February 22, 2021

College ranks #13 overall, #7 among public institutions

COLUMBUS, Ohio – The Ohio State University College of Nursing now places among the top 15 colleges of nursing in the country for research funding support from the National Institutes of Health (NIH). According to the Blue Ridge Institute for Medical Research, the Ohio State College of Nursing earned more than $5.7 million in primary NIH research funding, ranking the college #13 overall and #7 among public institutions. The college rose from #16 overall in 2019.

External research funding dollars earned by the college have increased year-over-year since 2015.

“The research that we do matters to the real world; it transforms health and improves lives, especially for vulnerable populations,” said Bernadette Mazurek Melnyk, PhD, APRN-CNP, FAANP, FNAP, FAAN, vice president for health promotion, chief wellness officer and dean of the College of Nursing. “We are so proud of our positive impact on healthcare, leading to sustained growth in NIH funding. Each year, we continue to dream, discover and deliver new insights and innovations in research that continue to improve health outcomes and the well-being of the people for whom we care.”

College of Nursing research newly funded by the NIH this year includes:
Reducing risk for psychological stress in adolescents
May 26, 2020

The National Institutes of Health/National Institute of Nursing Research (NIH/NINR) has awarded a four-year, $1.6 million R01 grant to fund the study, “Reducing Cardiovascular Risk Factors in Black Young Adults.” The grant was awarded to Janna Stephens, PhD, RN, (PI) assistant professor at The Ohio State University College of Nursing’s Martha S. Pitzer Center for Women, Children and Youth. Co-investigators from Ohio State include Bernadette Melnyk, PhD, APRN-CNP, EBP-C, FAANP, FNAP, FAAN, and Alai Tan, PhD, of the College of Nursing and Carla Miller, PhD, of the College of Public Health. Other co-investigators include Lora Burke, PhD, of Pittsburgh University and Antoinette Perkins of Columbus State Community College.

The study focuses on developing strategies and interventions to assist young African American adults who attend community colleges in creating and sustaining improved health habits in order to reduce the risk of cardiovascular issues later in life.

Stephens and her team will recruit 256 African American community college students who are overweight or obese for the study. This understudied population is at very high risk for cardiovascular disease later in life.

Their goal is to provide these students with a personalized, culturally tailored health coaching program to promote heathy eating and increased exercise habits. During one year, Stephens and her team will track students via a smartphone application, conduct health coaching sessions and provide resources and information to help them eat healthily, increase physical activity and develop other health habits to achieve health, fitness and weight loss goals.

“I really enjoy working with the community college population and making connections with these at-risk students,” said Stephens. “I cannot wait to start working with my team and the students to teach them healthy lifestyle habits to prevent cardiovascular disease later in life!”

May 14, 2020

New five-year, $2.8 million grant to study nurses’ workload in relation to NICU patient safety

COLUMBUS, Ohio – Heather Tubbs Cooley, PhD, RN, FAAN at The Ohio State University College of Nursing's Martha S. Pitzer Center for Women, Children and Youth is the Principal Investigator (PI) for a $2.8 million R01 grant funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH)/National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD).

This R01 will fund the study, “Enhancing Nursing Care Reliability in Neonatal Intensive Care Units.” Co-investigators include the College of Nursing’s Rita Pickler, PhD, RN, FAAN; Thomas Bartman, MD, PhD, from Nationwide Children’s Hospital and other co-investigators from Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, Johns Hopkins University, and University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Tubbs Cooley and her team discovered that NICU nurses regularly miss essential care linked to neonatal safety outcomes due to their everyday workloads. With this grant, the team will now replicate this work in a larger and more heterogeneous sample of units, nurses and patients to assess strategies for workload monitoring in this patient population.

“Beyond staffing ratios and infant acuity measures, subjective workload showed the strongest correlation to care reliability,” said Tubbs Cooley. “The goal of our study is to monitor nurse workload and broaden our current understanding of its effects on care reliability.”

The team will enroll up to 210 nurses in five NICUs to report on workload and care reliability for nearly 820 infants over 1,120 shifts.

They will evaluate differential effects of objective and subjective nurse workload on care reliability in NICUs and examine relationships between shift-level factors and nurses’ subjective workload ratings. The validity of aggregating nurses’ subjective workload ratings within a shift to inform real-time measurement strategies will also be evaluated.

Tubbs Cooley and her team hope their research will lead to a better understanding of NICU nurse workloads. If they are successful, they will leverage the knowledge to improve the safety and care of NICU patients by advancing workload measurement, monitoring and intervention.

