In This Issue

President's Pen

Communications Committee

Membership Committee

Senior Researcher Spotlight

Student Network

30 for 30

Editor's Note


SNRS President

Nan Smith-Blair

Communications Committee

Rasheeta Chandler, Chair


Southern Connections Subcommittee

Rebecca Green, Editor

Maryellen Potts, Associate Editor 



President's Pen 

Nan Smith Blair, PhD, RN  


President's Pen:  Our Glass is Half-Full! 


As we head into the election season, it appears uncertain whether our country views things from the perspective of being a "half-full glass" or a  "half-empty glass."  Certainly politicians at any level and any party would like to convince us that the previous government was half-empty and becoming emptier, but thanks to their own party's leadership, the glass definitely will be half full, and become fuller. That is until the next election and the other party would make the same argument. This common expression is usually used rhetorically when discussing a certain situation depending upon the person's view.  


Although our environment seems to be somewhat chaotic during an election year, one thing remains constant for me as I focus on SNRS. Our glass is half-full! Our organization excels because of our extraordinary members, Governing Board, and staff.  The dedication of members can be seen in their readiness to work on committees, review grants, and participate in the student network or RIGs. I don't have to look very far to see that our glass is truly half-full and getting fuller each day. The leadership transition is smooth. When called upon, our members step up to the task to help ensure the business of the organization not only gets accomplished but that new and exciting programs, opportunities and ideas are brought to the forefront.  We have just completed a Governing Board orientation program to assist new board members in knowing our history, mission and vision. This allows the organization to maintain a seamless transition and maintain the strategic plan and uphold the focus of our mission, to "Advance Nursing Research." How grateful I am that our students, experienced researchers, and our wonderful staff are willing to give of their time and expertise to maintain SNRS as a high quality professional organization for nurse scientists.   


At our annual conference in February 2016 we launched our "30 for 30" campaign to raise money for the research grant endowment. I encourage each member to contribute $30 (or more) this year to help us continue to provide research grants for our doctoral students and new researchers. Each day as I come home, I toss my loose change into a bowl. This year I have decided to take that loose change and donate it to SNRS.  Frequently members tell me that they can't donate a large sum of money to SNRS for a variety of reasons. That is why the Governing Board initiated the "30 for 30" campaign... one dollar for each year that SNRS has been in existence. Small amounts will add up quickly.  Certainly two of the U.S. presidential candidates this year proved that small donations can accomplish big things. So I urge you to consider making a donation this year to help ensure the future of our grants programs and help develop nurse researchers within the southern region. We need to ensure that our cup will remain half-full and become even fuller!  


Serving SNRS,

Nan Smith-Blair, President


President (Term Ends: 2018) 
University of Arkansas-Fayetteville
2438 N. Candlewood Drive
Fayetteville, AR 72703
Phone: (479) 575-5877



A Message from the Communications Committee

 Rasheeta Chandler, PhD, ARNP, FNP-BC

Greetings SNRS membership! The Communications Committee is excited to announce the launch of the SNRS LinkedIn page. Please connect by clicking here


We encourage you to connect with all organizational social media pages and look for current events and featured members and stories. In addition to increasing our social media engagement, the communication committee will introduce some new ventures at the upcoming annual conference, so stay tuned.


Rasheeta Chandler, PhD, ARNP, FNP-BC, FAANP

SNRS Director of Communications

Assistant Professor

Nell Hodgson School of Nursing, Emory University



A Message from the Membership Committee

Willie Mae Abel, PhD, RN

State Liaisons/Membership Committee Update 


The mission of SNRS is to advance nursing research. To achieve this mission and to more effectively benefit the communities we serve through research, SNRS must increase our numbers, resources, research funding, and influence.  


The Membership Committee, composed of State Liaisons, has been charged with conducting a year-long Membership Drive. We will be contacting Deans of PhD Programs and Directors of Magnet Hospitals and encouraging researchers, both faculty and clinicians, who are not current members to join. This membership drive represents a huge undertaking for State Liaisons. Therefore, we need the help of each SNRS member to make this effort successful. We encourage each member to help us recruit other researchers to join SNRS and/or attend the annual conference in Dallas, Texas in February, 2017, to learn more about our work.   


This is an exciting time for SNRS. Through the recent membership survey, your voices were heard! As a result, the SNRS Board is working diligently on multiple projects (e.g. social media presence, webinars, community engagement, media coverage of the annual conference) to make SNRS the best it can possibly be. 


Current State Liaisons are listed on the SNRS website here. Feel free to contact your State Liaison with any questions, comments, ideals, or concerns. The Liaisons serve as intermediaries between the Board and the membership through the Director of Membership. New Liaisons assumed the role on September 1st. We appreciate their commitment and hard work! 


