Rasheeta Chandler, Chair
Maryellen Potts, Associate Editor
President's Pen: Going
to the SNRS Conference is like sharpening the saw!
A young faculty member questioned me the other day as to
why they should consider going to the SNRS annual
conference as it is so easy to collaborate, learn, and meet using
technology that we now have readily at hand. It
made me pause to think for a moment. As a graduate student I remember
getting a lot of advice on making the most of conferences and how to
prepare a presentation for a conference. I don't recall faculty
ever broaching the topic of why we go to conferences in
the first place. It is true that nowadays we have
easy and fast access to all sorts of information through the
Internet. We can have online meetings, conduct training sessions
and attend webinars without leaving the comfort of
our office and computer screen. But despite all the virtues of
the virtual world, there is no substitute for
live, in-person conferences.
1 Stephen Convey listed "sharpen the
saw" as his seventh habit of highly effective people.
The idea is that sometimes you need to take a break from the
"work" of your research to
sharpen your skills. A dull ax won't cut a tree nearly
as effectively as a sharp one. So as I pondered the response for
the young faculty member, I reflected that I always return from a
conference with new ideas and approaches for my research that
make me more effective and efficient in the
work that I do. I thought I would share with
you reasons I think attending the SNRS annual conference is
important for each of us as scholars and researchers. This
list is not exhaustive nor in any particular order.
1. Enhance Your Knowledge. Learning is a lifelong process. No matter how seasoned
we are in our
profession, we learn from others. For our students and
early investigators, it is an opportunity to learn and
engage with senior researchers on a variety of levels. And as
seasoned researchers, we learn from young emerging
investigators who can provide us with fresh perspectives.
Robin Williams in
"Dead Poets Society" had his students
stand on a desk to get a fresh perspective. It is easy to find
ourselves in a rut
with our work. Sitting in the same chair, in the same
office, working with the same research team can sometimes keep
us from fresh thinking and new ideas. Attending the annual conference
can spark us to new approaches that will help move our research
forward or in a new direction.
2. Present Your Work to Others. This is one of the more obvious reasons for attending
conferences. Presenting your work makes you more confident about
that work you are doing and gives you a new perspective
about your work as colleagues ask questions and make you think
about your project differently. You have the opportunity to
get feedback on your research from senior scientists who
have never seen it before and may provide you with new insight
as well as other scientists that are experts in your field.
3. Break Out of Your Comfort
Zone and Network.Besides acquiring new
knowledge, making professional connections and sharing
information is worth the trip to the meeting in and of itself.
There is tremendous value in seeing other researchers
face-to-face where you can share a handshake, a smile, and
valuable information. Having access to the many well-known
researchers within the Southern region who are willing to talk
and share their expertise and experiences with emerging researchers
is gratifying. There is an incredible amount of sharing and
learning that happens through networking at the SNRS annual
conference. Repeat attendees will tell you that they enjoy meeting
colleagues from other
institutions within the Southern region and love to
catch up with them on a yearly basis. I see a colleague of
mine with whom I went through my doctoral program each year at the
SNRS meeting, and I love to catch up on her research as well as her
family. I look forward to seeing colleagues that have
become close friends over the years at the annual
4. Have fun. There is always a social element at the annual meeting
where participants can mingle in a relaxing environment such as
receptions, breaks, between sessions, and the evening. Although this
is not the main reason that you might convince your Dean to send you
to the conference, mixing socially at the various events and reaching
out to meet people can help to reignite your enthusiasm in your
career. When I return back home following the annual meeting, I am
fully recharged and ready to dive into my work again.
5. Take the Pulse of the Southern
Region. The SNRS annual meeting draws top speakers and
features the most up-to-date research findings and information on
methodological issues that will enhance your current knowledge base
and keep you up to speed on what's new and relevant. The funding
panels and meeting with journal editors help clarify and improve
chances of your work being funded and published.
6. Invest in Yourself. Going off to a conference and "sharpening the
saw" is an investment in yourself. It is admitting that you work
at it! It is admitting you still have things to learn no matter how
long we have been scientists! It is an investment in yourself, your
career, and even your institution. I return back to my
institution excited with new ideas to bounce off my colleagues that
will strengthen my abilities as a researcher.
