Currently Funded Research and Training Projects

Title : Nurse Faculty Loan Program
Project Director : Deborah Garbee, PhD, APRN, ACNS-BC
Team Members : Carly Pigg, CRA, MM
Project Dates : June 1, 2018 to Open Ended
Funder : Health Resources and Services Administration
Abstract : The purpose of this application is to request funds to secure Nurse Faculty Loan Program (NFLP) funding for doctoral students at the LSU Health New Orleans School of Nursing who desire to pursue a career as a faculty member in a School of Nursing. The NFLP will provide needed financial assistance to students enrolled in the following doctoral programs who are preparing for nurse faculty positions: 1) Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) and 2) Doctor of Nursing Science (DNS) program. Nearly all of our DNS students and an increasing proportion of DNP students plan to be faculty in schools of nursing after they complete their degrees. To qualify for our proposed NFLP, students must agree to plan to serve as faculty in accredited schools of nursing for at least four years, as well as take nursing education courses. In addition, Louisiana is a very diverse state, and neither nursing doctoral students nor nursing faculty are currently as diverse as the state. We propose three primary objectives of this program:

  1. To increase the number of students in our DNS program with training to be nurse educators;
  2. To increase the proportion of our DNP students who go on to become nursing faculty and are prepared to teach in schools of nursing throughout their careers; and
  3. To increase the proportion of our DNS and DNP students from under-represented minority groups, to increase the proportion of nursing faculty from these groups.


Title : Nurse Anesthetist Traineeship
Principal Investigator : Laura Bonanno, PhD, DNP, CRNA
Team Members : Carly Pigg, CRA, MM
Project Dates : July 1, 2020 to June 30, 2023
Funder : Health Resources and Services Administration
Abstract : The Nurse Anesthetist Traineeship (NAT) Program is designed to meet the needs of licensed registered nurses seeking graduate nursing education in anesthesia (Doctoral level) at Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center School of Nursing (LSUHSC SON). The NAT Program will provide traineeship funding for full-time first, second, and third year nurse anesthesia students to cover a portion of the costs for tuition, fees, books and reasonable living expenses. The project objectives include: 1) Provide nurse anesthesia students with clinical training in rural, medically underserved, and/or HPSA clinical sites; 2) Identify nurse anesthesia students that are from disadvantaged backgrounds and/or are interested in working in rural, medically underserved or HPSAs upon graduation; 3) Have the students sign a HRSA Statement of Appointment form and a Commitment form that indicates whether the student is from a disadvantaged background and whether the student plans to work in a rural, medically underserved or HPSA upon graduation; 4) Disperse Traineeship funds. The project director will be responsible for informing students of the NAT program and having interested students complete the HRSA Statement of Appointment form and Commitment form. The available traineeship funds will be equally dispersed among qualified applicants. Student clinical experiences in the Nurse Anesthesia Program (NAP) include providing care for minority, disadvantaged, underserved, and rural populations. 100% of the 31 nurse anesthesia clinical training sites reside in either rural, medically underserved or HPSAs . All LSUHSC SON nurse anesthesia students receive extensive clinical training in rural, medically underserved and HPSAs. Therefore, the NAT program increases access to nurse anesthesia care for underserved populations .


Title : LSU Advanced Nursing Education Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner Program
Principal Investigator : Alison Davis, PhD, RN, CNE, CHSE
Team Members : Molada Brand, MSN, RN; Sonita Singh, PhD; Michele Many, MSW, LCSW, BACS; Carly Pigg, CRA, MM
Project Dates : September 30, 2018 to June 30, 2024
Funder : Health Resources and Services Administration
Abstract : The purpose of the project is to increase access to certified sexual assault nurse examiners (SANE) for victims in the southeast region of Louisiana encompassing two underserved urban and 10 underserved rural parishes (entities that would be counties in other states). Currently, 1.3 million residents share one certified SANE. In 2016, there were 537 reported rapes in New Orleans. This was a rate of 135.2 rapes per 100,000 residents, which is 2.2 times the national average (City Data, 2018). Metro New Orleans also has a large LGBT population; sexual violence is higher in LGBT than in heterosexual individuals, on average, throughout the US.
The rate of incarceration at 970 per 100,000 is 2nd highest in the state of Louisiana; inmate-on –inmate sexual violence is also generally higher than that in the general population. Of the 10 rural parishes surrounding the New Orleans area, none have SANE services available locally. Instead, when a resident is sexually assaulted, he/she must be transported up to 90 miles to either Jefferson or Orleans Parish (both in the New Orleans area), using the Hospital-based Model. In addition to providing SANE training, we plan to work with rural parishes to increasingly implement the Community-based Model, where SANE practitioners are centralized and travel to local hospitals to complete forensic sexual assault examinations rather than requiring victims to come to them. Funding will be provided for nurses in all aspects of SANE training including didactic coursework, clinical skills training, clinical practice hours, certification, and continuing education. Additional support will be provided for continued professional development and to reduce psychosocial barriers related to retention of SANEs, as well as to encourage activities by project partners to seek funding and adopt practices to sustain the work of the project.
Project goals include :

  1. Establish relationships with sexual assault response committees in order to implement an infrastructure for training and certification of SANEs in the 12 targeted parishes.
  2. Provide training for 140 nurses and certification of a minimum of 75 nurses to include didactic courses, simulation, and required clinical hours commensurate with the International Association of Forensic Nurses (IAFN) criteria.
  3. Support sustainability and retention of the SANE program by providing 24 continuing nursing education hours as well as resources to attend the annual IAFN conference, offer three annual peer review days sponsored by LSUHSC SON, coordinate continuing education sessions and support groups related to self-care, support a regional SANE conference and complete SANE training/certification for three LSUHNO SON faculty.


