Dozens of students, faculty and staff gathered in the auditorium of the J.C. Penney Conference Center at the University of Missouri–St. Louis Wednesday afternoon to hear the latest research on everything from medical marijuana to plant-based diets to compassion fatigue in the nursing profession.
Students in the College of Nursing’s Evidence-Based Practice undergraduate courses presented their findings as part of the school’s annual Research Day, which was established in 2016. The event combines these student research presentations with the McIntosh-Durham lecture, established in 1999 in honor of Elizabeth McIntosh, the original director of the Barnes School of Nursing, once housed at UMSL, and Jerry Durham, former dean of the College of Nursing.
Each year, a nurse scientist is invited to UMSL as the year’s McIntosh-Durham lecturer to present their research and experience as a nursing scholar. This year’s McIntosh-Durham lecturer was JoAnne Banks, a professor of nursing at Winston-Salem State University who presented “Once Upon a Time: Developing Storytelling as a Strategy for Assisting Women to Live Their Best Life!” The audience also heard from O’Grady fellowship recipient and recent UMSL graduate Diane Deck, who presented her findings about stress and anxiety in the nursing profession and resilience methods.
For the Research Day presentations, 14 groups of nursing students capped off nearly a semester’s worth of research on topics including safe sleep interventions to reduce SIDS, cost-effective prescription smoking cessation methods, fall prevention, improving hand hygiene, fermented foods and IBS, HPV vaccinations and more.
At the start of the semester, the students broke into groups, chose a topic to research and engaged with a faculty mentor to build their projects and report their findings. As part of the project, they developed PICO (Population/Problem/Patient, Intervention, Comparison, Outcome) questions and implemented their literature review throughout the semester, with the Research Day poster presentation serving as the culmination of their work.
Three awards were given for the presentations:
- First place: “The Knowledge Deficit of Medical Marijuana” from students Tiaira James, Louis Johnson, Rohini KC, Victoria Klausner and Ashley Odle
- Second place: “Finding the Most Cost Effective Prescription Smoking Cessation Method” from students Laurel Bascom, Yuki Chen, Celeste Haefner, Olivia Roesner and Lindsey Marske
- Third place: “Fall Prevention: Increased Rounding vs Polypharmacy Reduction” from students Morgan Barnoski, Niyah Brown, Kennady Carter, Sarah Murrell, Brandon Pasley and Andrew Williamson
“We hope that experiences like Research Day inspire our undergraduate students to continue to engage in research and scholarship,” Associate Dean of Research Kimberly Werner said. “It is essential our nursing workforce understands and implements best practices and is continually considering the best way to weave evidence-based approaches into clinical practice. Ultimately, we would love to grow the passion for research in our students so that they will move on to post-secondary education and doctoral programs to become nursing scholars and leaders of nursing science.”
Students who presented Wednesday are encouraged to submit to share their work at the Undergraduate Research Symposium on April 28. But Werner hopes that the skills they developed while researching these topics over the course of the semester will serve them well past their UMSL careers.
“This research and literature review work is really a fundamental skill that will serve our students throughout their education and into their professional careers,” she said. “Evidence-based practice skills are critical to successful nursing as nurses must be able to access, interpret and put into practice the latest, most effective treatments to best serve their patients.”