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Knowledge development through research is essential to the achievement of nursing’s “commitment to the promotion of health and healthy lifestyles, the advancement of quality and excellence in health care, and the critical importance of basing professional nursing practice on research” (AACN, 2006). The Connell School of Nursing strives to prepare students to evaluate, use, and generate new knowledge for nursing practice, and KILN scholars have enjoyed many successes through active participation in research.

On April 29, 2015, seven KILN scholars presented posters describing the work of their research teams at the Alpha Chi Research Day. Alpha Chi is the Boston College Chapter of Sigma Theta Tau, the international honor society for nursing The poster titles and teams members are listed below, with KILN scholars’ names in bold:

  • Yvonne Shih (’15), Colleen McGauley (’15), Heather Johnston, and Professor Lichuan Ye, “Early Bird or Night Owl: College Student’s Sleep Patterns.” This poster won first prize from Alpha Chi.
  • Tammy Leung (‘15), Meghan Foley, Nancy Van Devanter and Professor Carina Katigbak, “Knowledge, Beliefs, and Behaviors Related to Alternative Tobacco Use Among Nursing Students in an Urban U. S. University Setting.”
  • Lourdes Talavera (’16), Taylor Fischer (’15), and Professor Tam Nguyen, “Do Nurse Residency Programs Improve Job Satisfaction, Retention Rates and Clinical Competency for New Graduate BSN Nurses?”
  • Taylor Fischer (’15), Lourdes Talavera (’16), and Professor Tam Nguyen, “Prevalence Rates of Gestational Diabetes Mellitus in Asian American and Pacific Islanders.”
  • Alexandra Paz (’15), Ellery Spencer, and Professor Viola Benavente, “A Literature Review Exploring Heart Health Interventions for Latinas.”
  • Savita Sukha (’15), Grace Kalnins, Allison Gilmer, Gulcan Bakan and Professors Callista Roy and Tam Nguyen, “Developing of Coping and Adaptation Processing Scale (CAPS).”
  • Savita Sukha (’15), Allison Gilmer, Grace Kalnins, and Professors Callista Roy and Stewart Bond, “Middle-Range Symptom Management Theory Development for Guiding Practice.”

KILN scholars also traveled to national conferences to present their research. In April, Colleen McGauley attended the Eastern Nursing Research Society Conference in Washington, DC, where her poster on the sleep habits of college students with fellow KILN scholar Yvonne Shih and research mentor Professor Lichuan Ye won third place in the student poster contest. Colleen reflected on her experience at this conference, where she heard nurse researchers “speak about the growing changes in healthcare and the significant role nurses have as researchers and role models in the healthcare field” and network with nurse leaders about career plans and ways to use research as a new graduate. Colleen described the event as “a great culmination to the hard work and dedication I have put into research over the last three years” and thanked the KILN program for the opportunities to see the many roles nurses can have in management, research, and at the bedside.

In March, Lourdes Talavera and Taylor Fischer presented posters with research mentor Dr. Tam Nguyen at the Asian American Pacific Islander Nurses Association (AAPINA) twelfth annual conference in Las Vegas, NV. This was a great opportunity for the students to network with diverse nurse leaders from all over the country and to showcase the research endeavors at Boston College.

This summer, undergraduate KILN scholar Sonia Chiamaka Okorie (’17) will complete an independent research project as part of her volunteer work with the Ghana Health and Education Initiative (GHEI), a non-governmental organization based in the Bibiani-Anhwiaso-Bekwai District of Ghana. Chiamaka was awarded the competitive Amanda V. Houston Travel Fellowship from Boston College to fund her project, “Perceived Susceptibility to Malaria: An Evaluation of Bed Net Usage of Ghanaian Mothers and Children under Five. We look forward to hearing about Chiamaka’s research next fall.

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