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University of Iowa News Release

Release: March 5, 2003

Nursing Students Work With Researchers To Improve Patient Care

Three University of Iowa nursing students have been named to the UI College of Nursing’s Young Scientist Program for the 2002-2003 academic year. The program is a mentored research experience in which an undergraduate nursing student is integrated into an ongoing clinical nursing research program.

The program, in its third year, was developed to provide in-depth research experiences for undergraduates to expose them to nursing research. Participants are expected to spend eight to 10 hours per week in activities central to the research project as a full member of the research team, join monthly discussion groups with other student participants and mentors, and complete a project that results in a tangible product such as a poster presentation or publication.

In addition, each student in the Young Scientist Program receives a travel allowance to attend a major research conference and has the option of registering for independent study or honors independent study for up to three credits.

Catherine Squires, of Cedar Rapids, will be mentored by Rita Frantz, Ph.D., professor and chair of the Biobehavioral Area of Study. The project she is working on is evaluating the impact of physical factors on the healing of diabetic foot ulcers.

Anne Wellman, of Bettendorf, will be mentored by Janet Williams, Ph.D., professor. She will work on a research project led by Williams that aims to identify health concerns and care needs of family members of asymptomatic persons with a positive DNA test in the gene for Huntington’s disease.

Samantha Chinderle, from Shorewood, Ill., will be mentored by Ann Marie McCarthy, Ph.D., associate professor, and Charmaine Kleiber, Ph.D., an advanced practice nurse at UI Hospitals and Clinics. The project she is participating in is a study that teaches parents to use distraction with their children during painful medical procedures.

Squires’ participation in the program is sponsored by the John A. Hartford Center of Geriatric Nursing Excellence. Wellman and Chinderele are sponsored by the Nancy Stence Creason Nursing Young Scientist Scholarship. All four students are seniors.

“The Hartford Center sponsors this program in order to respond to the immediate need for nurses trained to do research that will provide us with proven methods for improving care and therefore improving the quality of life for elders,” said Meridean Maas, Ph.D., Sally Mathis Hartwig professor and director of the Hartford Center.

While the Hartford Center sponsors students pursuing interests in gerontology, the program is open to all areas of interest.

“Undergraduates learn what it takes to become a nurse researcher, and we hope the experience encourages all participants to consider attending graduate school in nursing,” Maas said.

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa College of Nursing, 101 Nursing Building, Iowa City, Iowa 52242

CONTACT: Bonnie McIntosh (319) 335-7003,