The Office of Nursing Research is pleased to present the Investigator Spotlight. The spotlight features both faculty and students research publications, projects, and presentations. If you would like any information concerning this web page, please contact Dr. Cynthia Connelly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Dr. Mary Barger
Dr. Barger’s research interests concern improving women’s health during pregnancy and birth through understanding risk factors for certain pregnancy conditions and the effect of current management practices in pregnancy and labor affect outcomes for mothers, their infants and families. She has conducted case-control and cohort studies of vaginal birth after cesarean and just completed a survey of all California birth hospitals around policies related to vaginal birth after cesarean. She also has an interest of the role of sleep in pregnancy outcomes and completed a descriptive study of sleep problems in pregnancy. Currently, Dr. Barger is conducting a randomized trial of morning compared to evening start times for labor induction to understand the role of chronobiology, sleep, and fatigue on labor progress and outcome. Dr. Barger is professionally active in midwifery organizations. She just completed a 6 year tenure on the American Midwifery Certification Board and is the chair for the Data Management section of Division of Research for the American College of Nurse-Midwives. She is a co-chair of the Education Standing Committee for the International Confederation of Midwives and an Associate Editor for the Journal of Midwifery and Women’s Health.
Joseph F. Burkard, DNSc, RN, CRNA
Dr. Joseph F. Burkard is an associate professor at the University of San Diego working in the Doctoral of Nursing Practice program, PhD Program, and as an advanced practice clinician / outcomes researcher at the University of California San Diego. His focus of research includes Health Policy, post-traumatic stress in the returning veteran, post-operative nausea and vomiting, stress management and crisis management simulation training. Dr. Burkard completed his DNSc degree at the University of Tennessee specializing in Critical Care, Acute Care Nurse Anesthesia. Dissertation: Bispectral Analysis and Motor Activity Assessment Scores in Mechanically Ventilated Patients in the Intensive Care Unit. Dr. Burkard specializes in Critical Care Medicine, Regional Anesthesia. Dr. Burkard focuses his clinical research time on crisis management skills, airway skills, critical care skills, and simulation skills.
Cynthia D. Connelly, PhD RN FAAN
Professor and Director of Nursing Research
Dr. Connelly’s NIH funded program of research currently includes: PI on R01 (MH075788) “Collaborative Model Addressing Mental Health in the Perinatal Period” from the NIMH to conduct a randomized clinical trial of an intervention designed to improve the screening, referral, and treatment for maternal depression among low-income culturally diverse women and Co PI on R01 NR013662-01 “The Effectiveness of Non-pharmacological Treatment for Perinatal Insomnia from NINR to conduct a randomized clinical trial to examine the efficacy of a nurse delivered cognitive behavioral therapy (CBTI) for maternal insomnia disorder. She works in collaboration with pediatric and obstetrical providers to improve identification and provision of services to mothers and families at risk for adverse health outcomes including mental health issues, violence, sleeping, and eating disorders. Her leadership on multidisciplinary teams of researchers and clinicians to address the high rates of these issues in community pediatric, perinatal settings, child welfare, and judicial systems has resulted in effective screening/referral partnerships across systems of care using innovative information technology and support services. Her work is making a significant impact on policy and practice for responding to adverse behavioral, social, and health outcomes for women and their families within and across racial and ethically diverse populations.
Jane M. Georges, PhD, RN
Dr. Jane Georges has focused on a program of research into the phenomenon of human suffering since 2001. Her work has resulted in the development of a contextual model of suffering, which incorporates multiple dimensions of the human suffering experience. She has developed and pilot-tested instrumentation based upon this model in various populations, including persons experiencing catastrophic illnesses and nurses. Her current work is centered on the palliative care population, with a special emphasis on caregiver suffering. She is currently in the pilot testing stages of a Caregiver Suffering Tool (CST), which has the potential to identify those caregivers experiencing severe levels of suffering and allow clinicians to plan appropriate interventions to prevent the long-term psychological and physiological disequilibrium associated with chronic suffering experiences. The ability of palliative care researchers to assess the subscale/type and degree of suffering experienced by caregivers also has the potential to provide a basis for future middle-range theory testing, such as the relationships between and among caregiver suffering, spiritual distress, and compassion fatigue. Dr. Georges is currently engaged in research partnerships with nurse scientists at the San Diego VA Medical Center and San Diego Hospice.
