Event provides an opportunity for nursing faculty to share their research with colleagues and students who were inspired by their professors' work
With research ranging from heart failure to shame as a barrier in treating patients with Substance Use Disorder to the caregiver burden of those caring for a family member with Parkinson's Disease, 20 nursing faculty members presented their scholarly work to their colleagues and students at the second UMass Dartmouth College of Nursing & Health Sciences (CNHS) Biennial Nursing Faculty Scholarship Celebration.
Nearly 100 undergraduate and graduate students and faculty, along with campus partners, attended the dinner event at The Marketplace on November 14. They enjoyed an evening of camaraderie and scholarship as they viewed poster presentations and heard three CNHS faculty highlight their work, demonstrating their commitment to the university’s mission of innovative research.
In addition to CNHS faculty, the event was attended by the Nursing Executive Leadership Team; graduate program directors; the Nursing Educational Support Team; graduate students in the MS, DNP, and PhD programs; Honors nursing students; and the Student Leaders Group, along with nursing program partners.
The event was created when faculty realized that they wanted to learn about the research their colleagues were presenting at professional conferences.
"Nursing faculty have presented their scholarship at professional conferences regionally, nationally, and internationally for many, many years. In fact, the number of presentations increases every year," said CNHS Dean Kimberly Christopher in her welcoming remarks.
"One day, it occurred to us that our fellow nursing team members had no opportunity to learn about these presentations, unless you were attending the same conference. So, we decided to establish our every other year scholarship celebration to ensure members of our own college and campus had the opportunity to learn about nursing faculty’s scholarly work," Dean Christopher added.
Faculty support and learn from their colleagues’ research
After talking with nursing students about her research with Associate Professor Monika Schuler, on "Shame as a Barrier to Care in Patients with SUD," Assistant Professor Valerie Seney explained why this event is important, not only for faculty, but for nursing students as well.
"This is an important time to show our Doctor of Nursing Practice students how important it is to do the research and work in a place of evidence-based practice. While we teach, we are still active researchers and our research shows how you can change nursing. There is always a gap and you can always find some way to improve nursing care. There is always a new way of viewing a patient, so we are in a constant state of learning."
"This event is a great opportunity to showcase faculty scholarship and for networking," said Mirinda Tyo, who presented her research with Associate Professor Jennifer Mammen on meaningful symptoms of Parkinson’s disease. "As a nurse scientists we must always be active researchers."
Interesting oral presentations highlight current faculty research
Three faculty members offered engaging presentations to the group, providing further details about their research.
Assistant Professor Melissa Desroches, presented "DSP Thrive! A mHealth App to Promote Resilience in Direct Support Professionals of Adults with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities." This research, conducted with Assistant Professor Mirinda Tyo, was supported by the Provost’s Office SEED Funding.
Desroches’ research focused on reducing stress and burnout for direct support professionals (DSP) working with people with intellectual/developmental disabilities (IDD). Noticing that despite the paramount challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, some DSPs thrived and the researchers examined practices that contributed to these DSPs' resilience. Desroches and Tyo are working to develop a cell phone app that teaches the 9 resilience practices from the study and provides resources and a virtual support network.
In her presentation, "Watch-PD qualitative study extension: Identifying bothersome symptoms and relevance of digital measure over time in early PD," Associate Professor Jennifer Mammen explained her work with the Michael J. Fox Foundation and other researchers on larger digital health projects to help assess meaningfulness—from the patient perspective—of the symptom monitoring devices they are developing for Parkinson’s clinical trials. Her research group is pioneering new approaches to the collection of longitudinal (and quantifiable) qualitative data that can inform regulatory decision making.
Her research aims to explore meaningful symptoms and impacts of early Parkinson’s and the relevance of the WATCH-PD Smartphone/Smartwatch technology.
In describing her research on the "Development of a Harm Reduction Simulation to Decrease Stigma toward LGBTQ Patients with Opioid Use Disorder," Doctor of Nursing Practice Program Director and Assistant Professor Shannon Avery-Demarais sought to develop a high-fidelity simulation that fosters empathetic and harm-reducing care to this population that faces stigma and barriers to treatment.
A team of nurse educators with expertise in OUD, LGBTQ health, and simulation developed a multidisciplinary, high-fidelity simulation that provided an opportunity for students to care for an LGBTQ teenager with OUD and multifaceted risk factors. Content and educational experts validated the simulation for use with both nursing and nurse practitioner patients. The Harm Reduction LGBTQ Simulation increased nursing students’ abilities to recognize risk factors specific to this population. Students provided culturally competent care using a harm reduction, multidisciplinary, and empathetic approach.