So I get it. Conferences can be expensive. Not only the
costs financially but also the time away from your office where you
could be doing "work." However, I believe that the SNRS
annual conference provides a unique convergence of networking,
learning, and fun into a single package that can rejuvenate you and
allow you to grow personally and professionally. Don't be a
woodcutter hacking away at the tree with a dull axe. Come to the SNRS
annual meeting and return with new ideas and approaches that make you
more effective in your work! Sharpen that saw!
1 Covey, S. R. (2013). The
7 habits of highly effective people. Rosetta Books LLC.
Nan Smith-Blair, President
President (Term Ends: 2018)
University of Arkansas-Fayetteville
2438 N. Candlewood Drive
Fayetteville, AR 72703
Phone: (479) 575-5877
SNRS 31st Annual Conference
Research: Academic and Clinical Partnerships Transforming
The theme for the 31st Annual SNRS Conference on
February 22-25 in Dallas, Texas, is "Grounded in Research:
Academic and Clinical Partnerships Transforming Health."
We chose this theme to foster and emphasize the
importance of the relationship between clinical nurses doing research
in hospital settings and nurse scientists in academic settings - it's
a win-win relationship.
For the first time, we have a health care system, Baylor
Scott and White Health, serving as our sponsor - thank you!
Highlights of the conference include:
speaker, Marilyn Hockenberry, RN, PhD, PNP- BC, FAAN
pre-conference sessions with broad appeal, including one for
reception sponsored by Baylor Scott and White Health
Funding Panel session
the Editor session
Saturday poster session highlighting the research of SNRS
members who work in hospitals
For the first time, we'll also have a panel of eight
deans of research intensive schools, private and public, who will
present their views of the various dimensions of the academic role in
their schools, as well as strategies and tips for individual faculty
Outside of the conference, a special SNRS community
event will be occurring sponsored by the Minority Health and
Community Health RIGS -- a Town Hall meeting with a panel of health
experts at Dallas Health and Wellness Institute's community center,
4-6 pm on Wednesday, February 22. See the RIG Corner for more
We look forward to seeing you at the conference in
Marygrace Hernandez Leveille, PhD, RN, ACNP-BC
SNRS Vice President and Director of the RIGS
Baylor University Medical Center
Corporate Office of the CNO | 2001 Bryan St | Suite 600
| Dallas, TX 75235
Cell: 214-478-4597 | Email:
Event Announcement and Purpose Statement
The Minority Health and Community Health Research
Interest Groups (RIGS) of the Southern Nurses Research Society will
host a pre-conference Community Town Hall on Wednesday, February 22,
2017 4-6 pm at the Diabetes Health and Wellness Institute at Juanita J.
Craft Recreation Center, 4500 Spring Avenue, Dallas, TX 75210.
Community Town Hall: A Bridge to Engage Community
Members and Researchers
Community engagement is a core approach to improving
population health. This Town Hall meeting has been planned by
researchers, clinicians and community members to understand the
concepts around engagement with
promoting health and well-being in the community.
The purpose of this Community Town Hall is two-fold: 1)
It will provide information about promoting health and mitigating
health disparities, particularly related to major chronic health
issues affecting residents of the South Dallas area. Cardiovascular
disease, cancer, diabetes and stroke are among the top chronic
conditions. 2) The Community Town Hall will provide an
opportunity for researchers and others stakeholders to hear concerns
and learn from local community members.
Organizers have planned panel presentations by
researchers, faith-based organizations and citizen members. A
community-based approach will be used to engage all participants in
the process of bi-directional learning for problem identification,
decision-making and strategies for problem solving empower community
for active participation in their own well-being.
