Volume 29 Issue No. 3

 Winter 2015



In This Issue

President's Pen

SNRS Membership Drive

Senior Researcher Spotlight

Research Interest Group Corner

Doctoral Student Corner

Editor's Note


Communications Committee

Donna Scott Tilley, Chair


Southern Connections Subcommittee

Rebecca Green, Editor

Maryellen Potts, Associate Editor 


President's Pen 

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


Cindy L. Munro, SNRS President

Nan Smith-Blair, President-elect

SNRS is an organization that thrives because of its exceptional members. Members are the heart and soul of SNRS, and we who are entrusted with leading the organization always have the mission and membership front and center in our discussions and decisions. SNRS Board members are elected for two year terms, and the terms of Board members are staggered so that each year half of the Board are newly elected. This provides both continuity and new ideas!


In February 2016, Cindy Munro's presidency will end, and Nan Smith-Blair, the current president-elect, will take the reins as the 2016-2018 president. Each new SNRS president is elected (to the office of president-elect) two years prior to assuming the presidency. This provides a wonderful opportunity for orderly and stable transitions between outgoing and incoming presidents. The bylaws describe three responsibilities for the president-elect. Most importantly, the president-elect prepares to assume the responsibilities of president. Two years may seem like a long time to prepare, but it flies by! Second, the president-elect monitors and oversees the SNRS Strategic Plan; this ensures that the new president has an in-depth understanding of the mission and the plans to accomplish it, and has had time to think about what new directions and initiatives should be pursued. Third, the president-elect leads special projects as assigned by the president and Board. As an example, Nan is leading the planning for the SNRS 30th anniversary celebration. In total, individuals elected as president pledge a four-year commitment to leading SNRS.


Each president in SNRS's history has contributed to strengthening the organization's leadership in nursing research and to serving the membership. As we celebrate the 30th annual SNRS conference in Williamsburg, Virginia, we will hear many stories of the legacy of SNRS presidents. Cindy has framed her presidency around engaging, enabling, and energizing SNRS members. Nan will move SNRS into its third decade as a strong, vibrant, member-centered and mission-focused force. The president-elect who joins the Board in February 2016, in preparation for the 2018-2020 presidency, will continue the long tradition of dedication to serving SNRS. Our future is secure because SNRS has a great wealth of members who are willing to serve, who are capable leaders, and who are invested in SNRS's success.


Every officer began as a member, and SNRS accomplishments are grounded in the involvement and leadership of our members. Please consider your own path to leadership in SNRS-it is a wonderful opportunity to serve!   


Serving SNRS,

Cindy L. Munro, President and

Nan Smith-Blair, President-elect

SNRS 30th Anniversary Year-long Membership Drive

This year, SNRS will celebrate its 30th anniversary at the Annual Conference in

Willie Mae Abel, PhD, RN

SNRS Director of Membership

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 help celebrate 30 years, the Board has voted to launch a 30th Anniversary Year-long Membership Drive from February, 2016 through February, 2017.


At the conclusion of the membership drive, the member who recruits the most new members will receive one year of free SNRS membership.


New members are those who have

  1. Never been a member of SNRS before, or
  2. Let their membership lapse for more than 1 year

The greatest advantage for SNRS to have more members is because there is power in numbers! Nurse researchers working together are greater than they can ever be working apart.


Members who are committed to SNRS will help fulfill the mission of the organization and enhance the richness and depth of the research experience through mentorship, networking, innovation, and health improvement for individuals, families, and communities.


We are very excited about the membership drive that will be launched at our 30th anniversary in Williamsburg, Virginia. We hope you will catch the excitement, too!


Willie Mae Abel, PhD, RN

SNRS Director of Membership


Special Feature Corner

Senior Researcher, Mona Newsome Wicks, PhD, RN, FAAN

Brief Bio and Research Interest

Dr. Wicks is Professor of Nursing at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center College of Nursing whose program of research examines the impact of chronic illness on affected persons and their family caregivers. Her research has focused largely on African American family care-givers' physical and mental health, burden, quality of life, and family functioning. Populations of interest include family caregivers coping with a relative's End Stage Renal Disease (ESRD), kidney transplantation, and Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD). She is site Principal Investigator for an NINR-funded, peer-led self-management intervention trial designed to improve asthma outcomes in teens with persistent symptoms. A consultant for a Commonwealth of Virginia-funded grant focused on working family caregivers, she has published in nursing and interdisciplinary journals, served as lead author on two book chapters testing her middle-range theory of family health, and reviews manuscripts for nursing and interdisciplinary professional journals. Dr. Wicks previously served as a permanent member on NINR and NIMHD study sections. 


What influenced you to become a nurse scientist? 

Pamela Hinds, former Director of Nursing Research at St. Jude Children's Research, ignited my research passion by delivering a guest lecture about her program of research in my master's research course. I remember her excitement towards improving patient health through theory-guided research, arousing me from exhaustion after a 12-hour night shift. I had burning questions concerning the family's role in patients' chronic illness experiences that emerged from my own nursing practice and was intrigued by the influence of this role on family caregivers' health and wellbeing. Pam's influence inspired me to begin my PhD in Nursing Science at Wayne State in Detroit, Michigan. 


What advice would you like to give an aspiring nurse scientist?

To gain research experience, do not fear expanding your interests beyond populations little-known to you. My original work involved family caregivers of persons with COPD. An opportunity arose with senior scientists to study persons with ESRD before and after kidney transplantation. This willingness to expand my knowledge base, to exercise my intellect in an unfamiliar, understudied caregiver population and to network appropriately allows me to live my passion as a researcher and guide the development of nurses interested in improving health through nursing research.


