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CCN Research Society Update

The CCN Research Society is continuously recruiting new members and faculty research mentors. The purpose of this club is to increase student interest in and knowledge of undergraduate research, with the goal of increasing the number of students who develop their own research projects.  

 “Membership in the CCN Research Society provides opportunities for students to experience all of the different aspects of the research process while working alongside a faculty mentor,” Faculty Advisor Dr. Paige Johnson states. “It helps them understand, firsthand, how research and evidence-based practice informs nursing practice. “  

The research club meets once a month on Monday afternoon. Students in both lower division and upper division are encouraged to join the club. In addition to club meetings, members are planning to present at the Undergraduate Research and Creative Activity Conference held this spring.  

A large number of students are working with faculty members on research projects that should yield presentations and publications from their collaboration. Hillary Melton, undergraduate student member, states, “As a member of the CCN Research Society and Randall Research Scholars Program, I have been given the opportunity to present my research on Telomere Length, Life’s Simple 7, and Psychosociocultural Factors Among African American Women to faculty and students.” Melton’s experience working with faculty research mentorDr. Theresa Wadashas encouraged her to, “diversify my nursing practices and select a topic for my ancillary project within the overarching research initiative.” 

Membership in the CCN Research Society is mutually beneficial to both students and faculty. Dr. Johnson affirms, “Faculty benefit tremendously from working with undergraduate students on research projects. Students not only assist in all of the work that has to be done to complete a project but also bring a fresh perspective and new ideas to explore.”  

For more information on becoming a faculty mentor, contact Dr. Paige Johnson (ptjohnso@ua.edu) or Dr. Michele Montgomery (mmontgomery1@ua.edu). Undergraduate students who would like to become involved with the CCN Research Society and want more information, email ccnresearchsociety@gmail.com. 

Fall 2020 Faculty Spotlight: Dr. Robin Bartlett

Robin Bartlett: Professor, Lifespan ResearcherDr. Robin Bartlett received her both her Bachelor of Science and Master of Science in Nursing Administration degrees from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. She earned her PhD from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Prior to joining the Capstone College of Nursing in August of 2019, Dr. Bartlett taught for several years and served as Director of the PhD in nursing program for four years at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro.

Dr. Bartlett serves as faculty in CCN and is affiliated with the Alabama Life Research Institute in her role as Lifespan Researcher. In these roles, she will be teaching CCN graduate courses and conducting funded research aligned with the mission of the Life Research Institute and an affiliated research center, the Center for Youth Development and Intervention. Dr. Bartlett will also be providing research mentoring to CCN junior faculty and students.

Dr. Bartlett’s clinical practice experiences in mental health settings inspired her to conduct health disparities research. Her primary research focus has been understanding risky behaviors and their associated prevention measures in a population primarily comprised of minority adolescents, particularly African American and Latinx adolescent girls. Dr. Bartlett takes a special interest in risk and protective factors associated with behavior trajectories, health outcomes, health disparities and parenting. For example, she has conducted intervention studies focused on the prevention of risk behaviors that could lead to negative health outcomes for minority adolescent girls.

Her work at CCN is expanding her health disparities work to younger children and rural-residing Alabamian adolescents. Dr. Bartlett’s research efforts are influenced by her positive approach. She exemplifies this perspective by focusing on strengths of diverse ethnic and cultural groups. She is a proponent for shifting focus from deficit research to preventative and proactive measures in research. Dr. Bartlett is honored to be a part of CCN and Life Research Institute community.

Mumba Awarded NIH Grant to Aid in Reversal of Opioid Crisis

Mercy Mumba - Assistant ProfessorDr. Mercy Mumba, Assistant Professor at the Capstone College of Nursing, grew up in Zambia, where nursing was not a well-respected profession. After moving to the United States, Dr. Mumba earned her Bachelor of Science in Nursing from the University of Texas at Arlington. Only two years after graduating with her BSN, she entered a BSN to PhD program; and four years later she graduated with a PhD from UT Arlington’s College of Nursing and Health Innovation. A passionate researcher, Dr. Mumba has a number of funded grants, most of which concentrate on preventions and treatment of substance abuse disorders and their co-morbid psychiatric mental health conditions.