The Community Town Hall will conclude with a reception
and networking event for attendees. The final results of the Town
Hall will be disseminated to attendees, SNRS membership, local
community members/groups and schools of nursing in the Dallas, Texas
Update on the $30
for 30 years Philanthropy Campaign
We have a new leader! West Virginia has overtaken
Arkansas as the leader in the $30 for 30 years Development
Currently, West Virginia has 32% of its SNRS
members participating; next is Arkansas with 27%, then Alabama
with 22%. It is a close race! The purpose of this campaign
is to endow research funds for SNRS grant awards in perpetuity.
We plan to continue to offer research
funding for our full and student members as well as hope
to increase the number of grants and funding levels we
offer. Your state can win the prize by competing for the
highest percentage of $30 for 30 participants from your state
membership. The winners will be announced during the opening
session at the SNRS conference in Dallas. We hope to be
able to seat your state at the Table of Honor during next
year's annual conference in Dallas! Please consider if you can
donate at least $30 to this campaign and put your state in
I hope everyone is looking forward to the conference in
Dallas, where we will feature more ways for everyone to support
this important cause.
Leanne L. Lefler, PhD, APRN, ACNS-BC, FAHA, SNRS
Senior Researcher Spotlight
Maura C. Schlairet,
Ed.D, M.A., M.S.N., RN, CNL
Dr. Schlairet holds a Doctorate of Education (Ed.D.) in
curriculum and instruction from
University; a Master of Arts (M.A.) in bioethics and health care policy
from Loyola University in Chicago; a Master of Science in Nursing
(M.S.N.) with an emphasis in adult health nursing and a major in
nursing education and a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (B.S.N.), both
from Valdosta State University; and a diploma in nursing from Mount
Carmel School of Nursing in Columbus, Ohio. Dr. Schlairet taught at
Valdosta State University for 10 years prior to joining the nursing
faculty at Mercer University. Her clinical expertise is in adult health
and she teaches across the graduate and undergraduate nursing programs.
Dr. Schlairet is an AACN Leadership for Academic Nursing Program Fellow
and member of Sigma Theta Tau International. She has received honors
for both her community service, teaching, and research, including the
Valdosta Area Excellence in Nursing Award, Valdosta State University
Excellence Award for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SoTL),
and the Georgia Educational Research Association award. Dr. Schlairet's
pedagogic research line focuses on issues in nursing education,
including high-fidelity simulation and the flipped classroom model. The
emphasis of her disciplinary line is on issues affecting care of older
adults, including cancer survivorship and ethics. She has a robust
publication record, having published more than 40 articles in
professional publications, and has presented her findings throughout
the United States. She has presented regionally, nationally, and internationally,
and has received over $175,000 in grant funding.
1. What influenced you to become a
How I view and understand the world around me -- this
organic, questioning lens through which everything is filtered
certainly influenced my professional role. From a young age, the
sciences captured and held my interest. Those irksome "what,"
"how," and "why" questions are always at the
forefront of my mind. I do know I process information in terms of
thinking about what is known and unknown.
2. What advice would you give to
aspiring nurse scientists?
First, mentors are essential to success: I would encourage
aspiring nurse scientists to think broadly about potential mentors.
Models to increase research at the bedside are being tested, and these
models may allow aspiring nurse scientists to collaborate with those
actively engaged in research. We must not allow lack of a "perfect
mentor" to hinder our initial steps or to derail our evolving
skill set! Whether in an academic or clinical setting, we might all
wish for a senior nurse scientist as our mentor. I did not have this
opportunity and in this regard my experience was certainly not unique.
We know the training ground for nurse scientists has been
shrinking. Nonetheless, as a junior faculty I found a wonderful
peer who possessed unique skills (role modeling behaviors) and a few
other colleagues with complimentary research skills (i.e., alternate
research paradigm). The other advice, of course, is the necessity for
nurse scientists to be continuously and significantly engaged within
our lines of inquiry to authentically address the IOM's goal to bridge
the research and evidence-based practice chasm by 2020.
Georgia Baptist College of Nursing of Mercer
3001 Mercer University Drive
If you would like to nominate a senior researcher/SNRS member for the
Researcher Spotlight, please email your suggestion to email@example.com
Wow, It is hard to believe that we are in the final
stretch of 2016! That means that the SNRS Annual Conference is just
around the corner. As you know, the
conference is in the "Big D," Dallas, this year.
