Midwest Nursing Research Society

Kimberly A. Williams, DNS, RN

My research focus is on non-suicidal self-injury (NSSI) assessment and NSSI behaviors across cultures. I am in the process of developing two instruments for the assessment of non-suicidal self-injury and is currently a co-investigator for a non-funded research study of non-suicidal self-injury experiences in the Korean young adult population. My professional experiences include clinical adult health nurse practitioner service, family psychiatric nurse practitioner education, and instrument development.

Amy Petrinec, Ph.D., RN

After completing my master’s degree, I transitioned from clinical ICU nursing to teaching critical care at the undergraduate nursing level. During these experiences, I identified the family members of intensive care unit patients as a population who often has untoward psychological symptoms during the patient’s ICU admission. My dissertation work focused on the stress and coping of family members during and after a patient’s ICU hospitalization.

Barbara L. Drew, Ph.D., RN, PMHCNS-BC

My research interest has been driven by my clinical experience working with people who are suicidal. I felt compelled to explore how suicide can be prevented. I have studied the use of no-suicide/no-harm contracts, the experience of suicidal people who come to emergency departments, how adolescents and young adults manage their symptoms of depression and suicidality, and predictors of suicidal ideation in Thai women.

Pamela Stephenson, Ph.D., RN, AOCNS

Dr. Stephenson works as part of a hospice and palliative care research team looking at diverse issues affecting persons nearing the end of life and their families. Dr. Stephenson’s research currently focuses on how uncertainty affects patients involved in transitions towards dying. She is particularly interested in spiritual uncertainties and is working to develop, refine, and test a newly identified construct of spiritual uncertainty at the end of life. This builds on previous qualitative research that examined the spirituality of hospice patients.

Patricia Vermeersch, Ph.D., RN, CNP

Dr. Vermeersch’s research focuses on the use of technology in the management of health and illness in older adults.  She is particularly interested in finding creative and effective telemedicine solutions to address the complex health needs of the growing aging population.  Recent projects include the use of a telepresence robot for both teaching and clinical practice, and exploration of remote sensing devices useful for older adults at risk for a variety of geriatric syndromes.

Denice Sheehan, Ph.D., RN

Dr. Denice Sheehan is an Associate Professor of Nursing at Kent State University in Kent, Ohio. She directed the development of the first graduate nursing program in palliative care in the United States in 1998 at Ursuline College in Pepper Pike, Ohio. 

Dr. Sheehan’s program of research focuses on adolescents with a parent in hospice. She has been funded by the National Institute of Nursing Research as a Principal Investigator to study the strategies adolescents use to cope with the changes in their lives during the final months of a parent’s illness.

Dana M. Hansen Ph.D., RN, ACHPN

My research is focused on understanding the presence and nature of interaction and relationships for persons with serious illness and their family caregiver. Previous research has examined family relationships in patients with serious illness based on levels of comfort, relatedness states and life-closure. My current work incorporates social media to understand these dynamic family relationships. Social media has shifted the patterns of societal communication patterns and engagement. Use of social media provides connections, information, and support.

Mary K. Anthony, Ph.D., RN, CS

I have served as Associate Dean for Research for the Kent State College of Nursing since 2008 while holding a joint appointment as Co-Director Nursing Research, University Hospitals Cleveland Medical Center, Cleveland, Ohio. Participating in and supporting research and scholarly work has been integral to my professional activities for over 15 years. I have received funding for my program of research on nursing care delivery models and outcomes from federal and professional organizations.


Yea-Jyh Chen, Ph.D., RN

I am a Nursing Researcher and faculty, interested in identifying effective personalized self-care for chronic illness and oncology patients. Research projects I have been involved with include the detection of risk factors to rehospitalizations, and survival and prognostic outcome measures among patient populations with chronic lung disease in hospitals and communities, particularly those people with health disparities.