 Research Interest Group Corner: 



Elizabeth Corwin, PhD, RN, FAAN

Nancy Jallo, PhD, FNP-BC, WHNP-BC, CNS

The mission of the Biobehavioral Research Interest Group is to advance nursing knowledge related to the interactions between biology and behavior in order to improve the health of individuals, families, and communities.  This RIG is a collaborative group of researchers with a shared interest in studying the complex interactions among biological, behavioral, social/cultural, and environmental factors and their influence on health outcomes.


Some of our goals include: 

  • To provide a forum for dialogue related to biobehavioral research interests. To that end, we have offered several Biobehavioral RIG symposiums at the SNRS Annual Conference. For example, for the 29th Annual Conference in February of this year, we sponsored a panel to discuss the addition of "omic" measures to nursing research protocols. Topics presented by our esteemed colleagues included genomics, epigenomics, metabolomics, and microbiomics. The previous year, in San Antonio, the Biobehavioral RIG symposium included a panel of researchers discussing the theoretical and measurement issues relevant to telomere measure for biobehavioral science.
  • To share resources, provide opportunities for collaboration, and facilitate biobehavioral research.  During our meetings at the annual conference, we facilitate exchange of ideas as well as share contact information.  Members have expressed interest in collaborating throughout the year. For example, members of other Biobehavioral RIGs have collaborated on writing and publications, provided mentorship to other members, and created and sustained journal clubs for discussion of conceptual and methodological research issues. At the 2016 meeting in Williamsburg, we would like to formulate a plan to reach this goal of collaborating with other members.
  • To provide opportunities for education. In addition to the annual meetings, members of the Biobehavioral RIG have discussed the possibility of recording and posting webinars/webcasts throughout the year.  Such an avenue would allow us to engage with our members and further disseminate the truly innovative and cutting-edge work the SNRS Biobehavioral RIG members are doing to improve health outcomes.
  • To grow membership.  This is an amazing group of researchers and we welcome all those interested to come and join us! Contact  Elizabeth Corwin (elizabeth.j.corwin@emory.edu) or Nancy Jallo (njallo@vcu.edu).

We hope to see you in February 2016 at the SNRS 30th Annual Conference in Williamsburg, Virginia!!


Nancy Jallo, PhD, FNP-BC, WHNP-BC, CNS

Virginia Commonwealth University School of Nursing


Elizabeth Corwin, PhD, RN, FAAN

Associate Dean for Research, Emory University School of Nursing


Student Spotlight

Marcy C. Purnell, MSN, FNP-C, PhD

Given the varied and important research in which SNRS student members are engaged, the task of selecting a single student's work to highlight each quarter is a formidable challenge. However, the Student Network is pleased to feature Marcy C. Purnell, MSN, FNP-C, PhD candidate from the University of Tennessee Health Science Center for the Winter 2016 Student Spotlight. Ms. Purnell is a Hal and Alma Reagan Fellow, a fellowship awarded to outstanding graduate students working in the area of causes and cures for cancer research at the UTHSC College of Graduate Health Sciences.  In addition to other awards for her research, Ms. Purnell received the 2014 SNRS/CANS Dissertation Award. Ms. Purnell's research is in the area of bioelectrodynamic effects in cancerous and noncancerous cell lines, conducting in vitro experiments on both human and mouse cancerous and noncancerous cell lines.


In addition to numerous presentations, Ms. Purnell's work, "Bioelectrodynamics: A New Patient Care Strategy for Nursing, Health and Wellness," will be published in the 30th Anniversary Edition of Holistic Nursing Practice in February 2016.  Ms. Purnell is scheduled to defend her dissertation in January and hopes to secure future funding to move this research forward to human clinical trials. She will begin her phase 1 safety trial in January 2016 at the Department of Preventive Medicine, Clinical Trials Unit at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center.


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

University of Tennessee Health Science Center



Editor's Note 





At the time I am working on this Editor's Note, it is the week between Thanksgiving and finals week at Georgia Gwinnett College. I look forward to a long winter break filled with... building courses and lesson plans for spring semester, and working on those scholarly manuscripts that have been gathering dust since August.  I feel certain that most of you can commiserate!


By the time you actually read this, it is more likely we'll be into the hustle and bustle of the New Year and the spring semester, and you are probably wondering how that holiday break flew by so quickly. 


How often do our New Year's resolutions include something about work-life balance or self-care?  For me, it seems as though I make the same commitment every January, yet find myself in the same overextended and stressed-out mode by the following December.


The mental and physical toll of caregiving is well-documented, and that toll extends beyond the caregiver to exert a negative effect on those who are care recipients. 

"Those who choose caregiving as a profession are often able to "turn off" the caring... we do it at work, then we go home and care for our friends and families."

And really, who would want to turn it off? We do, however, have an obligation to ourselves, our families, our students, our clients, and our colleagues to care for ourselves. Our well-being and theirs is inextricably linked.


Florence Nightingale, in a letter to a friend (Cook, 1914, p. 406) said, "...never lose an opportunity of urging a practical beginning, however small, for it is wonderful how often in such matters the mustard-seed germinates and roots itself."


Friends and colleagues, in this New Year let me take an opportunity to urge you toward a regular practice of self-care, however small. Perhaps this year, the mustard-seed will germinate, root itself... and grow into something wonderful, indeed!


Rebecca Green, DNS, RN, NCSN

Editor, Southern Connections

Assistant Professor, Georgia Gwinnett College


Reference: Cook, E. T. (1914). The life of Florence Nightingale: Volume II. London: Macmillan and Company, Limited.