Nurse of the Week: Baylor Nursing Graduate Amanda Ward Braswell Selected for Fulbright Grant to India

Nurse of the Week: Baylor Nursing Graduate Amanda Ward Braswell Selected for Fulbright Grant to India

Our Nurse of the Week is Amanda Ward Braswell, a 2017 graduate from Baylor University’s Louise Herrington School of Nursing and recent recipient of a Fulbright grant to India. The Fulbright Program is an international educational exchange program sponsored by the US government to increase mutual understanding between people of the US and people of other countries.

Beginning in the fall, Braswell will temporarily leave her post as a registered nurse in the Bone Marrow Transplant unit at Medical City Dallas to live in Bengaluru, India, on the Bangalore Baptist Hospital (BBH)/Rebekah Ann Naylor School of Nursing (RANSON) campus. Braswell will conduct her research project with residents from DJ Halli, the largest slum in Bangalore, where rates of illiteracy and a variety of health disparities run high.

Braswell tells Baylor.edu, “The No. 1 cause of death in India is non-communicable disease, such as cardiovascular disease, and this is something that can be prevented if people have the knowledge about modifying certain aspects of their diet, for example. So my project will study the perception of food, dietary habits and the accessibility of food and find the link to cardiovascular disease with the goal of bridging the knowledge gap.”

Braswell became interested in Bengaluru, India on a mission trip in July 2017 with two of her nursing professors and a few peers from Baylor’s nursing program. Through a partnership with BBH/RANSON, Braswell and colleagues taught 200 nurses at the hospital how to initiate intravenous punctures while reducing the risk for infection and conducted research on the effectiveness of their teaching.

After finishing her Fulbright year, Braswell hopes to publish her research findings and return to Medical City Dallas, with graduate school a strong possibility in the future. Braswell is considering earning her DNP or PhD while continuing in the field of nursing research.

To learn more about Braswell’s work as a Fulbright scholar in India and future plans for her career in nursing, visit here.

University at Buffalo Nursing Faculty Receive Funding for Interdisciplinary Research Projects

University at Buffalo Nursing Faculty Receive Funding for Interdisciplinary Research Projects

Two faculty members from the University at Buffalo (UB) School of Nursing have received awards to help fund interdisciplinary research projects in the areas of access to health care for low-income cancer patients and weight loss following bariatric surgery.

Darryl Somayaji, PhD, assistant professor in the UB School of Nursing, received a $50,000 grant from the UB Clinical and Translational Science Institute (CTSI) Pilot Studies Program to lead an investigation of health outcomes for lung cancer patients and survivors on Medicaid. The CTSI Pilot Studies Program provides funding to nursing faculty to help advance new technologies and treatments from conceptual stage to clinical study.

Somayaji’s study will look at health care patterns to determine if guidelines for timely diagnosis and treatment are being met, and if access to care has an impact on patient mortality. Her research will help improve health care models and inequalities in care that Medicaid-insured individuals diagnosed with cancer often face.

Laura Anderson, PhD, licensed psychologist and assistant professor in the UB School of Nursing, was awarded the Innovative Micro-Programs Accelerating Collaboration in Themes (IMPACT) grant from the UB Office of the Vice President for Research and Economic Development for $30,000. Her award will support investigations of factors behind excessive weight regain following bariatric surgery, a complication that occurs in more than 40 percent of patients.

Yu-Ping Chang, PhD, Patricia H. and Richard E. Garman Endowed Professor and associate dean for research and scholarship in the UB School of Nursing, tells Buffalo.edu, “We are very excited that two of our faculty received funding to further develop their programs of research. Both of their studies are inter-disciplinary and translational in nature, and are addressing significant clinical problems directly related to patients’ health and health care delivery.”

To learn more about the innovative research being conducted by UB Nursing faculty, visit here.

University of California, Davis Nursing Dean Steps Down to Pursue Research Role

University of California, Davis Nursing Dean Steps Down to Pursue Research Role

Heather M. Young, founding dean of the Betty Irene Moore School of Nursing at the University of California, Davis, has announced plans to step down from her leadership position to pursue a research role at the school. After leaving the office in July, Young plans to take a sabbatical and return to UC Davis to pursue research in her areas of interest including family caregiving and healthy aging for older adults.

