ISU Headlines

Research-focused professor Susan Tavernier joins Idaho State University’s nursing faculty

Posted October 22, 2013

Idaho State University’s Meridian campus has a new assistant professor of nursing, Susan Tavernier. She is also the campus’s new Accelerated Nursing Program coordinator.

Tavernier received her Ph.D. in Nursing from the University of Utah, where she went on to complete a two-year post-doctoral fellowship. Previously, Tavernier worked as a Clinical Nurse Specialist in Oncology. She has prior connections to ISU, including as a preceptor for graduate student research and member of a thesis committee at the ISU-Meridian campus.

A longtime resident of Boise, Tavernier joined the ISU nursing faculty because, she said, “ISU is a recognized leader of nursing and research in Idaho. The implementation of the Ph.D. in Nursing degree program brings new opportunities for nurses and faculty to collaborate and contribute to the art and science of our profession.”

Recent research of Tavernier’s includes findings published in the October 2013 issue of “Psycho-Oncology.” Titled “Diffusion of a Distress Management Guideline into practice,” the paper showed what organizational and nursing barriers hinder and predict the adoption of the practice guideline. The Distress Management guideline has been in place since 1999 but has seen problems with its adoption into medical care.

The Distress Management Guideline recommends that patients with cancer be screened for distress and subsequently referred if their level of distress crosses a certain threshold.

“The majority of nurses studied were unaware of the guideline itself. Those who were aware identified multiple barriers that need to be addressed before it can be sufficiently adopted,” said Tavernier.

She said the study was timely because the American College of Surgeons now requires distress screening for cancer patients.

The study was funded by a Translational Research Grant from the Oncology Nursing Society Foundation through a charitable donation by Sanofi-Aventis, USA.

Tavernier’s other work includes a November presentation of the results of a pilot study titled, “Development and testing of an electronic individualized quality of life tool.” The study builds upon her doctoral dissertation findings and is the subject of an NIH R21 grant on patient-provider communication, pending a delayed review in November due to the government shutdown.
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