Title : What is the protocol for providers and women diagnosed with gestational diabetes?
Principal Investigator : Marie Adorno, PhD, APRN, CNS, RNC, CNE
Team Members :Deborah Garbee, PhD, APRN, ACNS-BC; Denise Danna, RN, DNS, NEA, BC, CNE, FACHE
Project Dates : July 1, 2021 to June 30, 2022
Funder : LSU Health School of Nursing Dean’s Seed Grants
Abstract :The Centers for Disease Control (2018) reports that Gestational Diabetes Mellitus (GDM) affects approximately 9%-18% of all pregnancies. GDM is associated with adverse birth outcomes for both the mother and the baby. The purpose of this study will be to identify patients who are diagnosed with GDM during pregnancy and document the protocol that they followed with the health care provider at 6 weeks after their pregnancy and yearly to see if health care practices were incorporated to decrease their risk for type 2 diabetes. This information will assist in understanding the practices that are currently utilized so that gaps can be identified in order to initiate teaching where needed so that patients can have healthier outcomes.
Retrospective chart reviews will be conducted to document interventions that are ordered and completed in the postpartal period to continue monitoring the patient’s blood glucose level. Also, the chart reviews will identify factors that are present when patients are diagnosed with GDM. In addition to reviewing the data gathered from the charts, focus groups and interviews will be formed to talk with women who are diagnosed with GDM in order to identify the health needs for this population. Patients will be interviewed to see what protocols are followed to ensure proper follow-up care after delivery is initiated. The long term goal of this research study is to provide patient education and provider training to promote health wellness for the population of women who are diagnosed with GDM.


Title: Enhancement of Maternity Nursing Education through the Use of High-Fidelity Simulation to Address Maternal Health in Louisiana
Project Director: Alison Davis, PhD, RN, CNE, CHSE
Team Members: Gloria Giarratano, PhD, APRN, CNS, FAAN; Sherri Hayes, MSN, RN, CCRN-K, CHSE; Eurydice Lang, RN, MSN, CLC
Project Dates: June 1, 2020 to June 30, 2022
Funder: LA Board of Regents
Abstract: This educational enhancement project aims to provide innovative simulation learning experiences to develop maternity nursing competencies required to respond to Louisiana's alarming rates of maternal mortality and morbidity. The development of three high-risk maternal scenarios using the Best Practices of Simulation will be used to enhance undergraduate student learning and target three specific areas where nursing knowledge, skills, and clinical judgment are essential to address the most urgent maternal conditions associated with maternal morbidity and mortality. These targeted areas of care include: (1) care of women who experience childbirth related hemorrhage, (2) care of women experiencing hypertensive conditions of pregnancy (pre- eclampsia and eclampsia), and (3) care of low risk women to promote normal, physiological birth to reduce primary cesarean section birth rates and associated morbidities. This project will involve the development and implementation of high-fidelity simulation experiences in each of these target areas within the framework of the existing traditional Bachelor of Science and Career Alternative RN Education (CARE) course, NURS 3368 Women's Health Nursing Practicum. Research strategies will be used to enhance the educational research skills of faculty during implementation and evaluation of the project. A pretest- posttest design will be used to compare student knowledge achieved after the proposed simulation activities are implemented and students' perceived confidence levels in caring for women in the simulations. Student levels of clinical judgment will be assessed to determine if progression in the four identified areas of clinical judgment are impacted through use of the simulation experiences. This project has the potential to impact nurses with improved preparation of novice registered nurses to begin practice in hospital obstetrical units in Louisiana who are better prepared to identify maternal health problems and implement interventions that will contribute to the reduction of maternal
mortality related to hemorrhage, hypertensive disorders, and promote normal, physiological birth to reduce caesarean births. Nursing education will be impacted through the evaluation of
teaching and learning implications on high-risk maternal knowledge, confidence, and clinical judgment with simulation, thus, providing guidance for future curricular use of simulation learning.