Young tells UCDavis.edu, “My heart is full of gratitude for the belief that the leaders at UC Davis and the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation placed in me 10 years ago. I came here for the opportunity of a lifetime — to launch the Betty Irene Moore School of Nursing. It has been the most exciting and exhilarating experience of my life. I feel so grateful to our entire team and our many colleagues and supporters who share my vision for what health care should be.”

Young joined UC Davis in 2008 after the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation announced its $100 million commitment to launch a nursing school on the UC Davis Sacramento campus. During her tenure as dean, Young helped establish the school and its five graduate-degree programs, launched a research program, and oversaw the construction of the Betty Irene Moore Hall.

When Young returns to UC Davis as a researcher, her efforts will be focused on environments that promote healthy aging and formal health care systems for older adults. Young has spent two years working with AARP to develop solutions geared toward supporting family caregivers performing complex tasks at home.

To learn more about Heather Young and her decision to step down as dean to pursue a research role, visit here.

NYU College of Nursing Study Finds Nursing Workforce is Growing More Diverse and Educated

NYU College of Nursing Study Finds Nursing Workforce is Growing More Diverse and Educated

According to a new study by NYU Rory Meyers College of Nursing researchers, more males and people of color are entering nursing, and more nurses are earning bachelor’s degrees compared with a decade ago. The NYU study used nursing workforce data from 13 states across the US and surveyed four cohorts of nurses in 2006, 2009, 2012, and 2016, capturing data on 5,000 newly licensed nurses to observe changes in the nursing workforce over a 10-year period.

Following a 2010 report from the Institute of Medicine (IOM) titled “The Future of Nursing: Leading Change, Advancing Health” which provided recommendations on how nurses can best advance the nation’s health, campaigns to help implement the report’s recommendations began. The report emphasized the importance of increasing gender and ethnic diversity in nursing, transforming nursing education, and fostering collaboration between nurses and other professionals.

The NYU study found that from 2005 to 2015:

  • Males entering the nursing profession grew from 8.8 percent to 13.6 percent
  • Nurses of color joining the workforce grew from 22.2 percent to 26.2 percent
  • New nurses entering the workforce with a bachelor’s degree grew from 36.6 percent to 48.5 percent
  • Working relationships between nurses and physicians improved by 7 percent
  • The percentage of white (non-Hispanic) nurses decreased from 78.9 percent in 2008 to 73.8 percent in 2015

Christine T. Kovner, RN, PhD, Mathey Mezey Professor of Geriatric Nursing at NYU Meyers, tells NYU.edu, “The four cohorts of new nurses were remarkably different from each other in ways that could have an important impact on workforce planning. We suspect that changes in the US economic environment, including the recession, were likely to have influenced the educational and diversity trends of new nurses, encouraging them to enter the field during a difficult period for employment.”

The study also found that today’s nurses have high ambitions. The 2015 cohort was asked about the highest degree they were pursuing or plan to pursue: 49.2 percent reported bachelor’s degrees, 56.9 percent reported master’s degrees, and 20.4 percent reported pursuing or planning to pursue a doctoral degree. 40.3 percent of the cohort also reported they learned to work in teams with professions from other fields including medicine, social work, physical therapy, occupation therapy, dental, and pharmacy.

To learn more about NYU’s study of nursing workforce changes over the last 10 years, read the full news release here.

Most U.S. Adults with Diabetes are Properly Diagnosed

Most U.S. Adults with Diabetes are Properly Diagnosed

This story was originally published by MedPage Today, a trusted and reliable source for clinical and policy coverage that directly affects the lives and practices of health care professionals and provider of free CME.

The proportion of diabetes cases that go undiagnosed in the U.S. may be just 11%, much lower than previous, widely accepted estimates of one-quarter to one-third, a new study suggested.

The previous estimates were based on an analysis of national survey data that used only a single test to identify undiagnosed diabetes, but the new study used a second confirmatory test, as per guidelines from the American Diabetes Association (ADA), explained Elizabeth Selvin, PhD, of Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, and colleagues.

The proportion of undiagnosed diabetes cases has also decreased over time, from 16% in 1988-1994 to the 11% figure in 2011-2014, they reported online in the Annals of Internal Medicine.

