Horizons and opportunities for nursing research

Sitting in a room full of nurses last week, I found myself listening to a group of people who spoke passionately about making a difference in people’s lives. These nurses, along with other health researchers, were trying to figure out how they could better collaborate across the commonwealth and how their research results could be applied in the real world — in places like clinics, hospitals, and nursing homes.

I was attending the Horizons and Opportunities Conference that the Center for Nursing Research and the Social Science Research Institute organized for Penn State health researchers. It was fascinating to learn about some of the health research currently being conducted on Penn State campuses, as well as the research that Penn Staters are eager to pursue. 

Janice Penrod, the director of the Center for Nursing Research, for instance, is researching end-of-life care and how to help family caregivers through this process. Additionally, she’s working on a project studying end-of-life care for prisoners. Roger Anderson, a professor public health sciences, spoke about an effort currently underway to involve the community in health research, which will help the Clinical and Translational Science Institute. (The CTSI was instrumental in helping organize this conference.) He explained that a community advisory board has been established and they are in the process of identifying the health topics most important to the communities the group is studying.

I also learned that our College of Nursing has a simulation lab. The lab exists to give nursing students hands-on experience in a clinical context with training mannequins, before entering an active clinic. However, I have much more to learn about the sim lab as well as all of the work the Center for Nursing Research is doing and will accomplish. I’m looking forward to it, and grateful for the opportunity to meet so many passionate, caring researchers from 12 different Penn State campuses in one place.

Be sure to check back here on the blog and on Penn State News to learn more about nursing research!

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