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Board Member Spotlight: Janie Heath

Janie Heath PhD, APRN-BC, FAAN, FNAP, FAANP
University of Kentucky College of Nursing

What advice would you give your younger self?
Don’t take your academic nursing leadership career for advancing education, research and practice so serious – lighten up – breathe more- reflect more- laugh more- ENJOY a healthy balanced work-life MORE.

Where is your favorite vacation spot?
Daufuskie Island – a wonderful get away that FEW people know about – it is a beautiful historic 7 mile island that is a 45 minute ferry ride from Hilton Head, SC.  After the Civil War it became inhabited primarily by freed slaves – the book “The Ocean is Wide” by Pat Conroy tells a wonderful story about his work to integrate the Gullah children in the SC public school system. 





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2020 Board Nominations Are Open

If you are interested in applying for the 2021 FNINR Board of Directors, please fill out this form.

Please send any questions to Liz Fossett, Executive Director, at [email protected]

COVID-19 & Nurse Scientists on the Front Line: Karen Monsen

Karen A Monsen, PhD, RN, FAMIA, FAAN 
University of Minnesota School of Nursing

Please describe your work with the COVID-19 pandemic. 
Together with 300+ participants from 10 countries and 35 states, I am leading the rapid development and deployment of encoded, evidence-based COVID-19 Response Guidelines. These guidelines are publicly available at omahasystemguidelines.org and are available in our Omaha System Guidelines App available now at iTunes (and in review by Google). This guideline synthesizes evidence from over 100 sources, primarily from CDC, WHO, and other highly credible organizations; within 90 interventions for 25 roles from triage to midwifery. We are actively updating the guideline as new evidence emerges, which is a constant challenge. This is a great opportunity for nurses, scientists, students, and community members to have a role and a voice in ensuring that we have a way to describe, disseminate, and document evidence-based care to defeat COVID-19. 

Please give us information about your background and history as a nurse scientist. 
My research uses standardized nursing data and systems to improve the quality of care in home visiting interventions and outcomes. This research has been informed by 20 years of experience as a public health nurse and manager. I have developed a novel practice-based research network based on standardized nursing terminology data through the University of Minnesota Center for Nursing Informatics. This Omaha System Partnership research has been conducted by multidisciplinary research teams and international research teams with student principal- or co-investigators and community partner principal- or coinvestigators. This work forms the basis for comparative effectiveness research, to shape policy in knowledge management, and to educate students in contemporary health care practices. This uniquely situated research blends clinical and scholarly perspectives, adding rigor to clinical processes and relevance to scholarly inquiry, which results in a powerful and sustained impact on health care quality. 


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A Special Note from FNINR's President

These are challenging times for healthcare professionals and scientists, and for the people and communities we serve. Likewise, we are experiencing insights, innovation, and a deeper sense of community. As a member of the FNINR community, please know that you have been in my thoughts.

The work you do and the work you support are critical, and are more important now than ever. Many in our communities are on the frontlines engaging with COVID-19, others supporting direct care givers, and others devoted to discovering safe practices, and all of us committed to expanding our knowledge and transformation of healthy communities.  FNINR is sharing your stories, stories of nurse scientists on the frontlines of the pandemic, advancing the health of communities. FNINR honors scientist heroes by telling their stories and by advocating for them at the federal level as we support the National Institute of Nursing Research.

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COVID-19 & Nurse Scientists on the Front Line: Robin Austin

Robin Austin, PhD, DNP, DC, RN-BC 
University of Minnesota, School of Nursing

Please describe your work with the COVID-19 pandemic.
This COVID-19 project is titled “Social Determinants of Health and COVID-19: Implementing Community Outreach Data Collection Tool to Engage Vulnerable Individuals with Low Socioeconomic Status and Inform Decision Makers on Needs of Population” using virtual outreach through web-based MyStrengths+MyHealthTM application. This project identifies and addresses the needs of this population to understand individual and community strengths, challenges, and needs (S-C-N) during the pandemic. We recognize there are multiple factors that influence individual and community health (i.e. social determinants of health); this often missing perspective is critical to provide a more complete picture of individual and community health. We will engage community voices and perspectives via a community advisory board to interpret and determine response to the data we collect.

Please give us information about your background and history as a nurse scientist.
My dissertation research highlighted the use of consumer-generated health data from the web-based health application, MyStrengths+MyHealth (MSMH). Along with my colleague and PhD advisor, Dr Karen Monsen, MSMH was developed to enable self-report of strengths, challenges, and needs using a simplified version of the Omaha System, a multi-disciplinary standardized health terminology. The feasibility and acceptability pilot test of the MyStrengths+MyHealth (MSMH) application at the Minnesota State Fair (2017) with over 380 participants was completed. The results showed it was feasible to collect participant self-report of strengths, challenges and needs data using MSMH. Participants found MSMH easy to use and liked the idea of being able to share health information from their own perspective and include strengths (assets) as part of that process. One of the most recent MSMH projects, Shifting the Opioid Conversation from Stigma to Strengths (S2S) showed that community members are interested in obtaining and using data that reveal a whole-person perspective, in order to facilitate communication and dialogue regarding opioid use disorder. This research provides a foundation to advance knowledge in the emerging field of whole-person strengths-based healthcare.


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COVID-19 & Nurse Scientists on the Front Line: Amy Knopf

Dr. Amy Knopf 
Assistant Professor, Indiana University School of Nursing

Please describe your work with the COVID-19 pandemic.
Project 1: Pandemic Parenting Study 
We examine how Indiana mothers are responding to the COVID-19 pandemic and how it impacts the family. Specifically, Dr. Jessica Calarco (IU, Department of Sociology) and I are identifying mothers’ preferred and trust sources of information about COVID-19, examining their understanding of the illness and its prevention, and documenting the extent to which they are following public health guidelines and Indiana’s stay at home orders. There will be three waves of data collection between April 2020 and February 2021. The first wave is now complete and data analysis is underway.

Project 2: Ethical considerations for digital contact tracing in the context of COVID-19: Implications for sexual and gender minority youth
I identify key ethical issues in digital contact tracing, especially for sexual and gender minorities. I am working with Simone Skeen to identify the ethical complexities that must be addressed to balance safety and privacy against public health goals, especially for marginalized LGBTQ adolescents. Knopf and Skeen are Co-chairs of the Adolescent Medicine Trials Network for HIV/AIDS Interventions Bioethics Working Group, whose members are serving as expert informants for a paper.



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Board Member Spotlight: Cathleen Wheatley

Cathleen Wheatley, DNP, RN, CENP
President, Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center

What advice would you give your younger self?
Stop worrying. It serves no purpose.

Where is your favorite vacation spot?
The Caribbean - any island, any time.



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COVID-19 & Nurse Scientists on the Front Line: Ellen Smithline

Ellen Smithline
University of Massachusetts Amherst College of Nursing

Please describe your work with the COVID-19 pandemic. 
My current role is to develop effective PPE compliant face shields - process to produce large quantities with small footprint for storage.

Please give us information about your background and history as a nurse scientist. 
I am currently a PhD(c) and nurse innovator for 35 years of which 26 years as Emergency Nurse. I am involved in multiple collaborative research and innovative teams.


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