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COVID-19 & Nurse Scientists on the Front Line: Shanina C Knighton

Shanina C Knighton PhD RN
Case Western Reserve University, Frances Payne Bolton School of Nursing

Please describe your work with the COVID-19 pandemic.
During COVID-19 I have am using science to advocate for, develop, and implement infection prevention policies, standards and guidelines to entities including public officials on state and federal levels, local leaders, small businesses, essential businesses, grocery stores and the local community. I have used platforms such as webinars, in-person trainings, science to inform legislation, but to also fundraise and mobilizing churches and others to get practical education resources out to lower-income communities. From a scientific innovative standpoint, I am partaking in innovation efforts such as hackathons and group meets utilizing machine learning/artificial intelligence to develop digital solutions to improve hand hygiene among consumers and tracking of COVID-19. 

Please give us information about your background and history as a nurse scientist.
I am a nurse scientist dedicated to strategically amplifying my ability to streamline research processes between engineering and nursing swiftly from the bench to the bedside by pairing my experience in clinical nursing research with the application-based training methodology of biomedical engineering. My research experience began as a nurse in clinical practice where my observations of deficient patient hand hygiene practices became the focus of my dissertation research in a baccalaureate-to-PhD program. Informed by Florence Nightingale & Virginia Henderson’s understanding of infection prevention and the importance of patients being clean along with the environment, my nursing science skillfully identified gaps in knowledge surrounding patient and self-management of hand hygiene. From the time of my pre-doctoral training, time as a VA Quality Scholar, T32-postdoc and now as a KL2 Scholar, I am emerging as a leader in the design, development, & evaluation of technology-based interventions including wearable sensors, machine learning and simple technology to support patient self-management in different settings. 
What else would you like the public to know about your role or the role of nurse scientists in the fight against COVID-19?
Nurse scientists bring an important aspect to research, policy in that while interventions and solutions are being created, our training allows us to see tangible solutions that are often overlooked or undervalued. I can speak to this. While leaders around the world are encouraging the public to clean their hands to prevent germ transmission, my science provides evidence that patients and long-term care residents have germs on their hands, but lack adequate hand hygiene products and are rarely told to practice. 
Shanina C Knighton PhD RN

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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COVID-19 & Nurse Scientists on the Front Line: Ann Deerhake

Ann Deerhake, DNP, RN, CNL, CCRN 
The Ohio State University

Please describe your work with the COVID-19 pandemic. 
As a Doctor of Nursing Practice, my goal is to apply nurse scientist-generated research to current practice. This research shows that communication is key during times of crisis and change. My role as an online educator and nurse scientist during the COVID-19 pandemic is to facilitate healthy communication among everyone I interact with, including my students, colleagues, family and friends. I have worked in close online contact with faculty to continue our supportive online learning environment for students, as well as create new opportunities for exchange of information and stress relief. Many of our students are currently working within difficult healthcare conditions at present, so reassuring them both academically and professionally translates into supporting American healthcare as a whole.

My coursework as an online instructor changed little with the transition to all online learning at my university, which has allowed me to work with other faculty to make changes to existing courses. Additionally, by creating simple online mini-courses, I have worked to educate my grandchildren, their friends and other members of my family regarding ways to communicate face-to-face via the internet and how to use these fun learning environments as stress-reducers and relationship builders in this time of social distancing. One of my most enjoyable activities has been creating and sending a daily ""Cabin Song and Dance Fever"" video to my community choir friends, encouraging them to be well, exercise their bodies and communicate positively with one another. COVID-19 has certainly taught us much about the importance of being communication innovators!


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COVID-19 & Nurse Scientists on the Front Line: Jill Byrne

Jill Byrne MSN, RN, CNOR, PhD student
CWRU FPB School of Nursing

Please describe your work with the COVID-19 pandemic.
The focus of my dissertation research is occupational heat stress. I am a frontline trauma OR nurse at the Cleveland Clinic in Cleveland, Ohio. I am terrified by what I am witnessing - with the mandate to cancel all elective surgical cases, one would assume the case load in the operating room would drastically drop, instead the stress and anxiety the general public are experiencing is impacting overall health, igniting a need for emergency surgery. This is a key area for further global-health research. We don't know the COVID-19 status of these patients who need emergent surgery and the entire healthcare staff have to wear full-PPE in these situations, reducing the availability of the limited supplies we are currently challenged with.

Please give us information about your background and history as a nurse scientist. 
I have provided a video link that quickly describes my work as a nurse scientist in my plight to bring awareness to occupational heat stress while wearing PPE.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K_sMHeJm6y8


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COVID-19 & Nurse Scientists on the Front Line: Scott Emory Moore

Scott Emory Moore 
Frances Payne Bolton School of Nursing, Case Western Reserve University

Please describe your work with the COVID-19 pandemic. 
My colleague (Kelly Wierenga of IU) and I developed a survey to examine the influence of perceptions and responses to the COVID-19 pandemic on health promoting behaviors and symptoms. Due to the high importance of safety during the pandemic we developed the survey entirely online so potential participants do not have to meet in person. Using both social media and professional network-based recruitment we are hoping to reach 5000 participants in the cross-sectional phase of our study. Further, we will be following a subset of the participants who are willing over the course of the coming weeks and months to determine the longer term influences the pandemic is having on adults. We are particularly interested in those who might be considered at risk for COVID-19 or vulnerable to social disenfranchisement and disparate health outcomes. These are two groups where we believe individuals' perspectives related to social distancing practices and their responses to the pandemic may negatively impact behavioral health outcomes. The purpose of this initial study is to identify areas where we may leverage valuable intervention resources to improve health outcomes.