Lucia Gonzales PhD, MSN, MBA, RN
Dr. Lucia Gonzales has focused on a program of research into the health of the midlife and elder woman since 2000. Her work has been directed by the Transitions in Later Life conceptual model that associates religiousness, social role quality, optimism, satisfaction with life, and psychosocial cultural anthropological status with physical and mental health. She was awarded a NIH pre-doctoral fellowship to study these dimensions in the midlife woman with cardiovascular disease. She has developed and pilot-tested instrumentation based upon this model in various international populations, including the Haitian, Japanese, Omani, Ukrainian, Hispanic and Tagalog speaking woman. She is active in preliminary studies to allow clinicians to perform risk assessment research in the mission field. Another research focus for Dr. Gonzales is on the elder women receiving palliative care at the end of life. Dr. Gonzales engages in research partnerships with the Palliative Care Team at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Orange, CA to improve the acute care rendered. As a teacher of research, since 2004 she has engaged her research students in brain dominance and learning style research. She regularly presents her research at international conferences.
Shelley Y. Hawkins, DSN, FNP-BC, GNP, FAANP
Associate Professor and Director of Doctor of Nursing Practice & Master of Science in Nursing Nurse Practitioner Programs
Dr. Shelley Hawkins’ research program is focused on incorporating telehealth interventions with chronic illness populations to improve clinical outcomes. Additionally, her research interest is determining the feasibility, acceptability, and efficacy of various telehealth devices with older adults when utilized in management of care. During Dr. Hawkins’ post doctorate at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, she conducted a randomized controlled pilot study of older adult diabetic patients who received a nurse practitioner videophone intervention. Patients randomized to the experimental group demonstrated improved glycemic control and diabetes knowledge as well as enhanced self-efficacy. A second mixed methods pilot study using mobile devices to deliver a nurse practitioner motivational interviewing educational intervention to older adult diabetic patients was funded but not completed at Yale University. Focus group data from participants did yield multiple psychological challenges associated with the chronic illness. Since joining USD in 2012, Dr. Hawkins has established a collaborative relationship with Palomar Home Health in conducting a secondary data analysis of clinical outcomes collected from a heart failure population who were enrolled in a telehealth program. Additionally, Dr. Hawkins is working with health care providers at Arch Health Partners in order to deliver a technology-based self- care clinical management program with heart failure patients. Dr. Hawkins has multiple presentations and publications related to her telehealth research interests.
Susan Instone, DNSc, APRN, CPNP
Professor of Nursing and Director, Advanced Practice - Doctor of Nursing Practice Program
Dr. Susan Instone is a board-certified Pediatric Nurse Practitioner, Professor of Nursing, and Director of the Doctor of Nursing Practice Program. Her program of research is focused on decision-making in the context of life threatening infectious diseases such as HIV/AIDS and Hepatitis C. She has done research on diagnosis disclosure with parents of children with HIV/AIDS and recently completed a 5-year study with Dr. Mary-Rose Mueller that examined the decisions of patients enrolled in HCV clinical trials. She is the lead author on the most recent article from that study, published in Nursing Ethics and titled “Therapeutic discourse among nurses and physicians in placebo controlled clinical trials.” Her research interests are currently focused on women with HIV/AIDS and her next study will examine the reproductive health decisions of HIV+ Latinas on the border. In addition to her own research, she is mentoring PhD students and the first cohort of DNP students who are developing innovative, scholarly projects that will translate research into practice.