September 10, 2019
New five-year, $5 million grant project to advance study on sensitivity to pain

COLUMBUS, Ohio – Todd Monroe, PhD, RN-BC, FNAP, FGSA, FAAN, associate professor at The Ohio State University College of Nursing, will help lead a multi-site five-year, $5 million grant project awarded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and National Institute on Aging (NIA) to advance research focused on patients with Alzheimer’s disease and cancer and their sensitivity to pain.

“This grant will study the response to experimentally-evoked thermal and pressure pain to determine if people with chronic cancer pain and Alzheimer’s disease may be at greater risk of suffering from poorly-treated pain at the end of life,” Monroe said. “This is especially important for patients with Alzheimer’s disease who also have cancers, such as prostate and breast cancer, that generally lead to very painful bone metastasis.”

The multi-site, multiple PI R01, Pain Sensitivity and Unpleasantness in People with Alzheimer’s Disease and Cancer, will be performed in close partnership with Ronald Cowan, MD, PhD, Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Health from Vanderbilt University. The research builds on numerous studies that Monroe and his colleagues have conducted over the last decade, including research that concluded that patients living with more severe dementia and cancer were at greater risk for not receiving hospice services and for receiving little or no pain medication during the end of life. Last year, Monroe and his team earned a five-year, $3.3 million NIH/NIA grant to examine gender and Alzheimer’s-related differences in verbal pain reporting patterns and how they are displayed in regional and network brain function, with an aim to lead to a better understanding of how Alzheimer’s and gender impact central pain mechanisms.

Monroe, Cowan and their team hope to use the information from this research to further explore the neurobiology of pain in older adults with dementia and chronic pain, which can in turn help lead to the development and testing of interventions to better manage pain in this growing population.

May 09, 2019

The National Institutes of Health/National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute (NIH/NHLBI) has awarded a three-year, $1.2 million R01 grant to Michele Balas, PhD, RN , CCRN-K, FCCM, FAAN, associate professor in The Ohio State University College of Nursing. This R01 will fund a research study entitled, “Determinants of Implementation Success Coordinating Ventilator, Early Ambulation and Rehabilitation Efforts in the ICU (DISCOVER-ICU).” Collaborators on the grant include Alai Tan, PhD, (Co-I) and Lorraine Mion, PhD, RN, FAAN, (Co-I) of The Ohio State University College of Nursing; Brenda T. Pun, DNP, RN (Co-I), Eduard E. Vasilevskis, MD, MPH, FHM (Co-I), and E. Wesley Ely, MD, MPH (consultant), of Vanderbilt University; and Lori A. Harmon, RRT, MBA (Co-I), of the Society of Critical Care Medicine.

“This study addresses the need to improve the care and outcomes of the millions of patients admitted to U.S. intensive care units (ICUs) annually,” Balas stated. “Persons experiencing an illness severe enough to require an ICU stay frequently experience profound physical, mental and cognitive health impairments that may persist for months to years after hospital discharge.

“Evidence demonstrates these clinical outcomes improve when integrated, interprofessional, evidence-based approaches to symptom management, mechanical ventilation and physical mobility are applied,” Balas continued. “One such approach, the ABCDEF bundle, has been associated in previous studies with lower ICU and hospital mortality rates, fewer days spent on mechanical ventilation, fewer days spent in physical restraints and lower odds of delirium and coma. Despite these proven benefits, the ABCDEF bundle has yet to be widely adopted in everyday ICU care.”

In the NIH-funded study, Balas and her team will continue their three-year partnership with the Society of Critical Care Medicine’s ICU Liberation Collaborative. The overall objective of the research is to develop multilevel implementation strategies to enhance sustainable adoption of the ABCDEF bundle in routine ICU practice. The team is particularly interested in discovering how various patient-, provider-, and organization-level characteristics and implementation strategies effect ABCDEF bundle adoption.

The results of this work aim to lead directly to the development of implementation strategies that are adaptable, responsive to the needs of the critical care community and accountable for the cultural and organizational factors necessary to increase ABCDEF bundle adoption.

“Our team is thrilled to lead this important line of investigation. We firmly believe that better integration of the evidence-based ABCDEF bundle has the potential to substantially reduce the short- and long-term physical, cognitive and emotional burden critical illness imposes on critically ill adults and their family members.”

Tate awarded NIH/NIA grant

The National Institutes of Health/National Institute on Aging (NIH/NIA) has awarded a two-year, $312,000 grant to fund the study, “A Problem Solving Intervention for Post-ICU Cognitive Impairment in Older Adults.”