Please give us information about your background and history as a nurse scientist. 
I am an assistant professor at the Frances Payne Bolton School of Nursing of Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio. Originally from South Carolina, I earned my BSN from the University of South Carolina Upstate, and my Master of Science in Nursing and PhD at Clemson University. I completed a postdoctoral fellowship at the Frances Payne Bolton School of Nursing in Multiple Chronic Conditions. My program of research focuses on increasing understanding of biological, psychological, and social influences on health outcomes among sexual and gender minorities. Additionally, my research incorporates the study of sex and gender identity, sex as a biological variable, and sex-based differences in health. My clinical nursing expertise includes emergency and trauma nursing at a level 1 trauma center, acute and chronic stroke care, complex chronic diseases, and care of LGBTQ+ and other vulnerable populations.


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COVID-19 & Nurse Scientists on the Front Line: Marlon Garzo Saria

Marlon Garzo Saria
Providence Saint John's Health Center

Please describe your work with the COVID-19 pandemic.
I have a dual-hatted role as a nurse scientist and oncology clinical nurse specialist. With the Professional Development (Nursing Education) team, I took on responsibilities to strengthen and sustain our ministry's COVID-19 workforce by supporting (instructor) cross-training and rapid onboarding to med/surg, ED, and ICU for procedural nurses (pre-op, OR, post-op, ambulatory surgery, ambulatory care and clinics). I was tasked to provide information on the "science" of SARS-CoV-2, including epidemiology, modes of transmission, and strategies to prevent the spread of COVID-19. I drew from lessons I learned from my Professional Military Education courses from the Air Force to discuss emergency response and actions to take for the worst case scenario. 

I am also on-call for direct patient care, particularly for any oncology patient who may need systemic treatment during these times. I wear scrubs and am ready to administer chemotherapy for any patient who will need treatment.


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COVID-19 & Nurse Scientists on the Front Line: Betty Bekemeier

Betty Bekemeier 
University of Washington School of Nursing

Please describe your work with the COVID-19 pandemic.
As a nurse scientist, my scholarship is about advancing the evidence, policy development, and workforce capacity needed for state and local governmental public health systems to effectively promote and protect the public’s health. In the face of this pandemic, I have been communicating every day with state and local public health practice partners in Washington State and around our region as they have come to me with requests for help from our academic and student partners. As Director of the Northwest Center for Public Health Practice at the University of Washington, I also lead a training team of talented staff who are being tapped to meet public health practice needs. Finally, my research team is also being asked by a national organization to help support and monitor the equitable distribution of federal COVID-19 financial resources from states to communities in greatest need. 

All of these activities include coordinating requests from public health practice to the academic community, linking student volunteers to health departments in their home communities, making existing and appropriate emergency preparedness training most accessible to practice, adapting my research to include preparedness and response measures desired by the public health leaders, communicating the depth of our nation’s public health practice needs through a published editorial and interviews with national news outlets, and advocating for resources to go to ‘upstream’ solutions that will promote equity in response to this pandemic crisis and the prevention of disparities.





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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.



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Director’s Lecture – Dr. Barbara Riegel Presents "At the Intersection of Self-Management and Symptom Science"

On April 29, Dr. Barbara Riegel will present “At the Intersection of Self-Management and Symptom Science,” from 1:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m.

This lecture will be broadcast live and archived at: videocast.nih.gov.

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COVID-19 & Nurse Scientists on the Front Line: Lucia Wocial

Lucia Wocial
Fairbanks Center for Medical Ethics

Please describe your work with the COVID-19 pandemic.
I am working on triage protocols, identifying resources to address and alleviate moral distress and have been approached by international colleagues wanting to use my instrument (moral distress thermometer) for real time assessment or front line provider moral distress. 

What else would you like the public to know about your role or the role of nurse scientists in the fight against COVID-19?
The ethical challenges for nurses on the front lines are real. People can help us by being patient, and be engaging in difficult conversations about what matters most to them if they were to get sick with COVID-19 and die from it. This is especially important for people with serious illness.


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NINR Director’s Lecture - Dr. Randy A. Jones

On March 5, Dr. Randy A. Jones presented "Complex Decision Making in Prostate Cancer." Video from the event is now available.  To view the video and information on the speaker, please click here.

COVID-19 & Nurse Scientists on the Front Line: Candy Wilson

Candy Wilson
Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences

Please describe your work with the COVID-19 pandemic.
We are focusing on research topics for COVID-19 to support nurses caring for patients.

Please give us information about your background and history as a nurse scientist.
I am a military nurse scientist for 12 years. My research background is on symptom science.