Title: Ensuring Access to High Quality Care for Patients with Substance Use Disorders: Training Advanced Practice Registered Nurses to Make a Difference
Project Director: Laura Bonanno, PhD, DNP, CRNA
Team Members: Leanne Fowler, DNP, MBA, APRN, AGACNP-BC, CNE; Deborah Garbee, PhD, APRN, ACNS-BC, FCNS; Jennifer Badeaux, DNP, CRNA; Raymond Devlin, DNP, CRNA; Carly Pigg, CRA, MM
Project Dates: April 30, 2020 to April 29, 2022
Funder: Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Agency
Abstract: This project will provide funding to enhance the current didactic curricula and clinical training of three Advanced Practice Registered Nurse (APRN) specialties:  Nurse anesthesia (NA), nurse practitioner (NP) and clinical nurse specialist (CNS). Advanced practice registered nurses are on the front line of patient care in multiple settings and given the growing crisis related to substance abuse, they must be prepared to screen patients for substance use disorders (SUDs), assess patients, provide a brief intervention, and refer patients for treatment. The APRN students will be trained to meet both the psychosocial and medical needs of patients with a variety of SUDs.


Title: Building a Behavioral Health Workforce through Integrated Care: Training Nurse Practitioner Students to Fill the Gap
Project Director: Leanne Fowler, DNP, MBA, APRN, AGACNP-BC, CNE
Team Members: Abby McNeil, DNP, FNP-BC, FPMHNP-BC; Latanja Divens, PhD, DNP, APRN, FNP-BC; Access Health LA; Family Preservation Services; South Central LA Human Services Authority
Project Dates: July 1, 2021 to June 30, 2025
Funder: Health Resources and Services Administration
Abstract: The purpose of the Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center (LSUHSC), School of Nursing's (SON) proposal for the program entitled Building a Behavioral Health Workforce through Integrated Care: Training Nurse Practitioner Students to Fill the Gap is to develop and expand didactic and experiential clinical training opportunities to improve the distribution and supply of the behavioral health workforce. Students enrolled in the primary care NP (PCNP) concentrations (Family, Adult Gerontology Primary Care, Pediatric Primary Care), and the Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (PMHNP) concentration will be included in didactic and clinical training focused on the integration of more mental health services in primary care settings where children, adolescents, and transitional-aged youth are cared for. This project will be beneficial to the mental health needs of underserved populations of Louisiana. The project will expand community-based academic practice partnerships (CBAPPs) with the SON to improve NP competencies by promoting systems-level thinking with the use of integrated behavioral health and team-based care models. Curriculum enhancements will consist of technology integration, trauma-informed care, intimate partner violence, and other youth violence for child, adolescent, and transitional-aged youth. To accomplish the project purpose, the project team plans the following goals and objectives. Project Goal 1. Improve access to quality behavioral health care in medically underserved areas (MUAs) for children, adolescents and transitional youth, by: Increasing the number of clinical training sites to promote integration of behavioral health into primary care settings in MUAs. Project Goal 2. Promote expansion of a diverse nursing workforce that is prepared to provide high quality, integrated and interdisciplinary behavioral health care, by: recruiting, enrolling, educating and graduating students in the PCNP and PMHNP programs from underrepresented ethnic and/or disadvantaged backgrounds; enhancing the didactic and clinical education of PCNP and PMHNP students; and improving faculty and clinical preceptor competencies in integrated behavioral health and team-based models of care, and culturally and linguistically appropriate care. The project will be accomplished with 2nd and 3rd year PCNP and PMHNP students. Project faculty will implement curricular enhancement in grant year 1 for 2nd and 3rd year courses in the plans of study. Project faculty will assign 3rd-year PMHNP students to a preceptor and CBAPP sites (Access Health Louisiana, St Thomas Community Health Center, or South Central Louisiana Human Services Authority). Each 3rd-year PMHNP student will receive a stipend and complete a required three-semester clinical immersion experience with the selected CBAPP. Clinical education will be supported through intraprofessional activities among the four groups of nurse practitioner students and interprofessional activities among medical and allied health professionals.


Title: Exploring Military Service Member Stressors and Lived Experience
Principal Investigator: Todd Tartavoulle, DNS, APRN, CNS-BC
Team Members: Mitchell Handrich, RN, APRN, FNP-BC; Dillon King
Project Dates: April 1, 2021 to February 1, 2022
Funder: The Geneva Foundation/ Tri-Service Grant Program
Abstract: Healthcare staff members have a unique role in providing care to LGBTQ populations. The lack of appropriate training regarding LGBTQ care indicates the need for further research on the impact of culturally sensitive care training. The purpose of this study is to evaluate the effect of LGBTQ culturally sensitive care training on healthcare staff members' knowledge and attitudes toward lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer persons. A pre-/post-intervention design will be used to assess the impact of the training titled "Delivering Culturally Sensitive Care to LGBTQ+ Patients: An Advocacy Program Train-the-Trainer©" provided by the Louisiana State University Health New Orleans. The Ally Identity Measure (AIM) will be administered to training attendees (e.g., physicians, RNs, LPNs, medics, social workers, medical support assistants, and others) pre- and post-training. It is expected that there will be a significant change/improvement in the areas of knowledge and skills, openness and support, and awareness of oppression regarding LGBTQ populations after
completion of the LGBTQ culturally sensitive training. This study will provide a preliminary report about the effect of LGBTQ training on healthcare staff working in a military hospital. The expected findings of elevated self-awareness and increased knowledge of the staff on LGBTQ cultural sensitivity will help create a more open, supportive patient experience for the LGBTQ community members seeking care at our facility.