April 2024

Achievement Announcements

The Alzheimer's Association Award

Development and testing of QUALity of Interactions Inventory (QUALII)

Dr. Anju Paudel, Assistant Professor, and her team were recently awarded a two-year, $250,000 grant from the Alzheimer's Association’s Advancing Research on Care and Outcome Measurement (ARCOM) program. In the study titled “Development and testing of QUALity of Interactions Inventory (QUALII),” Dr. Paudel will work with her team including Dr. Marie Boltz (Penn State), Dr. Elizabeth Galik (University of Maryland), and Dr. Terrence Murphy (Penn State) to develop and validate a comprehensive process and outcome measure of staff-resident interactions in dementia care that can be used in both evaluating quality and guiding improvement of daily care interactions. A short synopsis of the study by Dr. Paudel and her team is as follows:

"There is an urgent need to support the quality of relationships between staff & residents living with dementia in assisted living (AL). Interactions between staff & residents are foundational to those relationships. Lack of understanding of the interactions as a process can lead to poor interactions further negatively impacting care delivery, response to treatment, and resident and staff satisfaction. Existing measures of staff-resident interactions mostly examine outcomes (impact of practice) rather than process (practice to be followed). Additionally, they have not been developed and validated for use in AL. A tool with utility as both process and outcome measure is needed to guide best practices to improve staff-resident interaction & simultaneously, evaluate the impact of the practice. This study aims to develop and validate a comprehensive process and outcome measure of staff-resident interactions in dementia care— QUALity of Interactions Inventory (QUALII) for use in both evaluating quality and guiding improvement of daily care interactions. Upon completion, this study will provide a critical process and outcome measure of care interactions in Alzheimer's disease and related dementias (ADRD) in assisted living (AL). With research and practice utility, QUALII will play a significant role in advancing knowledge and practice in ADRD care. In particular, it will help to optimize daily care interactions between staff and residents with ADRD in AL thereby improving staff-resident relationships both of which are foundational and important to person-centered care efforts in ADRD research and practice."

Anju Paudel, Principal Investigator

Marie Boltz, Co-Investigator

Elizabeth Galik, Co-Investigator

Terrence Murphy, Co-Investigator

Alzheimer's Association Advancing Research on Care and Outcome Measurement (ARCOM)


Long-term opioid therapy trajectories in veteran patients with and without substance use disorder

Sydney A. Axson, William C. Becker, Jessica S. Merlin, Karl A. Lorenz, Amanda M. Midboe, & Anne C. Black.

Millions of opioid prescriptions are dispensed in the United States annually, predominantly for patients with acute pain; however, policies over the past decade have focused on addressing long-term prescribing for chronic pain (Dowell et al., 2016). Use of prescription opioids for the management of chronic pain is an evolving topic in healthcare with numerous federal agencies, including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Veterans Health Administration of the Department of Veteran Affairs (VHA), supporting …

CTSI Award

Pediatric Sexual Assault Forensic Examination Telehealth (SAFE-T) Program - Increasing Equitable Access to Quality Sexual Abuse Care in Rural and Underserved Communities 

When child sexual abuse occurs, children and their families require immediate access to a safe, timely forensic medical examination by a provider with specialized training in the provision of child-centered care that meets the unique needs of child victims. Most communities, especially in rural areas, lack specialized providers such as child abuse pediatricians or pediatric sexual assault nurse examiners (SANEs). When trained providers are not available, victims may be turned away, transferred to a distant hospital, or subjected to inappropriate, harmful treatment. The mission of the novel, nurse-led Sexual Assault Forensic Examination Telehealth (SAFE-T) model is to enhance equitable access to quality SA care in rural and underserved communities. SAFE-T supports evidence-based training of on-site nurses and the delivery of expert SA care, quality assurance, and mentoring through telehealth. Currently, SAFE-T experts (teleSANEs) provide remote, 24/7 real-time support to the on-site nurse and to adult and adolescent patients in 8 existing hospitals using our proprietary forensic telehealth system. Evaluation of the SAFET model shows evidence of success in increasing geographical access to SANE care; increased workforce stability via nurse confidence and retention; and positive impacts on patient experience and improved quality of care. SAFE-T's adaptable model holds promise to extend its impact to provide expertise to children, thereby serving individuals across the lifespan. This project will translate SAFE-T’s manualized, evidence-based, community-engaged approach to bring expert pediatric sexual abuse care to underserved communities to address inequities in the availability of quality child sexual abuse care. SAFE-T will develop an expert pediatric teleSANE team and engage community partners to create a program tailored to build on community strengths and needs. Simultaneously, we will develop a generalizable, sustainable business model for sexual assault telehealth specialty care to ensure that solutions are available and accessible for communities that do not have this expertise.  

Sheridan Miyamoto, PhD, FNP, RN, FAAN- Principal Investigator (Nursing)

Hui Zhao, PhD- Co-Investigator (Business)

Michael Riehart, DO, Co-Investigator (Medicine) 

2023 Clinical and Translational Science Institute One-Year award

Bridges to Translation IX Pilot Project
News Article

Penn State Altoona nursing program incorporates virtual reality in the classroom

Victoria Kellogg

Students in Penn State Altoona’s Nursing program are using virtual reality (VR) to enhance their learning. VR simulation uses immersive, 3D characteristics to replicate real-life situations. “VR is a way for our students to experience and work through high-stress situations in a supportive learning environment without the fear of harming a patient,” says Dr. Victoria Kellogg, assistant teaching professor in nursing.