Dr. Mumba and her team have received notice of an award from the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH) at the NIH for their proposal entitled “A Mindfulness and Peer Mentoring Program to Improve Adherence to Medication Assisted Treatment for Opioid Use Disorders.” This five-year project, funded through The Helping to End Addiction Long-Term (HEAL) Initiative, is the only one funded from the state of Alabama. This award is one of 375 grant awards across 41 states made by the National Institutes of Health in fiscal year 2019 to apply scientific solutions to reverse the national opioid crisis. Below, we asked Dr. Mumba to share some insight into this project.

Please describe the purpose and goal of this project.

The purpose of this project is to improve adherence to medication-assisted therapies for opioid use disorders, such as buprenorphine and methadone, among others by utilizing a combination of mindfulness-based relapse prevention and peer support specialists.  We are also trying to see if this intervention helps with reducing relapse, cravings, depression, anxiety and stress.

What are the plans and goals of each phase of the project?

In Phase 1, we will be piloting the feasibility and acceptability of this new intervention that we developed to see if it works and to see if people with opioid problems think that this is something they can participate in if it was available. We will also be examining the preliminary efficacy of the intervention in decreasing relapse, cravings, depression, anxiety and stress.

Please elaborate on the mentoring aspect of this study. Why mentoring is important to you?

There is a growing body of evidence showing that using peer mentoring in substance use recovery produces better outcomes. This is because patients have an accountability partner as well as a role model to look up to in their sobriety journey. The road to recovery is often difficult and can be lonely. Therefore, utilizing peer mentoring can improve social engagement, reduce isolation and provide a sense of belonging for individuals recovering from addiction.

What does this grant mean to you and your team?

Our team is excited about the opportunity to increase access to evidence-based treatment modalities for individuals with opioid use disorders. Alabama is one of the hardest hit states when it comes to the opioid crisis and yet, we also have serious problems when it comes to access to care. We believe that our grant is providing a much-needed service and has potential to reduce morbidity and mortality related to opioid misuse.

How do you hope this study will inspire or influence other nurses or researchers in the field?

I think this study challenges all of us to look at individuals with opioid use disorder from a holistic perspective. There are many issues that contribute to addiction and substance abuse; however, when we look at treatment options, they sometimes tend to neglect all the other problems that may have contributed to the addiction in the first place. This is why we believe that addressing co-morbid mental health and other psychiatric disorders in this population is an integral part of promoting sustained recovery.

Dr. Mumba is the principal investigator and program director. Her co-investigators include Drs. Andrea Glenn (Psychology), George Mugoya (Educational Counseling), Rebecca Allen (Psychology), David Albright (Social Work), Lori Davis (Tuscaloosa VAMC), Joshua Richman (Tuscaloosa VAMC) and Ms. Austin Butler (Alabama Community Care).

Research reported in this publication was supported by the National Center for Complementary & Integrative Health of the National Institutes of Health under Award Number R61AT010802. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institutes of Health.

 

CCN’s Dr. Lippe Recognized as Sojourns Scholar

Assistant ProfessorCapstone College of Nursing assistant professor, Dr. Megan Lippe, has been accepted into the sixth cohort of Cambia Health Foundation’s Sojourns® Scholar Leadership Program. The Sojourns Scholar Leadership Program’s purpose is to identify, cultivate and advance the next generation of palliative care leaders. Each Scholar receives funding over a two-year period to conduct a project that will essentially enhance the field of palliative care. Those Scholars also will be mentored in the design and implementation of a development plan that supports their growth as palliative care leaders.

