Groundbreaking Undergrad Research in Nursing
The Summer Undergraduate Research Experience (SURE) is an eight-week program which provides a great opportunity for undergraduate scholars to work directly with a faculty mentor to gain valuable experience, which helps to clarify career and educational goals and enhance research skills and gain academic insight.
Toward the end of Spring 2021, I received an email from Kent State University regarding this great research opportunity. Dr. Popescu was my professor for my Anatomy and Physiology courses, and later my 2021 SURE mentor. Dr. Popescu guided me working on “A Review Study of Vitamin K, the Forgotten Vitamin” last summer.
This program has strengthened my communication as well as critical thinking and analysis skills, and I am eager to continue to work on nursing research in the future.
Later, the director of the SURE program, Ms. Ann Gosky, helped connect me with the nursing research faculty at the Kent Campus. This summer, I am very grateful to work with Dr. Petrinec, Assistant Professor at Kent State College of Nursing, and her Ph.D. student, Ms. Wilk, Senior Lecturer and Adult Gerontology CNS Concentration Coordinator.
Our proposed research study tests a new instrument created by Ms. Wilk, entitled the Family Willingness for Caregiving Scale, which is designed to measure caregiver willingness of family members or close friends to carry out bedside care to a loved one who is receiving mechanical ventilation in an adult intensive care unit (ICU).
Besides our regular meetings throughout the program, I work closely with Ms. Wilk recruiting eligible family members at Summa Health. We communicate with the nurses ensuring the timing is good to visit patients’ family members and/or close friends. We introduce our research study to the eligible family members and/or close friends to see if they are interested and want to participate in our study. If so, I will explain the Informed Consent, which is a document that reviews the benefits and potential risks to them and obtain their signatures for the research study agreement.
Nursing research is very important for EBP (Evidence-Based Practice) for patients’ safety and overall quality of care as well as the nursing profession. I want to share two reasons why I am interested in this nursing research study:
- Nurses spend a lot of time at the bedside delivering care for the critically ill patients in ICU and deciding when it may be appropriate for family members, loved ones or close friends to deliver certain bedside care activities. Assisting with bedside care may help the family members feel closer and more useful to the patients during the difficult time. Thus, I want to study the willingness of family members to carry out certain care in an adult ICU.
- My Health Policy course exposed me to the necessity and significance of nursing research in the health policymaking cycle. Through this course, I have learned that nurses have a duty to be active in health policy, so they can directly influence each step of the policy cycle for patients’ safety and well-being, as well as the nursing profession. This motivated me to continue to work on nursing research in hopes of improving the quality of nursing care by advancing the science of nursing.
My SURE experience exposed me the power of nursing research and is training my critical thinking and analysis skills, which will help me significantly in my future nursing career. Moreover, I am eager to apply these skills that I learned from the research experience in the upcoming nursing courses and clinicals.
Dr. Petrinec and Ms. Wilk have taught me the essence of effective communication (verbal and nonverbal communication, active listening, written communication, cultural awareness, power of silence, compassion and presentation skills) since our research study involves direct communications with nurses and patients’ family members and/or close friends. Nursing practice requires both scientific knowledge as well as interpersonal, intellectual, and technical skills. The SURE program has trained my therapeutic communication skills as it is essential for the succession of individualized nursing care.
The opportunities I have had through the SURE program pave the way for myself, as a BSN student, to recognize the importance of research in the clinical area and provide tools to pursue nursing research in the future.
Kent State University strives for undergraduate academic success and research. I am confident you will receive great training for your future profession. In addition, we have amazing professors and advisors who deeply care about our academic success, and thus, no one will be left behind.
Lastly, you can do so much more than just study here. The spirit of Kent State University shall bring all students a sense of community and belonging. In summary, Kent State University embodies all things I value: nursing, incomparable research opportunities, community, and a supportive and inspiring learning environment.