Growing SNRS, 


Willie M. Abel, PhD, RN 

Director of Membership (Term Ends: 2017) 

The University of North Carolina at Charlotte 

School of Nursing


Researcher Spotlight

Dr. Jane Dimmitt Champion, DNP, PhD, FNP, AH-PMH-CNS, FAANP, FAAN

Dr. Jane Dimmitt Champion, DNP, PhD, FNP, AH-PMH-CNS, FAANP, FAAN, is a professor and holds the Lee and Joseph D. Jamail Endowed Professorship in Nursing at the University of Texas at Austin. 


Dr. Champion is an internationally renowned researcher and scholar

in the area of health promotion and risk reduction of urban and rural ethnic minority women and adolescents. She is a clinician scholar who merges her clinical practice and her research. She conducts multilevel, multi-component primary care-based interventions with rural and urban low-income ethnic minority populations to improve their sexual and general health. By developing and testing her interventions in primary care clinics, she has increased access to health care and health promotion for an underserved population.  


Dr. Champion's early research focused largely on sexual health promotion and reduction of sexually-related risk behaviors. More recently she has added components to her interventions to improve interpersonal relationships and communication, reduce interpersonal violence, and increase general health promotion behaviors. Her sexual health promotion intervention, Project Image, has demonstrated effectiveness in promoting healthy sexual behaviors and reducing risk behaviors of ethnic minority adolescent women. This project was selected for inclusion in the Centers for Disease Control "Compendium of Evidenced-based HIV Behavioral Interventions, 2014" and the DHHS Office of Adolescent Health listing of effective interventions in 2014.  She has been an investigator on over 35 grants, of which 26 were NIH funded. 


Dr. Champion has presented her work over 250 times at international, national, and regional/local conferences. Her expertise has been sought by the National Institutes of Health and the Centers for Disease Control for reviews of research grants and program applications. In addition, she has been invited to work with universities in Iceland, Mexico, and Vietnam as a visiting scholar in consecutive years and has helped these institutions build their masters and doctoral programs. She was recognized as a Fellow in the American Academy of Nursing in 2006 and as a Fellow in the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners in 2013.  Dr. Champion received the SNRS Award for Research in Minority Health in 2015. 


We asked Dr. Champion: What influenced you to become a nurse scientist?


Mentors ... I have had outstanding interdisciplinary mentors throughout my career!  I first became interested in research as an undergraduate nursing student in the 1970s.  Part of the coursework involved a review of nursing research that I found fascinating.  It was a time in which advanced practice nursing was rapidly evolving and I wanted to be part of the evolution of the scientific basis for this practice.  I received my MSN and then adult CNS and then subsequently a psych CNS and then PhD, FNP and finally DNP.  All of these degrees followed advancements in nurse practice and reflected an on-going need for evidence to substantiate the professional practice of nursing.  Health promotion has always been an important part of my interdisciplinary clinical research and has reflected advances in practice within the nursing profession.  


What advice would you give to aspiring nurse scientists?


Be passionate about innovation... it will help you gain a unique insight for discovery... 

Make it real... pursue what will make a difference in life... 

Be persistent...  

Find a mentor that you admire! 




Student Network Update

This year the Student Network Committee has been busy reviewing the studentmembers' responses to the first SNRS student only survey.  Overwhelmingly, the students have responded with a desire for a more interactive experience within SNRS.  


The creativity and energy of the student members, evident in the survey responses, is inspiring. You have been heard and we are actively working to create a more dynamic and meaningful research network for you! All student members should have recently received an email notice about the creation of a student listserv through which we will disseminate information and links to topics important to student researchers. We will also have some exciting additions for students at this year's conference.  I hope that you are all planning to come to Dallas in February! 


Cathy Pantik 

Student Network Chair 


Meet the SNRS Student Network Committee 


Cathy Pantik, RN, BA Psych, BSN, PhD candidate, DNP student, Jonas Nurse Leader Scholar V  

Current SNRS Involvement: Student Network Chair, Finance Committee, Funding Committee, Program Committee 

Affiliation: University of Tennessee Health Science Center, Memphis TN 

Research Interests:  Chronic Kidney Disease; kidney transplant; chronic illness management; patient engagement; healthcare policy; outcomes research  

Dissertation topic: Practices and Perspectives of Long-Term Care Management Following Kidney Transplantation 


 Mariya Kovaleva, RN, BSN, PhD candidate, Adult-Gerontological Nurse Practitioner student, Laney Graduate Fellow, Georgia Gerontology Society Virginia M. Smyth Graduate Scholarship 

Current SNRS Involvement: Student Network Chair Elect, Program Committee 

Affiliation: Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing, Emory University 

