COVID-19 & Nurse Scientists on the Front Line: University of Missouri Sinclair School of Nursing

Marilyn Rantz, Amy Vogelsmeier, Lori Popejoy, and Shari Kist
University of Missouri Sinclair School of Nursing

Please describe your work with the COVID-19 pandemic.
Our research team has a study underway in 40 Missouri nursing homes with APRNs working full time in 16 of them to improve care and reduce avoidable hospitalizations. In this pandemic, the APRNs are there every day, working side by side with direct-care staff, helping leadership and staff take better care of residents. They help reassure staff, residents, and families that everyone is doing their best to keep people healthy. All staff are very worried about supplies and doing what is best to prevent spread of COVID-19. 

Please give us information about your background and history as a nurse scientist.

Our team:

Marilyn Rantz, RN, PhD, FAAN, has sustained a research program (over $87 million) to improve care of elderly. In 2012 and 2016, she secured $14.8 million and $19.8 million grants, respectively, from CMS for their Initiative to Reduce Avoidable Hospitalizations among Nursing Facility Residents - Phase 1 and Phase 2.

Amy Vogelsmeier, PhD, RN, FAAN, geriatric clinical nurse specialist as well as Associate Professor, is MOQI practice co-lead. She has 30 years of practice experience in nursing facility leadership and clinical practice model research.

Lori Popejoy, PhD, RN, FAAN, is Associate Professor, adult and gerontological nursing and is MOQI practice co-lead. She has 40 years of nursing experience, working in ICU nursing and management, and research focused on transitions of care.

Sharon “Shari” Kist, PhD, RN, CNE, is MOQI project supervisor for the MOQI APRNs. She has 25 years teaching nursing and working in staff nurse and clinical supervisor positions for 12 years.

What else would you like the public to know about your role or the role of nurse scientists in the fight against COVID-19?
In our on-going research, we have learned that APRNs working in nursing homes not only improve direct care for all residents, they can reduce avoidable hospitalizations, reduced costs for Medicare, and provide much needed guidance for leadership and staff in this time of crisis. They are essential to nursing homes, as well as primary care and hospital care.

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