College of Nursing highlights research during conference

April 08, 2021

Image with caption: From left, Ann Berger, PhD, and Robin Lally, PhD, of the UNMC College of Nursing

From left, Ann Berger, PhD, and Robin Lally, PhD, of the UNMC College of Nursing

UNMC College of Nursing faculty and students were among approximately 900 attendees representing a 17-state region at the virtual 45th Annual Midwest Nursing Research Society (MNRS) Conference on March 25-27.

Almost 30 faculty and students from undergraduate and graduate programs gave oral and poster research presentations at the conference, which was hosted in part by the college, said Robin Lally, PhD, interim associate dean for research. Faculty and students also received awards.

The mission of MNRS is to advance science, transform practice and advance careers through a network of scholars.

"The presentations by UNMC faculty and students aligned with areas of the college's research foci and mission to transform lives through innovative research that provides robust evidence for implementation in practice," Dr. Lally said.

Several UNMC nurse scientists presented on their interdisciplinary teams' research to promote self-management in cancer, heart failure, medication adherence and psychological and physical wellness by developing evidence-based interventions delivered by electronic and telehealth means (eHealth and mHealth). Self-management of chronic illnesses is one of the research focus areas supported by the Center for Patient, Family and Community Engagement in Chronic Care Management at UNMC.

Ann Berger, PhD, professor in the college, said the conference is one way that the college develops the next generation of nurse scientists through mentoring and financial support for BSN and PhD students competitively selected to present posters.

Juliann Sebastian, PhD, dean of the UNMC College of Nursing, presented during a special session led by deans of the Big Ten colleges of nursing. The session focused on COVID's impact on mental health and social isolation.

UNMC nursing faculty and students received the following awards.


  • Myra Schmaderer, PhD, and Dr. Berger, received the Distinguished Abstract from among the top 15 abstracts submitted.
  • Breanna Hetland, PhD, was awarded the New Investigator Award from the Acute and Critical Care Research Interest Group.


  • Dilorom (Delia) Sass, PhD, a nursing student who graduated last year and current post-doc at the National Institutes of Health, was awarded the Dissertation Award from the Physiology, Behavior, Genomics, and Society Research Interest Group.
  • Courtney Loecker, a PhD student, received second place out of 50 posters submitted for the PhD student poster competition. He poster focused on frailty in young and middle-aged adults.

Students in the bachelor's degree in nursing honors and PhD programs included:

  • BSN Honors student presenters -- Sarah Budz, Ashytn Keezer and Kara Lemkau
  • DNP student presenters -- Alexandra Ohri and Abigail Wawers
  • PhD student presenters -- Christina Bach, Rebecca Johnson Beller, Abbie Klein, Courtney Loecker, Jessica Miller, Erin Salahshurian, Susan Solmos, Morgan Staver and Gisele Tlusty.


Fill out the following and your comment will post once it has been approved.

Name (Required)

Email (Required)

Thank you, your comment will appear below once it has been approved.