Timothy F. Landers, PhD, CNP, assistant professor at The Ohio State University College of Nursing, is one of just 12 outstanding nursing educators to win a competitive grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) Nurse Faculty Scholars program this year. Landers will receive a three-year, $350,000 award to promote his academic career and support his research. The Nurse Faculty Scholar award is given to junior faculty who show outstanding promise as future leaders in academic nursing.
“The mentoring, guidance and financial support from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation will allow me to develop and test a protocol aimed at improving hand hygiene among hospitalized patients,” Landers said.
Although hand hygiene is widely recognized as the most important means of preventing infection, relatively little work has been done to encourage patients to clean their own hands. In this study, Landers is investigating the five most common bacteria causing healthcare-associated infections (HAIs) to see if improving patient hand hygiene reduces these bacteria. Bacteria present on the skin of patients cause a majority of HAIs.
“In other words, the goal of this research is to show that our mothers were right – washing your hands is an important part of staying healthy,” Landers continued. “When patients are acutely ill, there are often other priorities besides keeping our hands clean.”
This study follows the publication of a large analysis of scientific data on the benefits of patient hand hygiene by patients in the American Journal of Infection Control by Landers and colleagues in May 2012. “When talking with infection control professionals, patient hand hygiene is recognized as an important topic, but one that has not been addressed,” Landers added. “It is my hope that we can develop an evidence-based protocol for when and how patients should clean their hands to reduce infections.”
Landers’ mentors for this work are Donna McCarthy, RN, PhD, FAAN, professor and associate dean for research at the College of Nursing; and Kurt Stevenson, MD, MPH, associate professor, internal medicine, and associate director of clinical epidemiology at the Ohio State Wexner Medical Center.
The RWJF Nurse Faculty Scholars program is strengthening the academic productivity and overall excellence of nursing schools by developing the next generation of leaders in academic nursing. It is providing $28 million to five cohorts of outstanding junior nursing faculty. Landers is part of the fifth cohort.
“Tim is an outstanding Buckeye faculty member who engages in cutting-edge research and innovative teaching,” said Bernadette Melnyk, PhD, RN, CPNP/PMHNP, FNAP, FAAN, dean of the College of Nursing and chief wellness officer at Ohio State.“He is so deserving of this prestigious award.”
The new Nurse Faculty Scholars will also support the Future of Nursing: Campaign for Action, which is engaging nurses and others in a nationwide effort to implement recommendations from the groundbreaking Institute of Medicine report "The Future of Nursing: Leading Change, Advancing Health."
Supporting junior nurse faculty will help curb a shortage of nurse educators that could undermine the health and healthcare of all Americans. The Affordable Care Act will vastly increase the number of people who can access healthcare in the United States. As the number of patients increases, there will be greater demand for skilled nurses as well as faculty to educate them. Right now, many schools of nursing are turning away qualified applicants because they do not have the faculty to teach them. The RWJF Nurse Faculty Scholars program is helping more junior faculty succeed in and commit to academic careers. The program will also enhance the stature of the scholars’ academic institutions, which will benefit fellow nurse educators seeking professional development opportunities.
To receive the award, scholars must be registered nurses who have completed a research doctorate in nursing or a related discipline and who have held a tenure-eligible faculty position at an accredited nursing school for at least two and no more than five years.
The Nurse Faculty Scholars program is funded by the RWJF and administered through the Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing. It is directed by Jacquelyn Campbell, PhD, RN, FAAN, who is the Anna D. Wolf chair and professor at the Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing.
To learn more about the program, visit nursefacultyscholars.org.
Lisa Lederer, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, 202-371-1999
Kathryn Kelley, The Ohio State University College of Nursing, 614-688-1062
About the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation
The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation focuses on the pressing health and healthcare issues facing our country. As the nation’s largest philanthropy devoted exclusively to health and healthcare, the foundation works with a diverse group of organizations and individuals to identify solutions and achieve comprehensive, measurable and timely change. For 40 years, the foundation has brought experience, commitment and a rigorous, balanced approach to the problems that affect the health and healthcare of those it serves. When it comes to helping Americans lead healthier lives and get the care they need, the foundation expects to make a difference in your lifetime. For more information, visit rwjf.org. Follow the Foundation on Twitter (rwjf.org/twitter) or Facebook (rwjf.org/facebook).
About The Ohio State University College of Nursing
The Ohio State University College of Nursing is the world’s preeminent college known for accomplishing what is considered impossible through its transformational leadership and innovation in nursing and health, evidence-based practice and unsurpassed wellness. We exist to revolutionize healthcare and promote the highest levels of wellness in diverse individuals and communities throughout the nation and globe through innovative and transformational education, research and evidence-based clinical practice. Please visit us at nursing.osu.edu.