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PhD in Nursing Candidate awarded 2018 Sigma Theta Tau Grant

A photo of PhD in Nursing student Tanna Woods

Tanna Woods is a third year PhD Candidate in the College of Nursing. She was recently awarded the 2018 Sigma Theta Tau International (STTI)/ Chamberlain College of Nursing Research Grant in the amount of $7500 for her dissertation research titled "Health Belief Model factors as predictors of parental misclassification of the weight of their preschool child.” Tanna’s research focuses on childhood obesity and how parents see their children. Tanna is the very first PhD student in the College of Nursing to receive an external research grant.

Before Tanna got her nursing degree, she worked as a reporter and editor with degrees in psychology and journalism. She then decided to go back to school to get her bachelor’s degree in nursing and master’s degree at Western Governors University. Tanna is now completing her education by obtaining a doctoral degree in nursing at Idaho State University.

Sigma Theta Tau International is an honor society for nurses and a non-profit organization. This research grant will be used to buy supplies and get the necessary equipment for her research. Tanna’s research could bring to attention things that factor into the increase in childhood obesity. This is an issue all over the world, especially in the United States. Woods states, “The goal is to get a better idea of how parents see their children, understand their view of health risks and weight, and see if there are modifiable factors that need to be addressed with future interventions and programs.” This research will be taking place in pre-schools and daycares in Utah.

Dr. Mary A. Nies states, “Receiving this grant from STTI is the first step in Tanna's program of research and becoming an independent nurse researcher.  This STTI grant, her publications, and her regional and national presentations all during her PhD program bodes well for Tanna to seek out and apply for tenure track positions in the US. As her dissertation chair, I am very proud of her many accomplishments while at ISU.”

Tanna says ISU gave her the education and skills she needed to further her career. As a home care nurse, Tanna saw many people who would have episodes from acute exacerbation from different illnesses. She knew that if people had the right education and resources these episodes would be easier to manage. She says, “By the time we become adults, we are set in our ways and if we can teach children how to manage their weight early on then they will know how to take better care of themselves.”

She adds, “Obesity is relatively new to its classification as a chronic illness. With this issue and my demographic of children, parents are critical. Parents are the ones who care for children and teach them. Parents model behavior and influence all of the choices kids have from eating to physical activity. Therefore, we need to involve them and understand their perspective so we can help children.”

Wood’s research stands to impact many lives and could lead to a decrease in US obesity rates and possibly a healthier future for everyone. This grant will allow Tanna to accomplish great things within her area of research. Good luck Tanna, congratulations!

For more information on Sigma Theta Tau International go to https://www.sigmanursing.org/

Written by: Lindsay Taylor, College of Nursing Career Path Intern

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