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A Message from the NINR Acting Director on the COVID-19 Pandemic

The COVID-19 pandemic has created an unprecedented global challenge – one that NINR and the nursing science community are poised to address. While we all know that everyone’s participation is essential in limiting the spread of this novel coronavirus, nurses represent the front line of health care. We are grateful for the dedication of those nurses who have cared for COVID-19 infected patients, and for the commitment of all those who will in the coming weeks and months. We are also proud of the research done by nurse scientists, some of it supported by NINR, that has helped to provide a foundation of evidence and guide best practices in clinical settings, including advances in infection control.

We recognize that many of you will have to balance clinical responsibilities related to the pandemic with your research responsibilities. If you are a current grantee, or if you are planning to submit an application for funding, we urge you to visit https://grants.nih.gov/grants/natural_disasters/corona-virus.htm for the latest NIH guidance. If you have any questions, please contact your NINR program director.

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COVID-19 & Nurse Scientists on the Front Line: Kelly L. Wierenga

Kelly L Wierenga
Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis

Please describe your work with the COVID-19 pandemic.
I am currently a PI on a behavioral health study. The purpose of this study is to understand the influence of the COVID-19 infection on people during a time of increased social distancing and prevention measures.

Please give us information about your background and history as a nurse scientist.
My program of research focuses on improving recovery and secondary prevention. My research interests lie in how improving abilities to adaptively regulate emotions during a stressful period of recovery can improve symptoms of depression and anxiety. These improvements in psychological symptoms paired with traditional recovery and treatment programs may increase the uptake and sustaining of healthy behaviors long-term. I have developed a treatment using mechanisms of emotion regulation to support recovery and improves weekly physical activity in the cardiovascular rehabilitation population. This treatment has demonstrated early efficacy in a small pilot sample and was recently refined by my team for testing in rural populations with remote access.


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Leaders from the Nursing Community Coalition met with Administration Regarding COVID19

To view the remarks of the White House regarding its meeting with leaders of the Nursing Community Coalition, click here. The NCC discussed how to ensure the health and safety of the nursing workforce during the COVID-19 public health challenge.

Nursing Community Coalition Steering Committee Sends Letter to Congress Outlining COVID-19 Legislative Priorities

On March 19, the Nursing Community Coalition Steering Committee sent a letter to House and Senate Leadership outlining the NCC's shared priorities for any COVID-19 legislative package. To download the letter, click here.

COVID-19 & Nurse Scientists on the Front Line: Jason Farley

Jason Farley, PhD, MPH, ANP-BC, FAAN, AACRN
The Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing

Please describe your work with the COVID-19 pandemic.
My list of responsibilities include COVID-19 screening tent lead; COVID-19 healthcare worker screening; leading a research group designing serosurveillance approaches to evaluate community penetrance.

Please give us information about your background and history as a nurse scientist.
I am a professor of nursing, an infectious disease-trained nurse epidemiologist, and a nurse practitioner in the Division of Infectious Diseases at the Johns Hopkins Schools of Nursing and Medicine. My research seeks to streamline care approaches that optimize navigation, linkage, engagement, and retention in care for persons with infectious diseases, including studies designed to keep patients engaged in care over long periods of illness. I am the director and founder of the REACH Initiative serving Baltimore City residents living with and at risk for HIV and associated co-infections. I am a fellow in the American Academy of Nursing, most recently serving as chair of the Emerging Infectious Diseases Expert Panel. As a seasoned infection-prevention expert, I was part of a Johns Hopkins team evaluating the SARS response in China at an affiliated institution as well as country-level health system responses to tuberculosis and HIV. I also maintain a clinical practice as a nurse practitioner in the John G. Bartlett Specialty Clinic for Infectious Disease. I have previously served as a nurse infection-control epidemiologist for the Johns Hopkins Hospital.


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Nursing Community Coalition Statement on CARES Act Becoming Law

On March 27, the Nursing Community Coalition released a statement thanking Congress and the Administration for their quick and decisive action to pass and sign into law the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. To download the statement, click here.

CARES Act Passes Congress

The bipartisan Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act in response to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic passed the Senate on March 27, 2020 and is headed to the President for his signature. The CARES act includes requirements for the inclusion of PPE in the Strategic National Stockpile, extra funding for NIH, and more that will assist healthcare workers on the front lines of the pandemic.

To read Research!America's statement, click here.

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FNINR and COVID19: Recognizing Nurse Scientists on the Front Line

FNINR is so proud of the work nurse scientists do every day. This drives FNINR's commitment to advocate for consistent and expanded funding for NINR. The research done by nurses and nurse scientists impacts every American and this is especially true as we battle the COVID-19 pandemic.

In an effort to shed light on some of the nurse scientist heroes impacting our country's fight to contain and eliminate the virus, FNINR is asking for stories of the nurse scientists on the front line of the COVID-19 pandemic so we can profile and highlight the work of these individuals and teams. If you are a nurse scientist working in this area, please fill out this brief form so we can highlight you and your work. Please feel free to share this link with colleagues.

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