Dr. Lippe is one of 10 selected to help advance the field of palliative care, and she is elated to see her project come to life over the next two years. “I am so honored and humbled to have been selected to be a Sojourn Scholar,” said Dr. Lippe. “I know several past and current scholars, and these amazing individuals have contributed substantially to the advancement of the field of palliative care. As one of the few nurses selected, I am appreciative to Cambia for awarding me this opportunity and I am also excited for the road ahead. My work as a Sojourn Scholar will allow me to make a meaningful impact on the provision of palliative care in Alabama.”

Dr. Lippe’s research focuses on palliative and end-of-life care education. Her passion for palliative care is shown with her project funded by Cambia Health Foundation’s Sojourn Scholar Leadership Program.

In Dr. Lippe’s project, she will mentor two groups of advanced practice registered nurses (APRN): a core group and survey group. Both groups will receive palliative care education through the ELNEC-Graduate curriculum. The project will begin with focus groups within the core group where APRNS will facilitate the identification of factors influencing palliative care provision in rural Alabama. Participants in these focus groups will explore factors influencing provision of palliative care. APRNs will consider difficulties and successes in addressing patients’ needs and improving quality of life. Using focus group results, Dr. Lippe will create an online survey that asks survey group APRNs to rank factors by priority impact on practice.

After the focus groups, Dr. Lippe will hold monthly team meetings with core group APRNs to discuss key issues in palliative care within Alabama, such as current primary palliative care practice and future directions for palliative care within the state. APRNs practicing in rural care settings will have the opportunity to share their perspectives on the provision of palliative care to patients with serious illnesses through a presentation at the November 2021 State Advisory Council on Palliative Care and Quality of Life meeting. They will work as a team to determine the presentation content, delivery mechanism, and distribute portions to all APRNs who will be able to attend the council meeting.

Dr. Lippe is committed to becoming a future palliative care leader by mobilizing APRNs in rural primary care practice settings to serve as leaders and advocates for primary palliative care within their communities and Alabama.

“Alabama ranks as the one of the worst performing states in the provision of palliative care, consistently receiving a D grading on Center to Advance Palliative Care (CAPC) state report cards,” said Dr. Lippe. “The state is mostly rural, and few specialized palliative care clinics or providers are accessible for Alabama residents throughout the state, except near Birmingham. Many patients with serious illness in the state receive their care from APRNs in primary care settings. However, the poor statistics in the state suggest that these APRNs are a currently untapped resource for enhancing the provision of primary palliative care.”

Palliative care education has been and will continue to be Dr. Lippe’s passion. Through this project, she hopes to become a change agent in the field of palliative care by advocating for the need for students and nurses to be educated and competent in providing palliative care to all patients and their families. “I hope this project is just the first step in a long road of advocating for and creating change within the field of palliative care.”

UACCN Ranks Among Best Online Nursing Programs for 2020

The Capstone College of Nursing at The University of Alabama is proud to announce its online programs have again been ranked among the best in the country by U.S. News & World Report.

CCN’s Master of Science in Nursing, Nursing Administration was ranked No. 12 by the publication, and was the only program in Alabama and the Southeastern Conference to be ranked in this category. Additionally, the College’s MSN, Nurse Practitioner program was ranked No. 9, the only program in the state included in this category.

“Being included on this list is a high honor for The Capstone College of Nursing,” said Dr. Suzanne Prevost, Dean of CCN. “We at CCN strive to provide the best educational opportunities for practicing nurses in a flexible, online format. It is the passion of these lifelong learners, coupled with our enthusiastic and highly-qualified faculty and staff that contributes to our continued success.”

U.S. News & World Report’s Best Online Nursing Programs were determined based on the institution’s performance across five categories: engagement, faculty credentials and training, expert opinion, services and technologies, and student excellence. For more information about the Best Online Programs methodology, click here.

