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New Clinical Insights, Emerging Solutions for Health Care and Health Policy Focus of State of the Science Congress, Sept. 26-28

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Press Release
For Immediate Release

 AACN Reacts to Funding for Nursing Education in the
President's FY 2004 Budget Proposal


Level Funding Proposed for Nursing Despite Workforce and Faculty Shortag


WASHINGTON, DC -- Important new insights into the alleviation of an array of clinical disorders, plus emerging discoveries for improving health promotion, disease prevention, and health services for children, adults, and families, will be presented Sept. 26-28 in Washington, D.C., as leading health researchers and policy makers assemble for the 2002 State of the Science Congress.

Top researchers from the nation’s nursing schools -- representing the largest health care profession -- will gather over three days at the J.W. Marriott Hotel during the landmark event hosted by 23 of the nation’s leading nursing organizations. More than 200 original research papers will be presented in symposia and paper and poster sessions that will examine, among a broad spectrum of health concerns:

Detecting Teen Bullying Before It’s Too Late

Chronic teasing and bullying seriously affect an estimated 10 percent of children in the United States. But until they were linked to outbreaks of school violence, teasing and bullying received little attention from researchers, clinicians, and school staff. Moreover, despite the negative psychological toll, no valid tool has existed to identify children who are adversely affected by nasty teasing and bullying. Working with middle school students in three regions of the U.S. to learn their common experiences, nurse researchers at Boston College and the University of New Mexico have developed a scale of warning signs to help educators, parents, and clinicians identify at-risk youth and intervene before serious psychosocial problems develop. (Fri, Sept. 27, 9:45 a.m.)

A second study by nurse scientists at Boston College looks at how recent news clippings can be used to identify links between teasing/bullying and youth suicide that previously were not revealed through standard evaluation measures. (Fri, Sept. 27,3 p.m.)

Bed Rest May Not Be Best Remedy for Pregnancy Complications

Approximately 700,000 women per year are prescribed bed rest treatment at home or in the hospital to treat complications of pregnancy and preterm birth. However, a new study by nurse researchers at Case Western Reserve University and the University of Alabama at Birmingham suggests that the practice of bed rest for pregnant women should be reassessed because it often produces negative outcomes for mothers and infants.

Studies of bed rest date to the 1950s, when NASA and other aerospace scientists began examining its effects as a way of estimating the impact on the body of weightlessness in space. They found that bed rest causes numerous changes in every system in the body, including muscle and bone loss, cardiovascular deconditioning, and weight loss. Though this knowledge was applied to most medical care, many women continued to be prescribed bed rest for pregnancy complications because doctors often believed the practice was effective and that pregnant women are young and healthy and therefore not prone to the negative side effects of bed rest.

But new investigations reveal that such beliefs are not supported by fact. Researchers will discuss their recent analyses that have either not been able to locate quality research to document that bed rest is effective in treating pregnancy complications or have found evidence to the contrary, including adverse effects of bed rest treatment on mothers’ weight gain and infants’ birth weight. (Fri, Sept. 27, 9:45 a.m.)

How Fast Would You Seek Heart Attack Treatment: Do Sex and Race Play a Role?

Treatments to re-establish blood flow to a damaged heart can succeed when patients arrive in the emergency room quickly. However, studies document that the average patient waits two to four hours before seeking treatment for heart attack symptoms. New work by nurse researchers at the University of Illinois at Chicago reveals how one’s gender and race can influence delays in seeking emergency treatment for a heart attack, and the importance of targeting interventions to reduce delays based on the individual groups at risk. (Fri, Sept. 27, 9:45 a.m.)

Differing Definitions of “Quality” in Long-Term Care

Recent concerns over the quality of care in some nursing and other long-term care facilities has revealed that what residents and regulators define as “quality” often doesn’t agree, according to new research at the College of Nursing and Allied Health Professions at the University of Louisiana-Lafayette. Researchers will present findings on a study of older adult residents in a sampling of nursing facilities in south Louisiana that reveal the frequent gaps in incorporating residents’ and families’ perceptions of quality of life and quality of care into evaluation standards for a facility. (Fri, Sept. 27, 1:15 p.m.)

Herbal Supplements: Benefit or Risk for Older Adults?

Older women frequently use non-prescription medications and home remedies as part of their health promotion regimens. The widespread use of herbal supplements, for example, has been spurred by the popular belief that these products are natural and safe to use without harmful side effects. A new investigation at the College of Nursing at the University of Florida has tracked the use of herbal supplements and home remedies over time by a sample of older women who live independently in north central Florida. While proper use of herbal products may often be beneficial, such as by lessening the side effects of some conventional drugs, the complications from possible drug and herbal interactions remain largely unknown. Researchers will present their findings on the women’s reasons for using herbal products and home remedies, the wide variations found in dosing and in the types of supplements used, and how often users and health care providers fully communicate about the intake of such substances. (Sat, Sept. 28, 9 a.m.)

