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MSU Researcher Studying Hopelessness/ Heart Disease Links

Susan Dunn is a nurse scientist and an associate professor in the MSU College of Nursing. Dunn received her Ph.D. in nursing from MSU and after working as a faculty member and researcher at a liberal arts college, recently returned to MSU to continue her work.

Dunn’s research focuses on the concept of hopelessness in adults who suffer from coronary heart disease. More recently, she has focused on the linkage between hopelessness and physical activity with a particular interest in ways to motivate these individuals to exercise.

As a researcher who has had success with local and regional research funding, Dunn was asked to co-lead the Scholarship on a Dime workshop at a recent Midwest Nursing Research Society conference. This led to an invitation to co-write a special issue of the Western Journal of Nursing Research titled, “Conducting Research with Limited Funding,” published this past October. Starting with an idea among several nurse researchers on how to best conduct research with limited funding, the idea gained attention and grew into a workshop and special issue publication.

“As scientists, we know research is important work, but it’s expensive work,” Dunn said. “We must do all we can to acquire national-level funding; however, since the economic crisis of 2007/2008, mandatory cuts to federal agencies have reduced the size and number of grants awarded.”

Dunn added that while funding has declined, the need for healthcare research has increased. “It’s important to be innovative and find alternative ways to conduct our important research,” she said.

“As a nurse scientist and a college educator, I often tell people I have the best of both worlds. I get to work with students, patients and their families, and I get to conduct research and write on a topics I am passionate about alongside a number of great colleagues.”

  • Brendan GeraghtyJennifer OrlandoSarina Gleason via the College of Nursing website 

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