CCN currently offers the following graduate programs: MSN Nurse Administrator; MSN Nurse Practitioner (Family and/or Mental Health); Doctor of Nursing Practice; Joint Online Nursing Science PhD program; and post-graduate Nurse Practitioner Certificate Programs. . The goal of all CCN degree programs is to prepare qualified and caring nurses to meet the needs of our state and nation.  For more information about CCN’s graduate programs, click here.

 

Mumba Awarded NIH Grant to Aid in Reversal of Opioid Crisis

Mercy Mumba: Assistant ProfessorDr. Mercy Mumba, Assistant Professor at the Capstone College of Nursing, and her team have received notice of an award from the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH) at the NIH for their proposal entitled “A Mindfulness and Peer Mentoring Program to Improve Adherence to Medication Assisted Treatment for Opioid Use Disorders.”

This five-year project, funded through The Helping to End Addiction Long-Term (HEAL) Initiative, is the only one funded from the state of Alabama. The trans-NIH research effort aims to improve treatments for chronic pain, curb the rates of opioid use disorder (OUD) and overdose and achieve long-term recovery from opioid addiction.  Phase 1 of the project (R61 phase) is a two-year pilot study to test the feasibility and acceptability of this intervention, and phase 2 (R33 phase) is a three-year clinical trial. The approved budget for Phase 1 is $783,788, and the total budget for the five-year project is $2,793,879. The release of funds for Phase 2 will be contingent upon successful completion of Phase 1. The funded project is summarized below.

There is evidence that combining mindfulness-based interventions and peer recovery support services with medication-assisted therapy (MAT) to treat opioid use disorders (OUD) reduces substance use, cravings, symptoms of depression and anxiety and relapse rates. The intervention can also improve treatment retention and relationships with treatment providers and social supports. The goal of the present study is to determine the effectiveness of a mindfulness-based intervention that also uses peer mentors in addition to professional substance abuse therapists (the Minds and Mentors program [MiMP]) in improving adherence to MAT for OUD and reducing relapse rates in a sample of individuals with OUD. The study hypothesizes that participants in MiMP will demonstrate better adherence; reduced relapse and cravings (primary outcomes measures); reduced depression, anxiety, and stress; improved social support; and reduced cortisol levels and reactivity to drug cues.

Dr. Mumba is the principal investigator and program director. Her co-investigators include Drs. Andrea Glenn (Psychology), George Mugoya (Educational Counseling), Rebecca Allen (Psychology), David Albright (Social Work), Lori Davis (Tuscaloosa VAMC), Joshua Richman (Tuscaloosa VAMC) and Ms. Austin Butler (Alabama Community Care).

This award is one of 375 grant awards across 41 states made by the National Institutes of Health in fiscal year 2019 to apply scientific solutions to reverse the national opioid crisis.

Research reported in this publication was supported by the National Center for Complementary & Integrative Health of the National Institutes of Health under Award Number R61AT010802. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institutes of Health.

Nursing Night at Alabama Baseball – May 10, 2019

Invitation to Nursing Night at Alabama Baseball, May 10, 2019

Join us for Nursing Night at the Joe!

We invite all CCN students, faculty, staff, alums and friends to join us as Alabama Baseball takes on Texas A&M at Sewell-Thomas Stadium!

When: Friday, May 10th at 6 p.m.

Where: Sewell-Thomas Stadium, 241 Paul Bryant Drive

Please purchase your discounted tickets by May 3rd! Your $7 ticket includes your seat, entrance to the CCN tailgate and a gameday buffet!

https://rolltide.com/promo → Promo code: BBNURSING

Contact Rosemary Russell, rurussell@ua.edu for more information.

Dr. Marietta Stanton

Dr. Marietta Stanton is a dedicated nurse, nurse educator, researcher, and administrator. She is a Professor at The University of Alabama’s Capstone College of Nursing (CCN) and previously served as its Assistant Dean of the Graduate Programs. Dr. Stanton was instrumental in the implementation of CCN’s graduate programs. She played a primary role in both the Joint Doctor of Nursing Practice program with UAH and UAB, and the Joint Doctor of Education program with UA’s College of Education.