I guess it's true that they do things bigger in Texas as
this conference is shaping up to be one for the record
The Student Network is very excited to have East Carolina
State University and the University of Tennessee Health Science Center
host the inaugural Student Lounge. Stay tuned for more information
about the events that will be scheduled for student members in the
Lounge during the session breaks on Thursday and Friday.
The Student Network is proud to work with Rasheeta
Chandler and Maryellen Potts, and their fellow ubercreatives on the
Communications Committee in planning the first Roving Reporter.
Applications for the roving reporter are currently being reviewed. If
you missed this time around, be sure to keep your eyes open for the
next conference's opportunity to be a Roving Reporter and to be an
important contributor to the conference and have auto- networking
I would also like to use this opportunity to urge all
students to make their plans to attend the Student Network
Pre-conference on Wednesday. Mariya Kovaleva, your Student
Network Chair Elect, has arranged for Dr. Carolyn Clevenger of Emory
University and Dr. Brittany Butts, a former SNRS Student Network
representative to speak with us about some of important PhD survival
skills, some nuts and bolts for dissemination of your work, and in
keeping with our conference theme integrating academic and clinical
research, some "how to's" on managing both academic and
clinical work. The Student Network Pre-conference provides fun,
education, networking and a place to commiserate! I look forward to
seeing you there!
Finally, I'd like to say that it has been my great
pleasure to serve as your SNRS Student Network Chair for the past two
years. I have especially enjoyed working with the tireless SNRS Board
Members and the great support and management team of Kellen
Company. I am most pleased to be handing off the Student Network
Chair to MariyaKovaleva at the Dallas conference. Mariya will
continue to work on making SNRS an important resource for all of our
student members. Be sure to meet her in Texas!
Telisa Spikes, MSN,
Telisa Spikes, MSN, RN, NEA-BC, is a third year, full-time
PhD student at Emory University's Nell
Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing. She aspires to complete her program
Ms. Spikes earned her BSN (2003) from Baptist College of
Nursing at Mercer University, her MSN (2009) from Kennesaw State
University where her focus was advanced care leadership and health
policy, and she has been
a Board Certified Advanced Nurse Executive since 2012.
She currently is working on a grant proposal to the NIH
and American Heart Association. Her research is focused on factors that
promote blood pressure medication adherence in young and
early middle age Black women with hypertension.
In addition, Ms. Spikes presented a poster in 2016 at the
SNRS conference, entitled "The Effect of a Lifestyle Intervention
on Psychosocial Factors and Medication Adherence in African Americans
with Metabolic Syndrome."
The NINR (National
Institute of Nursing Research) published a new strategic plan in
September. The NINR, as part of the National Institutes of Health
(NIH), has been at the forefront of establishing priorities for nursing
research for 30 years. The strategic plan focuses on prioritizing the
areas of greatest need in which nursing science can have the greatest
impact. The four current themes are symptom science, wellness,
self-management of chronic conditions, and the science of end-of-life
and palliative care. In addition, the new plan acknowledges the
important place of technology and innovation across these areas and
reaffirms a commitment to promoting nursing science and research as a
The underlying mission of the NINR is to promote and improve
the health and quality of life of individuals, families, and
communities. This continued focus on health promotion and quality of
life is one of the unique hallmarks of nursing's contribution to
practice and research.
As I write this, I am preparing to participate in a
state-level workshop to strategize development of better public health
and academic partnerships in Georgia. Reading the newest NINR strategic
plan has energized me to do all I can as a researcher, educator, and
nurse to work toward more robust partnerships that can promote the
priorities of the NINR. I invite each of you to read the new NINR
Strategic Plan if you have not already done so, and become inspired to
use some new ideas to invigorate your own current program of research.
to view the NINR Strategic Plan.
In addition, with political change ahead in Washington, I
urge you to contact your elected officials to urge them to support
ongoing and increased funding for the NIH: www.usa.gov/elected-officials
Rebecca Green, DNS, RN, NCSN
Editor, SNRS Southern Connections Newsletter