Nahida Aktar

Graduate School Endowed Fellowship winner

Fall 2024

Ms. Akter has established herself as a dedicated Ph.D. student who brings great enthusiasm and commitment to the Ross and Carol Nese College of Nursing Ph.D. program, Penn State University, and the profession of nursing. Ms. Akter is bright, intellectually curious, possesses superb interpersonal skills, and represents our College and the University exceptionally well to both internal and external constituents. She truly makes the College of Nursing and Penn State proud regularly. Early this academic year Nahida was competitively selected to be the Social Media Ambassador of the Eastern Nursing Research Society—ENRS is the regional research society for the Northeastern portion of the United States. As well Nahida is one of the volunteer leaders of the College of Nursing’s Ph.D. Doctoral Student Organization. Through her latter role, just a few of her many contributions that I have witnessed are her exceptional mentorship of peers, delivery of guest lectures in one of my classes, and volunteering to assist me at a recruitment webinar for the Ph.D. program.


Nahida has regularly seized opportunities to engage in professional development activities which have contributed to her high level of performance in her coursework, work on research teams, and assistance with course development through her GA role. Her initiative and commitment to being a team player will serve Nahida well as she continues her journey in the Ph.D. program and beyond. Supervisors on research projects have reported that Nahida embraces the opportunity to learn and develop new skills.


Beyond her previous and current GA/RA roles, Nahida has contributed as a volunteer member of Dr. Liza Behrens's research team and is engaging in Dr. Behren’s study on the implementation of preference-based, person-centered care in nursing homes to improve the physical and psychological well-being of residents living with dementia which is in line with Nahida’s research interests for her dissertation. Finally, she collaborates with her dissertation advisor Dr Kimberly VanHaitsma, on an ongoing study to examine the clinical outcomes associated with the delivery of person-centered care in nursing homes. Dr. Van Haitsma will be Nahida’s mentor for her Herbert J. Bailey Endowed Graduate Fellowship.

Nahida Aktar, Graduate School Endowed Fellowship winner

Fall 2024


The Penn State Graduate who funded the endowment was Mr. Herbert J. Bailey, Bachelor of Science in Dairy Science, Class of 1924. This fellowship is intended for full-time Graduate Students who exhibit academic excellence.

Penn State University Park Poster Symposium

Deadline Extended to April 15, 2024

Abstract Submission

7th Annual Translating Research to Innovations in Practice Symposium

Registration is open NOW for this annual symposium, which provides an opportunity for nurses and health care professionals to network with peers and colleagues and to discuss evidence around practice concerns and solutions. 

The symposium will take place beginning on Wednesday, May 8, 2024, from 6:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. (reception and poster session) and Thursday, May 9, 2024, from 8:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. (conference sessions) at The Hershey Lodge and Convention Center in Hershey, PA.  A block of rooms has been reserved at the Lodge.

Keynote Speaker

Susan J. Loeb, PhD, RN, FGSA, FAAN, Professor of Nursing and Ph.D. Program Director, Penn State Ross and Carol Nese College of Nursing

Dr. Loeb is the scheduled keynote speaker. Her research focus is Enhancing Health in Correctional Settings.

CNO Panel

Join our panel of Chief Nursing Officers for their insight on the following topics:

  • Wendy Clayton, MSN, RN, CCM, CPHQ—Nursing Clinical Practice
  • Michele Szkolnicki, MS, BSN, RN, FACHE, CMPE—Nursing Informatics
  • Leslyn Williamson, DNP, MSN, RN, MPH, NEA-BC, FACHE—Nursing Education and Professional Development
  • Barbara Zuppa, MSN, RN—Nursing Professional Excellence

Poster and Podium Presentations

The symposium will offer a wide variety of information and research findings on such topics as:

  • Work Environment / Violence
  • MindStrong / Work-life Balance
  • Pediatrics
  • Supply Waste
  • Racial Disparities
  • Community Health
  • Substance Abuse / Women's Health
  • Critical Care / ICU
  • Long-Term Care
  • Artificial Intelligence / vICU

The poster presentations will be in-person, which will provide the time to celebrate nurses’ scholarly work and to engage in conversation about clinical practice and professional issues.


myResearch Portal

To help manage your external award finances, please look into the myResearch Portal. For those of you with internal funding, you may need to coordinate with the finance office in the college that has that funding account. Feel free to reach out to the CNR with additional questions you may have.

myResearch Portal


Center for Nursing Research Office provides an organized infrastructure designed to support graduate research faculty and their interdisciplinary teams throughout the various stages of their projects, from preparing proposals and obtaining funding to disseminating results in peer-reviewed journals and at national and international conferences. If you have any questions use the resource list below.

Contact the CNR
Research Faculty
Research Opportunities
Current Awards

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