Kathy Shadle James, DNSc, CNP
Dr. James is conducting community based research in collaboration with the Linda Vista Elementary School and Linda Vista Community Clinic. Her multidisciplinary team includes experts from the Child and Adolescent Services Research Center (CASRC) Rady Children’s Hospital, San Diego Obesity Initiative, UCSD, faculty, APN students from USD SON and the school's nurse and promotora. The study -- LINDA VISTA Obesity Prevention Program - Ways to Enhance CHildren's Activity and Nutrition [ WE CAN]. Dr James and her team are recruting 3 groups of mothers who will attend a 6 week program and 9 monthly follow up sessions that focuses on parenting capacities to improve diet and physical activity. Primary aims are to decrease BMI's of parents and children, increase activity of family members, and improve dietary choices. Free screening will be offered to parents and their children including blood pressure, lipids and screening for diabetes. WE CAN is a program designed in collaboration with four Institutes of the National Institutes of Health: the National Heart Lung and Blood Institute (NHLBI), National Institute of Diabetes (NIDDK), National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) and the National Cnancer Institute (NCI). There are few published studies of the translation of this program into low income settings and physiologic measures have not been documented. Dr James is also collaborating with one of our PhD students and USCD in a feasibility study at Vista Community Clinic called "Vida Saludable". This is a 4 week program for parents of overweight 3-5 year olds with a 9 month follow up program. In addition to her research, Dr. James is on the curriculum development expert panel for "Mobilizing Healthcare Professionals as Community Leaders in the Fight Against Childhood Obesity Program" for the National Initiative for Children's Healthcare Quality. She served as a past regional president for the California Association of Nurse Practitioners, legislative representative for AANP and is was involved in the early organization of San DIego's CHildhood Obesity Coaltion. She has presented her research and obesity traning at national conferences and is a reviewer for Journal of School Nursing, Journal for Specialists in Pediatric Nursing, Evidence Based Nursing and Infant, Children and Adolescent Nutrition.
Ann M. Mayo, DNSc, RN
Dr. Mayo’s funded program of research currently includes two studies examining functional status in persons with cognitive impairment. One study is designed to examine the difference in decision-making function between persons with mild cognitive impairment and normal controls. Findings from this study will enhance clinician clinical decision-making as they determine if and when persons with mild cognitive impairment would benefit from decision support. In a second study, a data based study using approximately 4,000 cases, Dr. Mayo is examining the relationship between functional status and judgment and problem solving, and moderating variables, in order to predict when clinicians should pursue an assessment of judgment and problem solving in persons with dementia. Dr. Mayo is also preparing to conduct a pilot study that will test the feasibility of brief cognitive screening for memory and thinking problems in a community setting.
Linda D Urden, DNSc, RN, CNS, NE-BC, FAAN
Professor and Coordinator
Executive Nurse Leader Graduate Program
Dr Linda D. Urden, Professor of Nursing, and Coordinator of the Executive Nurse Leader (ENL) Graduate Program has held a variety of joint clinical-academia appointments for the majority of her career. She is the immediate past Chairperson of the American Nurses Credentialing (ANCC) Magnet Recognition Program, and also served on the ANCC Research Committee. Dr. Urden's research is in the areas of safety, staff nurse empowerment, care delivery models, and transformational cultures. During her recent tenure at Palomar Pomerado Health, Dr Urden received a Robert Wood Johnson (RWJ)-American Organization of Nurse Executives (AONE) Transforming Care at the Bedside (TCAB) grant in which staff nurses made changes in the work environment to address quality, safety, and practice issues. Her specific research studies have been: The Role of the Clinical Nurse Specialist in Attaining and Maintaining Magnet Status; Staff Nurses' Experiences of a Change in the Care Delivery Model; Themes Surrounding Novice Nurse Near-Miss and Adverse Event Situations; and Work Sampling: A Decision Making Tool for Determining Resources and Work Redesign. Dr Urden's current research study is The Staff Nurse Perceptions of the Magnet Journey, which examines the period of time leading up to Magnet designation in a health setting.