In Focus: A Research Emphasis

Photo: Kelley Baumgartel is a doctoral candidate at the School of Nursing, studying the epigenetic mechanisms for breast milk variability in mothers who deliver preterm and the relationship between breast milk variability and preterm infant outcomes. She has been published in the Annual Review of Nursing Research, Sleep Medicine, Breastfeeding Medicine, and Nursing Outlook. Her research has been supported by funding from the International Society of Nurses in Genetics (ISONG).

Students at all levels have the opportunity to participate in research at the School of Nursing. Experience with research methodologies and processes is an important component of the educational process, both at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Graduates of the BSN program will benefit from becoming familiar with research tools and techniques, understanding the role which research plays in the practice of evidence-based practice, and understanding of how to effectively validate and incorporate research findings into real-world patient care.

As can be expected of a member of the Association of American Universities (AAU), Pitt graduate students are expected to conduct research that will advance the field and the profession. At the School of Nursing, Master’s students can minor in nursing research, take courses in research methodology and skills, and learn to critically evaluate knowledge and theories for their potential to contribute to nursing practice. DNP students undertake capstone projects, in which they utilize clinical research and analytical methods to synthesize and apply knowledge gained through the curriculum. Students in the doctoral program work closely with faculty researchers from nursing and other disciplines to produce a rigorous research agenda and dissertation.

Today’s nurses, whether on the unit or in the boardroom, require a comprehensive understanding of – and experience with – the process and outcomes of research. The School of Nursing’s curriculum is based on contemporary research and fosters critical thinking skills and curiosity on the part of students.

Learn more about our Undergraduate Research Mentorship Program.

Learn more about research being conducted at the School of Nursing.