Research interests: gerontology; health of older persons with Alzheimer's disease and other dementias; health of dementia caregivers; primary care for persons living with dementia 

Dissertation topic: Experiences of Caregivers of Dementia Patients with an Integrated Primary Care Model 


Mercy Mumba, RN, BSN, PhD candidate 

Current SNRS Involvement: Student Network Secretary  

Affiliation: University of Texas at Arlington College of Nursing and Health Innovation 

Research Interest: chemical dependence among nurses; patient satisfaction issues 


Tamara O. Perdue, RN, MSN, PhD student 

Current SNRS Involvement: Student Network Committee, Development Committee 

Affiliation: College of Nursing, East Carolina University, Greenville, NC 

Clinical nursing background: MICU and Community Health 

Research Interests: obesity; bariatric Surgery; body image; Meleis' Transition Theory; Hermans' Dialogical Self Theory 




Timiya S. Nolan, MSN, PhD candidate, Doctoral Degree in Cancer

Nursing Scholarship- American Cancer Society, Komen Graduate Training in Disparities Research Award, Jonas Nurse Leadership Scholarship, and Gladys F. Colvin Doctoral Fellowship 

Current SNRS Involvement: Student Network, Membership Committee 

Affiliation: University of Alabama at Birmingham 

Research Interests: breast cancer survivorship; health disparities; intervention research; dissemination and implementation research 

Dissertation topic: Exploring the Lived Experience of Young African American Breast Cancer Survivorship to Inform the Adaptation of a Psychoeducational Intervention 


Beverly Fray, MS, Clinical Nurse Specialist - Community & Public Health Nursing, PhD candidate, Jonas Veterans Scholar 

Current SNRS Involvement: Student Network, Succession and Nomination Committee 

Affiliation: Florida International University 

Research Interests: HIV 



30 for 30 Campaign


In 1987, SNRS was declared an independent organization with a mission to advance nursing research. This mission has not changed; SNRS is true to supporting this mission. SNRS has awarded approximately 123 researchers in the South over these 30 years.  


As the new Director of Development, I aim to help fulfill the development goal in order to advance the mission of the society, which is to establish an endowed foundation with the singular purpose of supporting nurse researchers and aspiring nurse researchers with seed funding. Throughout our history are stories of how previous grantees have gone on to become national and international leaders in their fields--greatly impacting national health by their programs of research. Stories like these inspire me to "Ask without fear!" 


The $30 for 30 Campaign aspires to have every member donate at least $30 in order for us to grow our endowment from $39,000 to $74,000. As of today, 11% of our members have participated in this campaign. We have started a state by state competition in which the state with the greatest percentage of members donating to this campaign will be acknowledged and will receive reserved seating at the 2017 conference in Dallas. Results thus far indicate that during the first quarter, West Virginia was leading, now in the 2nd quarter, Arkansas has taken the lead. Game on!  


Click here to contribute. Or go to 


Leanne L. Lefler, PhD, ACNS-BC, APRN, FAHA 
Associate Professor, College of Nursing, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences 

Director of Development, Southern Nursing Research Society 

Culture of Health Nurse Leader, Robert W. Johnson Foundation 



 Editor's Note


I thought about "missions" quite a bit as I enjoyed (on vacation) the sights and

experiences of our nation's capitol, Washington, DC, this summer. "Missions" are important. 


As a nurse, one of my favorite national historical sites in DC is the American Red Cross National Headquarters.  The amazing Tiffany windows there were designed to depict the American Red Cross mission: the alleviation of human suffering in the face of emergencies. The windows were designed as a tribute to the heroism of women in the Civil War and are significant not just in what they symbolically depict, but because of their sponsorship and financing. Despite their oppositional history, two organizations, the Women's Relief Corps of the North and the United Daughters of the Confederacy, sponsored and financed the windows. Despite how members of these organizations may have felt about one another at the time, or how we may view these organizations today, their effort in creating a symbol of shared mission and understanding was important at a time when our nation was recovering from profound fracture. 


Our nation and world are still profoundly fractured today. This reality is discouraging to nurses, whose individual and collective mission is to promote human well being and alleviate human suffering. Nurses are uniquely privileged to be able to carry out this mission every day, especially in light of the challenges our nation and world are experiencing. The Southern Nursing Research Society's mission is to advance nursing research. Through this important work, we are engaged in the greater mission of nursing. Though our personal backgrounds are diverse, and though the "people" and "populations" to whom we dedicate our professional lives may differ, we are united in our mission to use research to promote well being and alleviate suffering. Do not be discouraged... your efforts make a real difference. 


You can see and learn more about the Red Cross headquarters' Tiffany windows here


Rebecca Green 

Editor, SNRS Southern Connections Newsletter 

Assistant Professor, Georgia Gwinnett College