The grant was awarded to Judith Tate, PhD, RN (PI), assistant professor in The Ohio State University College of Nursing. Co-investigators include Lorraine C. Mion, PhD, RN, FAAN, and Alai Tan, PhD, of the College of Nursing, and Jennifer Bogner, PhD, ABPP, FACRM, of the Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation in the College of Medicine. The grant will run from April 15, 2019, to March 31, 2021.

“Older adults comprise more than half of all intensive care unit (ICU) days and are at risk of delirium, a common acute brain impairment associated with increased risk for dementia and altered trajectories of cognitive recovery,” the grant proposal states. “The purpose of this pilot study is to evaluate the feasibility, acceptability and early efficacy of a problem-solving intervention, Post Intensive Care Unit Problem Solving (PIC-UPS) in the home setting for older adult ICU survivors suffering from post-ICU cognitive impairment.”

October 01, 2018

The National Institutes of Health/National Institute on Aging (NIH/NIA) has awarded a five-year, $2.8 million R01 grant to fund the study, “Impact of Omega-3 Fatty Acid Oral Therapy on Healing of Chronic Venous Leg Ulcers in Older Adults.” The grant was awarded to Jodi McDaniel, PhD, RN, (PI), who is an associate professor and the graduate studies committee chair at The Ohio State University College of Nursing. Co-investigators include Alai Tan, MD, PhD, of the College of Nursing, and College of Medicine faculty Guibin Li, MD, PhD, Narasimham Parinandi, PhD, and Sashwati Roy, PhD.

The project addresses the global problem of chronic venous leg ulcers (CVLUs), recurring wounds causing considerable infirmity for an estimated 9.7 million people every year, mainly older adults with comorbidities. CLVUs can cause disability, hospitalization and death among older adults. The project tests a new oral nutrient therapy containing the bioactive elements of fish oil, eicosapentaenoic acid and docosahexaenoic acid for targeting and reducing the high numbers of activated polymorphonuclear leukocytes in ulcer microenvironments that keep CVLUs “trapped” in a chronic inflammatory state and prevent healing. The project findings are expected to advance wound healing science and lead to a new low-risk adjunct oral therapy to stimulate the healing of CVLUs.

“New therapies for CVLUs are needed because standard topical therapies are often ineffective or yield only short-term healing,” the investigators stated in their proposal. The project aims to reduce the high healthcare costs associated with treatments and mitigate the negative impact CVLUs have on quality of life in aging.

Mary Beth Happ, PhD, RN, FGSA, FAAN, Associate Dean for Research and Innovation in the College of Nursing stated, "Dr. McDaniel's study is the third R01 grant from the National Institute on Aging awarded to College of Nursing researchers over the past year, showing the college's deep commitment to building science to improve the health and well-being of older adults."

September 18, 2018

The National Institutes of Health/National Institute of Nursing Research (NIH/NINR) has awarded a $1.8 million R01 grant to fund the study titled, “Paternal Role in Adverse Birth Outcomes in Black Families.” The multiple-PI grant was awarded to Carmen Giurgescu, PhD, RN, WHNP, associate professor in The Ohio State University College of Nursing, Cleopatra Caldwell, PhD, of University of Michigan and Dawn Phillips Misra, PhD, at Wayne State University. The study was funded from September, 2018 to June, 2022.

According to the PIs, “the few studies that have explored paternal effects on birth outcomes have generally excluded understanding the dynamic, complex, and often correlated maternal-paternal relationship…studies often have been limited to an examination of paternal age, occupation, or socioeconomic status. The proposed study will assess whether and how fathers may have an impact on successful birth outcomes.”

“Black women are more likely to have adverse birth outcomes such as preterm birth and low birthweight infants compared with White women,” said Giurgescu. “Although the literature has identified a number of risk factors for adverse birth outcomes associated with mothers, little attention has been given to understanding the role of fathers on birth outcomes. Our study will consider the role of social determinants of health, specifically disadvantaged neighborhoods and experiences of racial discrimination for expectant fathers, and their influences on expectant parents’ mental health and birth outcomes among Black families. We will also measure maternal and paternal telomere length, a biological indicator of chronic stress, and its relationship to adverse birth outcomes.”

The study aims to add another dimension to efforts to reduce racial disparities. “This information can serve as the foundation for recommendations aimed at family-centered interventions to reduce adverse birth outcomes," Giurgescu stated.