ill non-communicative palliative care patients. She has published extensively in a wide variety of professional publications, co-edited two books on cancer-related pain, and co-guest-edited several journal issues on topics such as cancer pain, cancer treatment-associated mucositis, and integration of palliative care into cancer care. Dr. McGuire is active in the Hospice and Palliative Nurses Association and the Multinational Association for Supportive Care in Cancer, regularly reviews manuscripts for several professional journals, and serves on a National Cancer Institute study section.


What influenced you to become a nurse scientist?

I was stimulated to explore a career as a nurse scientist when I was a research nurse at the National Institutes of Health and met several PhD-prepared nurse scientists. I saw first-hand the important impact that nurse-led research could have on patient and family outcomes, such as enhancing risk assessment in families with inherited cancer, and realized that clinical research was a viable career path. I went on to earn a PhD in Nursing Science at the University of Illinois College of Nursing in Chicago, and have been a nurse scientist ever since.


What advice would you like to give aspiring nurse scientists?

Find an area of research that excites you and immerse yourself in it, identifying how you can make contributions that will change what happens in the real world. Pursue your passion with enthusiasm, hard work, and persistence. Seek mentoring from experts and find interdisciplinary collaborators who share your passion and excitement. Expect a long haul, but have confidence that it will be a fascinating and rewarding career path.   


 Research Interest Group Corner: 



The mission of the Minority Health Research Interest Group is to promote the health of minority individuals, groups, and communities through support, collaboration, and mentorship to minority health researchers.


Some of our goals include to: 

  • Collaborate with members of the Minority RIG as well as with other RIGs.
    • We have submitted a RIG collaborative symposium for the 2016 Williamsburg, VA conference in February. The abstract is titled: "Innovative Methodologies in Research With and For Minority and Underserved Populations."
  • Recognize and acknowledge our student RIG members and their mentors.
    • Students are our new investigators, and this past February at the SNRS conference in Florida we had many students present posters as well as podium talks. We want to thank these students for their participation and encourage them to continue their good work: 1st place - Kayla Mathis-Gamble, "Minority College Students' HPV Knowledge, Awareness, and Vaccination History;" 2nd place - Melody Waller, "The Shift Toward Sexual Health: A Comprehensive Approach to Address the Well-Being of African American Women;"  and 3rd place - Victoria Rusinov, "Culturally Sensitive Community Intervention to Promote Mental Wellness in Rural Latino Immigrants."
    • We also wish to thank the students' mentors for their guidance and inspiration. 
  • Seek researchers interested in new areas and developing trends.
    • If you are doing new investigative work in areas such as LGBT health issues or health concerns around the Americans with Disabilities Act, whether from a clinical or research standpoint, we'd like to hear from you! Contact Jeanne-Marie R. Stacciarini RN, PhD, Co-Chair, at jeannems@ufl.edu or Tracie W. Kirkland DNP, APRN, ANP-BC, PNP-BC, Co-Chair, at tkirland@uark.edu.
  • Grow membership.
    • We are always interested in other SNRS members who would like to join our RIG -- please visit us in February in Williamsburg!
    • Contact Jeanne-Marie or Tracie for more information, or visit our website at http://snrs.org/minority-health-research


Student Spotlight

Alexis Dunn, MSN, CNM

 Elizabeth J. Corwin, PhD, RN, FAAN (left) and her advisee, Alexis Dunn, MSN, APRN, CNM

The Student Network is pleased to feature Alexis Dunn, MSN, CNM (Certified Nurse Midwife) in our inaugural Student Spotlight column. Ms. Dunn is a PhD student at Emory University's Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing and is the 2015 recipient of the SNRS Dissertation Grant Award.  The purpose of her study,"Exploring the Vaginal Microbiome, Complement Activation, and Perinatal Outcomes in African American Women", is to explore the relationship between infection associated behaviors (e.g. douching, sexual behaviors), the vaginal microbiome, and complement activation in early pregnancy as a risk factor for preterm birth among African American women. Ms. Dunn states that as a CNM she is "interested in conducting research that will improve practice and promote holistic care of women during the perinatal period. Specifically, I am interested in exploring the relationships between health behaviors inflammatory mechanisms and adverse pregnancy outcomes among high risk populations."

Congratulations Ms. Dunn! We look forward to hearing the results of your dissertation work.