By Kathryn Moore
Nearly 130 nursing students and professionals from the Southeast gathered at the Carl Grant Events Center Oct. 26-27 for the Sigma Theta Tau Region 8 conference, “Research, Education, and Practice: Nursing in the 21st Century.”
Sigma Theta Tau, an international nursing honor society, is dedicated to supporting the learning, knowledge, and professional development of nurses committed to making a difference in health worldwide.
Region 8 includes nursing students and professionals from Alabama, Mississippi and Tennessee, including Union School of Nursing’s Nu Lambda chapter.
Dr. Sharon Evans, associate professor of nursing and Region 8 program chairwoman, began planning the conference more than two years ago.
“Sigma Theta Tau’s biggest purpose is to present the latest research and practice innovations in our field,” Evans said.
Karin Morin, professor of nursing and director of graduate programs at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, was keynote speaker at the event. Morin, a former international president of Sigma Theta Tau, gave three presentations at the conference, including one about her experiences with nursing research.
About 50 students and professionals gave oral research presentations, and about 50 others set up posters to present their research. Several of Union’s nursing faculty presented, as well as a few nursing students.
Christina Brimm, senior nursing major, is one of two traditional undergraduate nursing students who gave a poster presentation, titled “Battered Pregnant Women.”
“I’m so proud of the students that presented,” Evans said. “They really have shown me what exceptional students they are.”
Nearly a quarter of the conference presentations focused on emergency preparedness for nurses. This is because Region 8 includes states that have experienced devastating natural disasters in recent years. Evans said she hoped attendees went away with information that will enable them to cope with a natural disaster.
“I also hope that whatever presentations they attended will allow them to glean new information in nursing and to get a better understanding of the research process itself,” Evans said. “Maybe it will inspire some members to do research to present in future years.”