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Marquette Research IN BRIEF Improving rural health care — one nurse at a time As a 22-year-old nurse at a 40-bed hospital in northern

two-year retention rates by as much as 50 percent and

Wisconsin, Dr. Marilyn Meyer Bratt had to make critical

saving Wisconsin hospitals hundreds of thousands of dollars

decisions for patients experiencing everything from frostbite

in nurse replacement costs.

to childbirth to cardiac arrest, with only intermittent access

Bratt hopes her new rural-focused nurse residency program

to experienced nurses to validate her clinical judgments and

can build on that success. Funded by the Health and Human

guide her professional development. Feeling isolated and

Services Administration, the year-long SOAR-RN: Supporting

overwhelmed, she took a job at another hospital after only

Onboarding and Retention of Rural Nurses transition-to-practice

six months.

program is being implemented at hospitals across rural

“It was a steep learning curve, and I needed more support than I was getting,” says the assistant professor of nursing. Improving young nurses’ transition to the bedside — especially in urban and rural hospitals — was Bratt’s goal

The Wisconsin Nurse Residency Program has improved average two-year retention rates by as much as 50 percent.

Wisconsin, Illinois and Idaho. “More than 50 million people in the United States live in rural areas,” says Bratt. “There are huge challenges in terms of access to quality health care, higher rates of poverty and disease, and fewer resources.” SOAR-RN nurse participants attend monthly educational seminars and progress through the program as a cohort, learning from their peers at other rural hospitals, as well as their professional mentors. “Rural nursing is not on many people’s research or policy

when she launched the Wisconsin Nurse Residency

radars,” says Bratt. “I want to influence rural health care

Program. During the last seven years, nearly 2,000 newly

policy to improve the quality of care in communities like the

licensed nurses completed the program, improving average

one where I started my nursing career.” — LS

The intersection of culture and new media A year after he launched the Center for Intercultural New Media Studies, Dr. Robert Shuter, professor of communication studies, is fostering collaboration with more than 200 researchers in 35 countries. And the effort has already borne fruit: Shuter and a Danish partner recently teamed up to examine and compare smartphone usage in the United States and Denmark. Using an observational study and subsequent surveys, the researchers uncovered fascinating differences between how U.S. and Danish consumers call, text, and access apps and the Internet in public settings, such as coffeehouses. “American females are the most cell phone happy, followed by Danish males, Danish females and lastly American males,” says Shuter, who presented his results at the National Communication Association. “It’s hard to argue that phone usage is gender based. There’s definitely something cultural at play here.” Those cultural dynamics within new media communication are at the heart of the center’s and Shuter’s research. He guest edited the November 2012 issue of the Journal of Intercultural Communication Research and wrote its lead article, “Intercultural New Media Studies: The Next Frontier in Intercultural Communication.” The online version of the article garnered nearly 1,400 views in one month, the most in the journal’s history. Next, Shuter and center collaborators will look at what he calls “the distracted student.” “There’s a lot of technology in classrooms now,” he says. “We want to know, what are these students really doing on their laptops, tablets and smartphones?” — CS 18

Discover

Discover 2013  

Every spring DISCOVER: Marquette University Research and Scholarship showcases some of the most interesting research happening on Marquette'...

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