Paternity: Risk for Intimate Partner Femicide

With concerns increasing over the incidence and consequences of domestic abuse, a new investigation also reveals the potential harmful influence of the presence of stepchildren in the home on couple conflict. Led by a team of researchers at the Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing, investigators have analyzed cases of women who were the victim of an actual or attempted homicide by their intimate partner in 12 cities across the U.S. The team will report their preliminary data on the risks of intimate partner violence, femicide, or attempted femicide related to paternity of children. In surveys and interviews, the researchers gathered information on the severity and frequency of intimate partner violence, harassing, emotionally abusive and controlling behaviors, and risk factors for femicide associated with the presence of stepchildren in the home who are not the abusive partner’s biological child. Researchers will report their findings and recommendations for screenings for intimate partner violence in women in maternal and child health settings so that appropriate interventions can be implemented. (Thu, Sept. 26, 2:45 p.m)

Gaining New Understanding of “Unattended Wandering"

Approximately 4 million Americans are living with Alzheimer’s disease or other illnesses leading to dementia. Of the 60 percent of cognitively impaired individuals who wander away from their caregivers each year, many will become lost in the community because of their inability to find their way home and may experience serious injury or death. New research at the University of Florida College of Nursing has yielded important understanding through the first empirical analysis of the phenomenon of “unattended wandering,” with data on its incidence, situations in which it occurs, and patterns of wanderers’ movements throughout a community, and recommendations for law enforcement, caregivers, and the public in devising effective search plans to realize these individuals’ safe return. (Sat, Sept. 28, 9 a.m.)

Teen Drunk Driving: Some Solutions from Youth

Although much research with adolescents is descriptive, focusing on the incidence and consequences of illnesses and health-related behavior, new work aims at listening to “adolescent voice” to promote health in teen populations. Prompted by data on the rates which high school students in their rural state either drove while drinking or rode with a driver who had been drinking, researchers at West Virginia University have examined the common themes in drinking/driving situations described by youth. They will present their findings on what teens say works -- the concepts, words, and motivations -- when attempting to stop a drunken person from driving. (Fri,Sept. 27, 3 p.m.)

Bone-Density Testing: Is Knowing the Results Enough?

Is providing someone information about her health sufficient to motivate that person to take preventive action? A new study on bone-density screening in older women suggests that test results alone are not enough to assure that many women at risk for osteoporosis receive proper treatment. Researchers from the College of Nursing at Villanova University will present their findings on the incidence of bone-density testing and how adequately health care providers and women tested use the results. (Fri, Sept. 27, 3 p.m.)

Special Recognition

On Thursday, September 26 at 1:00 p.m., a special recognition will be given to U.S. Senator Daniel Inouye (D-HI) for his outstanding support of military nursing research. Chiefs from the Army, Navy, and Air Force Nurse Corps will present the award to Senator Inouye in a videotaped ceremony honoring him for his support of the creation a decade ago of the TriService Nursing Research Program, a joint scientific program of the three agencies.

State of the Science Congress Sponsoring Organizations: American Association of Colleges of Nursing · Sigma Theta Tau International · Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality · American Academy of Nursing · American Association of Critical-Care Nurses · American Nephrology Nurses Association · American Nurses Foundation · American Organization of Nurse Executives · American Psychiatric Nurses Association · Association of Academic Health Centers · Association of Rehabilitation Nursing · Association of Women's Health, Obstetrics and Neonatal Nursing · Eastern Nursing Research Society · Emergency Nurses Association · Friends of the National Institute of Nursing Research · Midwest Nursing Research Society · National Institute of Nursing Research · National League for Nursing · Oncology Nursing Society · Southern Nursing Research Society · TriService Nursing Research Program · Western Institute of Nursing · Wound, Ostomy, and Continence Nurses Society


The American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) is the national voice for university and four-year college education programs in nursing. Representing more than 580 member schools of nursing at public and private institutions nationwide, AACN's educational, research, governmental advocacy, data collection, publications, and other programs work to establish quality standards for bachelor's- and graduate-degree nursing education, assist deans and directors to implement those standards, influence the nursing profession to improve health care, and promote public support of baccalaureate and graduate nursing education, research, and practice.


Robert Rosseter, 202-463-6930, ext. 231