Advances in disease prevention, health behavior change, and healthcare delivery require collaboration and integration between a range of disciplines and professions, including nurses, physicians and behavioral scientists. The proposed project is a collaborative effort between the Wayne State University (WSU) Pediatric Prevention Research Center located in the School of Medicine (PPRC-SOM) and the WSU College of Nursing (CON). The multidisciplinary PPRC faculty and staff are engaged in a range of domestic and international socio-behavioral health intervention research projects focused on the development and adaptation of evidence-based programming to decrease health risks for children, adolescents, and their families. PPRC faculty are also actively involved in training and mentoring young scientists in the U.S. and internationally. The CON includes faculty members representing clinical experts and active nurse scientists. In the winter 2011 term, the CON had an enrollment of 215 undergraduate and 444 graduate-level students of which 28% are from non-white ethnic groups and 20.9% are male. More than 50% of CON students receive some form of financial aid. The CON is home to the Center for Health Research (CHR) through which faculty members are engaged in nursing research conducted in the context of an urban environment contributing to the science to reduce disparities and improve health outcomes in diverse communities. The proposed Socio- behavioral Training and Research (STaR) program will target junior and senior nursing students from CON. The STaR program combines established mentoring approaches and modern communication technologies to support this diverse group of young men and women toward careers in research and nursing science. The STaR program will be transdisciplinary and organized within Newman's Catalytic Capacity Building Model, which offers a conceptual framework for effective mentoring.
The specific aims of the program are: 1) Expand on the existing infrastructure at the PPRC and CON to train undergraduate nursing students in transdisciplinary socio-behavioral health research; 2) Enhance and expand the research skills of undergraduate nursing students with the goal of improving their ability to transition to either graduate studies and/or research work environments; 3) Provide research training to students from diverse backgrounds underrepresented in the health- related sciences; 4) Establish an on-going training program that will provide a sustained linkage for transdisciplinary research and education between faculty mentors, current trainees, and STaR alumni; 5) Utilize continuous process and outcome evaluations (quantitative and qualitative) to provide feedback between program administrators, and mentors, trainees, and alumni throughout the five-year implementation of the STaR program.
The proposed project is designed to address nursing faculty shortages at both the baccalaureate and graduate levels and the need for more nursing scientists. The proposed Socio-behavioral Training and Research (STaR) program is collaboration between the Wayne State University Pediatric Prevention Research Center (PPRC) and the College of Nursing (CON). The STaR program will provide a diverse population of young undergraduates with hands-on experience in socio-behavioral health research. The STaR program will be based on a transdisciplinary approach with an emphasis on cultural competency and health disparities. STaR program trainees will participate in hands-on clinical and community-based health research with experienced mentors. The collaboration between PPRC and CON will expand on an existing relationship and enhance research and mentoring within and across institutions.