APU students learn from some of the country’s most respected nursing faculty. Known for their expertise in clinical practice, scholarly research, global focus, and a passion for integrating the Christian faith throughout each course and program, APU professors mentor students in the discipline of nursing. From a vast array of expertise in various specialty areas, faculty in APU's nursing school serve as key researchers who contribute to the body of knowledge within the profession.
Heart disease is a major problem in the United States affecting both men and women. Several faculty members have built programs of research exploring heart failure, electrical physiology, and cardiac maintenance. In addition to clinical studies in this area, faculty members explore the connection of other factors such as spirituality and heart failure.
Center for the Study of Health Disparities
Director: Felicitas de la Cruz, DNSc, FAANP, RN
The Center for the Study of Health Disparities seeks to decrease health disparities across the lifespan, especially in racial, cultural, and ethnic groups and communities, through the generation of scientific knowledge and its translation into culturally appropriate interventions in clinical practice, as well as its dissemination to the nursing and health professions, scientific community, and the general public.
According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), health disparities refer to the “differences in the incidence, prevalence, mortality, and burden of disease and other adverse health conditions that exist among specific population groups in the U.S.”
Objectives of the Center for the Study of Health Disparities
- Build a critical mass of nursing and interdisciplinary investigators who will generate and contribute scientific knowledge to address the health disparities in racial, cultural, and ethnic groups and communities.
- Translate this knowledge to develop, implement, and evaluate culturally appropriate interventions to alleviate health disparities in racial, cultural, and ethnic groups and communities.
- Disseminate information about these research endeavors to members of the nursing and health professions and scientific community as well as to the general public.
- Sustain the research activities of the Center for the Study of Health Disparities.
The School of Nursing sponsored the first Research Day in spring 2005 in conjunction with the installation of Dean Aja Lesh. Now an annual event in the Felix Event Center, Research Day stands as an important outreach event for the School of Nursing targeting preceptors, nurses in collaborating healthcare facilities, and alumni as well as students and faculty. Each year, research presentations are focused on a specific theme, such as Addressing Health Disparities and Translating Research into Practice Locally and Globally. Featured speakers have included Betty Ferrell, Ph.D., FAAN; Nancy Fugate Woods, Ph.D., RN, FAAN (2006); Josepha Campinha-Bacote, Ph.D., MAR, APRN, BC, CNS, CTN, FAAN; Janice Morse, RN, Ph.D. (2007); Loreta Sweet Jemmot, Ph.D., FAAN, RN (2008); Dana Rutledge, Ph.D., RN (2009); and Dorothy Powell, Ed.D., FAAN, RN (2010).
The Iota Sigma chapter of The Honor Society of Nursing and Sigma Theta Tau International, Inc., cosponsor the event and the poster session held in conjunction with Research Day to:
- Provide an avenue for dissemination of evidence-based research and linkages to clinical applications.
- Utilize researchers as role models to encourage excellence in students and colleagues.
- Provide networking opportunities and promote collegiality among students and nursing professionals.
- Provide a forum for students and nurses from the community to present their work.
Spiritual Care Research Network
For several years, the School of Nursing has provided leadership in the development of spiritual care research studies. The school has sponsored a number of spiritual care research institutes and conferences that support faculty and graduate students from across the globe by helping them develop research ideas and tools. In addition, faculty and students are given an opportunity to present findings from their completed studies. Some topics of study include the process by which nursing students learn to provide spiritual care to patients and the practice of spiritual care by nurses in acute care, chronic care, and parish nursing.
APU faculty members establish, develop, and maintain programs of research that integrates their passion for individuals and communities such as the homeless, those with HIV, the underserved, and internationals.