2018 Recipients

NLN Nursing Education Research Grants


Dorothy Otto Research Award 

Development of an Instrument to Measure Palliative Care Competencies in Undergraduate Nursing Students
Megan Lippe, PhD, MSN, RN and Andra Davis, PhD, MN, RN
University of Alabama and Washington State University

: Purpose: Despite the national imperative to train undergraduate nursing students to be competent to care for patients diagnosed with serious, life-limiting illness, there are NO means by which to assess primary palliative care competence. The purpose of this study is to develop a primary palliative care actual competence model and associated instrument. Design: This sequential exploratory mixed methods study uses a two-phase process. Methods: Phase One uses an in-depth literature review and expert panelists to identify constructs and dimensions of primary palliative care actual competence. An associated model and measure will be developed through a series of work groups with the experts. Phase Two involves qualitative and quantitative validation of the measure. Staggered focus groups and surveys with nursing educators, practitioners, and managers will evaluate the measure’s relevance, clarity, and utility. Recommended changes will be approved by expert panelists. Results: The new primary palliative care actual competence model and instrument will provide a much-needed means of assessing nursing student capabilities to care for patients diagnosed with serious illness and their family. Conclusions:The results of this study pave the way for future large-scale studies evaluating preparation of students to provide primary palliative care, current competence of nurses when providing primary palliative care, and testing of an existing palliative care theory.

Nancy Langston Research Award

Enhancing Empathy, Interprofessional Communication in Primary Care: Use of Mixed Reality Simulation
Janice B. Foust, PhD, RN and Judith Healey Walsh, PhD, RN
University of Massachusetts Boston

Abstract: A national initiative calls for enhancing nurses' role in primary care to transform healthcare. Similarly, NLN research priorities emphasize the need to prepare nurses to manage health transitions, chronic illnesses and promote health. And yet, undergraduate clinical experiences in primary care are rare.The purpose of this study is to develop and test the feasibility and acceptability of mixed reality simulation to enhance undergraduate nursing students' empathic patient and interprofessional transitional care communication skills in a primary care setting. Mixed reality simulation is a new, innovative technology that allows human-operated avatars (in specific roles) to respond spontaneously (verbally and non verbally) in real time within virtual environments. Both the NLN Jeffries Simulation Framework and The Transitional Care Model will guide the simulation design and content of the scenarios, respectively. An embedded, convergent mixed method design will be used. The sample will be undergraduate nursing students in their community health course in two sequential semesters (N =40). Both quantitative measures and qualitative data will be used to examine the feasibility and acceptability of mixed reality simulations,as well as students’ learning. Data analysis will use a side by side approach (i.e., separate quantitative and qualitative data analyses). Quantitative analyses will use descriptive statistics and t-tests, whereas, content analysis will be used to extract themes from qualitative data. This study has the potential to contribute to our understanding of how mixed reality simulations in virtual settings may be used as an innovative approach to enhance students’ communication skills.

NLN Foundation for Nursing Education Award

At the Interface: Workplace Bullying Dynamics as Deterrents to Translational Research Process in Nursing Education
Laura Cox Dzurec, PhD, PMHCNS – BC, ANEF, FAAN
Boston College

Abstract: As important as they are to quality and safety in healthcare and nursing, research translation processes, those processes aimed to upgrade practice through application of the scientific evidence base, have been constrained over time. One understudied factor influencing the implementation of research translation processes is workplace context, a background feature that shapes and is shaped by people working together toward a goal.This study focuses on workplace context as a factor influencing research translation in nursing education. Specifically, it addresses the influence of one frequently-occurring contextual feature—bullying—on research translation processes. Although bullying, itself, occurs frequently in workplace settings, nursing education settings notwithstanding, bullying is not understood in-depth;its influence on research translation processes is even less-well understood. In Phase I of the proposed study,the investigator will complete a hermeneutic meta-synthesis of published literature, extending behaviorally-focused descriptions of bullying that dominate cross-disciplinary literature,generally, to ascertain core, dynamic mechanisms of bullying. Building on findings of Phase I, the investigators will use Study Phase I to develop and implement semi-structured interviews with a convenience sample of nurse scientist faculty, addressing nursing faculty members’ experiences with research translation in contexts infused with bullying dynamics. The goal of the study is to improve understanding of the bullying/research translation interface, to strengthen understanding of the ways bullying deters research translation,and to set the stage for advancing research translation in nursing education, as characteristics of workplace context and its influence on research translation become better understood.

Ruth Donnelly Corcoran Research Award

Grit as a Predictor of Academic Success Among Associate Degree Nursing Students
Amber Young-Brice, PhD, RN
Marquette University

Abstract: A question that continues to challenge nursing program admission decision-making processes is “who will succeed?” This is particularly relevant in associate degree nursing (ADN) programs which often have diverse student populations and high attrition rates. The purpose of this study is to quantify and explore the use of grit as a predictor of success in ADN programs to identify not only those students who pass pre-admission tests, but also those that have the stamina and dedication to sustain their efforts over time and successfully complete their nursing program. This study aligns with two NLN research priorities, the first regarding building the science of nursing education by utilizing a multi-site, longitudinal and mixed-methods design to gain a deeper understanding of grit and successful completion of ADN programs. Second, this study aligns with building a diverse nursing workforce. Ensuring student retention, especially among underrepresented students, remains elusive and challenging for nursing programs; the findings from this study could provide a differentiating factor to consider to address issues of attrition and identifying predictors of success.

Mary Anne Rizzolo Doctoral Research Award

Observational Experiential Learning Facilitated by Debriefing for Meaningful Learning: Exploring Student Roles in Simulation
Brandon Kyle Johnson, PhD, RN, CHSE
Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center


NLN/Sigma Theta Tau International Diane Billings Research Award

Teaching Collaborative Communication Skills Using Rapid e-learning Technology and a Brief Interprofessional Simulation Event
Pamela Melvin, MSN, RN and Carol Cox, PhD, MCHES  
Truman State University
Joseph Visker, PhD, MCHES and Emily Forsyth, PhD, MPH, RN, CHES
Minnesota State University

NLN/Southern Nursing Research Society Doctoral Research Award

Development of the Nurses’ Attitudes to Deaf/Hard of Hearing (DHH) Interaction Scale
Audra Lewis, RN, CHSE
Tarrant County College