Dr. Stanton spent the early years of her nursing career in service to our country. Commissioned as a Captain in U.S. Army in1977, she served at several military hospitals including Walter Reed Medical Center. She came to Tuscaloosa in 1999 as Commander of the 75th Combat Support Hospital. Dr. Stanton is the recipient of a number of awards and honors including the prestigious Legion of Merit.

Her practice and research address three primary areas: case management, nurse veterans, and nursing practice and education. Dr. Stanton’s expertise in these areas is demonstrated through her extensive body of scientific publications and contributions to books. She has more than 40 years of experience conducting large scale, collaborative training and research projects in civilian and military healthcare systems.

Dr. Stanton is currently working on projects related to post traumatic stress, depression, and other psychological disorders. She is recognized for developing a case management model for providing support to returning reservist soldiers that has been implemented nationwide.

Described as an educator who empowers students to soar to new heights, Marietta Stanton has made a powerful state, national, and international impact on nursing and nursing education.

Dr. Linda Moneyham

Dr. Linda Moneyham has devoted her career to nursing practice, education, and research. She is Senior Associate Dean and Professor in the School of Nursing at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. Her scientific and professional work emphasizes two aims: empowering women with HIV living in rural areas to cope and to develop self-care skills, and mentoring minority and disadvantaged students preparing to become scientific and practice leaders in nursing. Her commitment to these two aims is reflected in her being awarded more than $8M in funding from the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the National Center on Minority Health and Disparities (NCMHD), the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), and the National Institute of Nursing Research (NINR).

Dr. Moneyham has published, as primary or contributing author, more than 100 scientific articles and book chapters. Her dedication to the nursing profession in Alabama was demonstrated through her leadership as Coordinator of the Joint University of Alabama System Doctor of Nursing Practice Program. She has received multiple honors and awards recognizing her work on behalf of nursing research and practice. Dr. Moneyham received the Minority Health Research Award from the Southern Nursing Research Society, and she was named a Top 100 Legacy Leader by the Indiana University School of Nursing. Being awarded the University of Alabama at Birmingham’s Charles Barkley Excellence in Mentoring Award and the Graduate Dean’s Award for Excellence in Mentoring speaks to her commitment to mentoring future nurse practitioners and researchers.

As an intellectual leader in nursing, a highly regarded researcher, and a dedicated mentor, Linda Moneyham has made extraordinary contributions to the nursing profession in Alabama, nationally, and internationally.

Frances Dobynes Ford

Frances Ford has dedicated her life to enhancing and transforming healthcare in Alabama’s Black Belt region. She is a devoted public servant whose nursing training and experiences are foundational to her healthcare advocacy.

Ms. Ford is Executive Director of Sowing Seeds of Hope, a faith-based organization that strives to improve access to quality healthcare for persons living in the Black Belt. She also serves as the Healthcare Coordinator for the Perry County Commission. She works with Perry County elected officials, community leaders, and residents to identify barriers to effective healthcare and to develop and implement solutions to meet healthcare needs. Ms. Ford championed eliminating a state regulation limiting where dialysis centers may be located. She was instrumental in establishing a dialysis center in Perry County. Among other accomplishments, she insures that free healthcare screenings are offered to every child in Perry County, hosts quarterly health fairs in partnership with the Perry County Health Department, and offers monthly diabetic education and support in Perry County through a partnership with Samford University’s McWhorter School of Pharmacy.

Because of her work as a healthcare advocate, she has received multiple awards, including the Courage to Care Award and the Living Legacy Award from Samford University’s Ida V. Moffett School of Nursing. In 2016, she was inducted into the Alabama Healthcare Hall of Fame.

Described as a registered nurse with a missionary’s heart, Frances Ford exemplifies the transformative impact of nurses in the communities in which they live and work.