Presentations inspire nursing students in their own research
After hearing the faculty presentations, Honors nursing student Erica Leventhal ’25, was inspired to work on her senior APEX Project. "This was really interesting and was very good exposure for us. I did not realize that our faculty are engaged in this level of research."
"I loved hearing about our professor’s research," said Libby Sarro '25, whose APEX nursing mentor is Assistant Professor Desroches. “Hearing her present was fascinating."
Sarro is researching the education of undergraduate nursing students in caring for people with developmental disabilities. "I look forward to working on the project and with Dr. Desroches to hopefully make a meaningful impact in nursing education. Dr. Desroches' area of nursing research focuses on caring for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, and a lot of the information that led me to this area of study was based on her findings."
CNHS faculty who presented their research posters at the Scholarship Celebration are:
(1) Faculty Name: Mirinda Tyo and Mary McCurry
Poster Title: E-Delphi Study to Identify the Needs of Family Caregivers of Individuals with SUD
(2) Faculty Name: Mirinda Tyo, PhD, Jennifer Mammen, PhD,
Poster Title: Meaningful Symptoms in Parkinson’s Disease from the Perspective of Family Caregivers
(3) Faculty Name: Yan Su
Poster Title: Cardiac rehabilitation phase II outcomes prior and during COVID
(4) Faculty Name: Yan Su
Poster Title: The Role of Mediterranean Diet in the Primary and Secondary Prevention of Atrial Fibrillation: A Scoping Review
(5) Faculty Name: Kristen Sethares
Poster Title: Gaming to promote teamwork and active learning about the social determinants of health
(6) Faculty Name: Kristen Sethares
Poster Title: Barriers, Confidence, Interest and Roles in Research for Heart Failure Nurses
(7) Faculty Name: Kristen Sethares
Poster Title: Younger Adults Report More Discordant Heart Failure Symptoms
(8) Faculty Name: Valerie Seney, PhD, MA, LMHC, PMHNP-BC
Poster Title: Shame as a Barrier to Care in Patients with SUD
(9) Faculty Name: Christine R. Saba, DNP, ANP-BC, ACNS-BC
Poster Title: The lived experience of Nurse Practitioner orientation at an outpatient urban cancer center
(10) Faculty Name: Gerri-Lyn Boyden, PhD, RN
Poster Title: Understanding Resilience Among Generation Z Baccalaureate Nursing Students: A Hermeneutic Phenomenology Study
(11) Faculty Name: Michelle Pinto, MSN, RN, CNEn
Poster Title: The Use of Simulation with Standardized Patients for Teaching Mental Health Nursing to Undergraduate Students: A Scoping Review
(12) Faculty Name: Jennifer Mammen
Poster Title: WATCH-PD Qualitative Study Extension: Identifying bothersome symptoms and relevance of digital measures over time in early PD
(13) Faculty Name: Peeranuch LeSeure, Ph.D., RN
Poster Title: Diabetes Knowledge and Self-Management Among Portuguese American People with Type 2 Diabetes
(14) Faculty Name: Peeranuch LeSeure, Ph.D., RN
Poster Title: A Diabetes Self-Management Mobile Phone Application for Portuguese People Diabetes: Design and Development
(15) Faculty Name: June Andrews Horowitz
Poster Title: Developing MommaConnect– a Mobile Health Therapy for Mothers with PPD and their Infants
(16) Faculty Name: Melissa D. Duprey EdD, MSN, RN, CNE
Poster Title: The Use of Simulation for Clinical Nursing Faculty Orientation: A Multisite Study
(17) Faculty Name: Mirinda Tyo & Melissa Desroches
Poster Title: DSP Thrive! A mHealth App to Promote Resilience in Direct Support Professionals of Adults with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities
(18) Faculty Name: Joyce H. Cadorette, PhD, RN, CAPA, CPAN
Poster Title: New Graduate Registered Nurse Transition and Reflective Practice Theory: A Theory Synthesis
(19) Faculty Name: Shannon Avery-Desmarais
Poster Title: Recruitment of a Multifaceted Population of Stakeholders in a Qualitative Study of Opioid Use Disorder
(20) Faculty Name: Shannon Avery-Desmarais
Poster Title: Development of a Harm Reduction Simulation to Decrease Stigma towards LGBTQ Patients with Opioid Use Disorder