“Establishing the burden of undiagnosed diabetes is critical to monitoring public health efforts related to screening and diagnosis,” Selvin’s group wrote. “When a confirmatory definition is used, undiagnosed diabetes is a relatively small fraction of the total diabetes population; most U.S. adults with diabetes (about 90%) have received a diagnosis of the condition.”

“If we’re thinking about screening programs, these findings suggest that healthcare providers are doing a good job at diagnosing people when they’re coming in contact with the healthcare system,” Selvin said in a statement. “It’s those people who are not coming in contact with the healthcare system that need to be a focus of our efforts to ensure cases of diabetes are not missed.”

Selvin’s group analyzed the same data that was used for the previous estimates, which were published by the CDC: the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) results for 1988-1994 and 1999-2014. The earlier data set included 7,385 U.S. adults, and the more recent set included 17,045.

The previous estimates relied on just one measurement of fasting plasma glucose, 2-hour glucose, or glycated hemoglobin (HbA1c) to identify undiagnosed diabetes. Selvin’s group defined undiagnosed diabetes as both elevated fasting glucose (≥7.0 mmol/L or ≥126 mg/dL) and an HbA1c of 6.5% or higher in people without a diagnosis of diabetes. Laboratory methods have changed since 1988, so the authors calibrated HbA1c values, and applied regression equations to the plasma glucose values, to take those changes into account.

The prevalence of total diabetes increased from 5.5% in 1988-1994 (9.7 million adults) to 10.8% in 2011-2014 (25.5 million adults), the study found. Confirmed undiagnosed diabetes also increased on an absolute scale, from 0.89% of the total study population in 1988-1994 to 1.17% in 2011-2014, but decreased as a proportion of total diabetes cases, the investigators said.

One of the strongest risk factors for undiagnosed diabetes was BMI. Individuals with a BMI of 30 or higher had more than seven times the risk compared to those with a BMI less than 25 (prevalence ratio 7.40; 95% CI 3.39-11.40).

Sex and race were also significant risk factors. Men were at higher risk than women (prevalence ratio 1.85, 95% CI 1.29-2.42). Compared with whites, Mexican Americans had more than three times the risk (PR 3.66, 95% CI 2.37-4.95), as did Asian Americans (PR 3.49, 95% CI 1.20-5.78). Blacks had more than twice the risk (PR 2.24, 95% CI 1.40-3.07), the investigators reported.

Individuals who lacked access to healthcare were also at greater risk. Not having had a recent healthcare visit (PR 2.43, 95% CI 1.61-3.26) and lack of health insurance (PR 1.63, 95% CI 1.02-2.25) were both significant risk factors for confirmed undiagnosed diabetes.

In an accompanying editorial, Anne Peters, MD, of the University of Southern California in Los Angeles, said, “Overall, these findings are encouraging. They show that there are not as many patients with undiagnosed diabetes as previously thought and that the proportion of cases is decreasing. However, diabetes is still going undiagnosed, particularly in persons who may not have regular access to healthcare or who have several risk factors. Thus, public health efforts to screen at-risk patients and help them receive care may be beneficial.”

The study underscores the importance of a second, confirmatory test to make a diagnosis in patients without symptoms, Peters added. “One test alone may be inaccurate, and making a diabetes diagnosis may have substantial implications for a patient. It may be psychologically distressing and affect a person’s eligibility for several types of insurance (including disability, long-term care, and life insurance policies).”

Peters pointed out some study limitations, including its cross-sectional design and the fact that fasting plasma glucose and HbA1c were measured from the same blood sample, not from separate samples drawn on different days, “which generally is the case during screening in a non-research setting,” she explained.

“Understanding the proportion of diabetes cases that are actually undiagnosed, and who those patient groups are, is really critical to allocation of public health resources,” the authors concluded. “Our results suggest that targeted screening in these populations and increasing health coverage could help make sure that persons who have diabetes receive a diagnosis and get the appropriate treatment that they need.”


The study was supported by the NIH.

Selvin disclosed no relevant relationships with industry. Co-authors disclosed relevant relationships with Abbott Diabetes Care, Becton Dickinson, Boehringer Ingelheim, Bristol-Myers Squibb/AstraZeneca,Calibra, Eli Lilly, Hygieia, Johnson & Johnson, Medtronic, Merck, Novo Nordisk, Roche, Sanofi, Takeda, Dexcom, the NIH, and the National Kidney Foundation.

Peters disclosed no relevant relationships with industry.

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