July 8, 2020

Emerging Trends in Nursing Conference at Indiana Wesleyan: Poster Session Redux

You may have caught my previous post from earlier this week, in which I mentioned I would be attending the Emerging Trends in Nursing Conference at Indiana Wesleyan University (IWU) in Marion, Indiana. I took the opportunity to cover the event by live-tweeting the entire conference–or at least as much as I could. If you’re interested, you can read the Twitter feed, a link to which can be found in the right sidebar. As promised, I’d like to take the time now to offer coverage of the poster session at the conference, which was open-ended enough that I was unable to live-tweet it. Enjoy!

Front cover of the Emerging Trends in Nursing 2019 conference program.
Front cover of the Emerging Trends in Nursing 2019 program.

As I mentioned in my Twitter coverage, there were a total of 12 posters presented at the conference. In order to be sensitive to the privacy interests of the authors and presenters, I won’t list the titles and bylines here. Instead, I will offer an overall look at of types of work presented and salient points from the posters. Of the 12 posters presented, nine were related to nursing education. The remaining three were essentially literature reviews. Eight of the education-related topics involved research conducted on nursing faculty (one poster) or students (seven posters), and the ninth poster pertained to a theoretical model relating a particular religious pedagogy to the nursing process.

Of the nine posters presented by credentialed nurses, five were authored by doctorate-qualified nurses, whereas the other four were authored by master’s-qualified or doctoral-candidate nurses. Original research topics covered included burnout among new nursing faculty, the mental health needs of first-generation college students, the effect of studying abroad on standardized test scoring, the development of clinical reasoning through concept mapping, the effect of poverty simulation on attitudes toward poverty, improvements in transition into professional practice in light of ACLS certification, the use of games for exam preparation, and the involvement of student nurses in group discharge teaching. The theoretical model related Ignatian or Jesuit pedagogy to the nursing process.

The literature reviews were authored by groups with no nursing credentials listed. Based on my experience as a graduate of IWU’s Transition to Nursing (TTN) program, these posters may represent projects completed during a nursing research course. I recall the experience of working with a group of my fellow students to produce a literature review project, culminating in the work product of a poster presentation, which was then displayed at the Emerging Trends conference. At the time, the accelerated pace of the TTN program did not allow students to attend the conference themselves. However, I have been told the situation has changed to allow TTN students to attend.

Having entered nursing after half a career in life science research, it intrigues me that all but one of the posters authored by credentialed nurses had a single author. The odd one out was authored by two individuals. This stands in contrast to the typical poster or journal publication in the natural sciences, in which there are generally multiple authors. I believe there are a number of reasons for this, not the least of which are the social value of collaboration and the nature of specialization in the natural sciences as well as the effect of the ever-present issue of the availability of research funding on the extent of collaboration. In addition, there has long been debate concerning legitimate authorship claims in the natural sciences. The relatively late development of nursing science among the sciences in general may have allowed nursing to bypass some of the “authorship bloat” that characterizes the natural sciences.

Overall, I found the poster presentations to be a worthwhile part of the conference, and I enjoyed the knowledge and approachable nature of the authors, some of whom were present with their posters to engage in discussion. For some, poster sessions are difficult to attend because of the work required to read and interpret the content, but this poster session was worth the extra effort.

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