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School of Nursing Attends the Western Institute of Nursing Annual Conference

Nursing students posing outside of conference

Seven faculty, seven undergraduate students, and one alumna, all from the School of Nursing, had the opportunity to attend and present at the Western Institute of Nursing Annual Research Conference on April 10-13 in San Diego, California. This opportunity is provided each year by the Joanna Jody DeMeyer Endowed Chair for Nursing fund and makes Boise State University unique for having such great representation at the conference.

The Western Institute of Nursing works to bring together a diverse community of nurses in a shared commitment to transcend the boundaries of knowledge, development, and application to advance the discipline and drive improvements in practice, outcomes, and cost. The theme of this years conference was career, connection, and community.

Students who attended the conference were given the opportunity to visit presentations and sessions related to the overall topic of the conference. Students additionally presented their own research and evidence-based practice projects alongside their mentors and other faculty research presentations.

Brynn Peters with her poster "Assessment of Suicide Screening Tools for Adolescents"
Brynn Peters with her poster “Assessment of Suicide Screening Tools for Adolescents”

“Attending the Western Institute of Nursing conference this semester has helped me realize the power of research in nursing,” said Brynn Peters, junior undergraduate nursing student. “This extraordinary experience connected me with other nursing professionals that have similar goals as I, in improving the lives of children, and has inspired me to consider options in pursuing advanced degrees in nursing.”

Boise State was also well represented at the conference with a School of Nursing faculty and alumna podium presentation. Cara Gallegos, assistant professor, and Hannah Nakashima, Bachelor of Science in Nursing fall 2018 graduate, both presented “Journal Writing in Families of a Critically Ill Patient: An Integrative Review.” The study provided attendees with insight on how journal writing can be used to decrease stress and post-traumatic stress disorder in families of a relative in the intensive care unit.

Jane Grassley with her award
Jane Grassley with her award

School of Nursing faculty additionally received awards at the conference. Jane Grassley, professor and Joanna “Jody” DeMeyer Endowed Chair, was named the 2019 recipient of the Anna M. Shannon Mentorship Award for her outstanding mentorship to students, researchers, and colleagues. Lucy Zhao and Jenny Alderden, both assistant professors, were also awarded Best Gerontology Research Presentation award for their research, “Factors Associated with Falls in Homebound Community-Dwelling Older Adults.”

Student research poster presentations and their mentors included:

  • The Impact of Social Media on Mental Health – Debbie Thompson, Greta Hedrick, April Makujina, Mari Medellin, and Gallegos, faculty mentor
  • School and Work Stress: Finding a Balance – Taylor Swetavage and Karen Breitkreuz, associate professor, faculty mentor
  • Use of the Idaho POST Form: Is there Confusion? – Jennifer Stibrany, Kim Martz, associate professor, faculty mentor
  • Barriers to Accurate Reporting of Workplace Violence – Jill Henggeler, Nate Stanger, and Gallegos, faculty mentor
  • Assessment of Suicide Screening Tools for Adolescents – Brynn Peters and Gallegos, faculty mentor
  • Investigating Resources for Child Abuse Victims – Savannah Carter and Max Veltman, associate professor, faculty mentor
Jill and Nate infront of their research poster "Barriers to Accurate Reporting of Workplace Violence"
Jill Henggeler left, and Nate Stanger, right with their poster, “Barriers to Accurate Reporting of Workplace Violence”

“The conference helped me learn about important topics in healthcare that impact the nursing profession,” said Nate Stanger, junior undergraduate nursing student. “I was able to learn about a variety of different topics that I had little, to no knowledge about prior. Most of all, the Western Institute of Nursing conference made me excited to continue to do research in nursing. Before the conference, I was fairly certain I wanted to go to graduate school, now after having networked with various schools and nursing professionals, I am absolutely certain I want to go to graduate school in either a Doctor of Nursing Practice or PhD program, or both!”

Learn more about the Western Institute of Nursing