KOKOMO, Ind. — Every nurse is a researcher.
Working in a profession driven by evidence-based practice, it’s important for future medical professionals to recognize their role in the process. Indiana University Kokomo’s School of Nursing and Allied Health Professions gave its students a chance to step into that role, hosting its first Nursing Research Symposium to conclude the fall 2022 semester.
Erin Geiselman, Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) program director of the non-nurse practitioner track, said even students who work as nurses at smaller hospitals will participate in research.
“Every time we provide care at the bedside, everything we do is driven by science,” she said. “Students being able to participate at this level allows them to understand and appreciate the ‘why’ behind the care they are providing. It’s critical for them to understand they aren’t just doing it because that’s how we’ve always done it, and they will be able to recognize if change is needed. Even in the smallest hospital, every medication they give, and every model of care is driven by evidence-based practice. This is a chance to see that in person.”
Award winners were MSN student Lora Dillman, Kokomo, outstanding oral presentation, and BSN student Kelsey Martin, Wabash, outstanding poster presentation.
Dawn Ellington, a student in the Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP) track, shared a poster highlighting her research on wearable technology in patients with cardiac arrhythmia, or irregular heartbeat, to provide instant information so they can be treated before suffering further health issues.
“I’m currently a nurse in a hospital and see a lot of patients with resulting factors from cardiac arrhythmia,” she said. “The sooner we can diagnose it and get them on medication, the better.”
Amos Kangau, also in the FNP track, completed a project about caring for patients with chronic pain.
“I research how we can better manage some of these patients, and what barriers they face in getting their pain treated adequately,” he said, adding that he often sees this issue working in a downtown Indianapolis hospital.
“There are fewer providers for chronic pain patients, and many don’t get the treatment they need,” said Kangau, from Fishers.
Geiselman said the symposium gave students a chance to share what they’ve learned, and to learn from each other. In addition to the graduate students, several BSN students were asked to participate.
“These were projects they did exceptionally well in their classes,” she said. “It was an honor for them, rewarding that they went above and beyond in their coursework to earn this invitation.”
She hopes all students who attended will be inspired to look for opportunities to contribute knowledge to the nursing profession.
“This is all current, this is good information here,” she said. “They all can learn from each other and hopefully when they go into their own practice, they will take that spirit of inquiry with them.”Education is KEY at Indiana University Kokomo.