Center for Research and Evaluation in the School of Nursing
Since the late 1980s, the Center for Research and Evaluation (CRE) has supported the research mission of the School of Nursing at the University of Pittsburgh. The CRE faculty include two PhD-prepared statisticians with extensive experience in the application of statistics in the areas of nursing, medicine, and behavioral sciences.
Their combined statistical expertise comprises observational, quasi-experimental, and experimental designs, exploratory data analysis, data visualization, nonparametric statistics, psychometric statistics, multivariate statistics, regression modeling, longitudinal data analysis (e.g., mixed models, marginal models, hierarchical models), survival analysis, meta-analysis, structural equation models (e.g., path analysis, factor analysis, psychometrics), and model assessment and diagnostics. Three systems analysts and programmers are available to support the design and implementation of paper-and-pencil, computer-based and web-based data collection forms, provide network and systems support and data management and programming services. Consultation is available for School of Nursing researcher at no cost. Direct service support (e.g., form design, data entry and verification, programming, statistical analysis) is fee for service.
The CRE of the School of Nursing also houses a computer lab for use by research faculty, staff and doctoral students of the University of Pittsburgh School of Nursing. The CRE Data Lab contains 8 Dell Pentium-class computers running in a Windows environment; a black and white HP LaserJet Printer, a Dell laser color printer, and 1 flatbed scanner (with document feeder) is also available and locally networked. Two additional Fujitsu scanners are dedicated to support data entry via optical scanning. In addition Microsoft Office, the lab supports use of the full versions of the major statistical software packages (SAS, IBM SPSS, STATA, and S-Plus). Specialty statistical packages are also accessible in the lab, including Mplus, LISREL, EQS, and AMOS for structural equation modeling; HLM for hierarchical models; StatXact and LogXact for discrete data analyses, requiring exact estimation methods; Comprehensive Meta-Analysis for quantitative systematic reviews and meta-analyses; SOLAS for missing data description and imputation; and PASS for sample size estimation and power analysis. Popular qualitative analysis software packages are also available, including ATLAS.ti and Nvivo. Oracle, Access and Excel are available for data management. Teleform is available for scanner-based data entry and validation of large data sets requiring paper-and-pencil data collection forms.
Clinical Research Suites and Laboratory in the School of Nursing
The School of Nursing also houses a Clinical Research facility, an 1,800 square-foot space equipped with a CLIA-waived lab, two observation rooms with one-way mirrors, two consultation rooms, one large conference room, a greeting/reception area, and an accessible restroom. The space is designed for research faculty and students at the School of Nursing to conduct their research protocols. Several rooms are equipped with dome cameras. The clinical research lab contains an ADA-compliant exam chair which converts to a table, stadiometer, vital signs monitor, body composition analyzer scale, point-of-care lab testing equipment, laboratory refrigerator, and a sink. Two computers and 3 phone lines are available for research use.
Genetics Lab in the School of Nursing
This laboratory on the fourth floor of the Victoria Building within the School of Nursing, consists of five rooms (approximately 3200 square feet each) of newly renovated space designed as standard wet lab facilities. Generic lab equipment relevant to many studies includes a Beckman GS-6R refrigerated centrifuge, two ultralow freezers connected to an alarm system with automatic dial to the investigators, a spectrophotometer, a cold room, hoods, and an upright refrigerator and ice machine. Within this space, a molecular genetics laboratory is fully equipped and divided into three sections, a culture room facility, a pre-PCR room and a post-PCR/equipment room. Major equipment includes an ABI377 automated sequencer/genotyper with all of the necessary computer equipment and software for analysis of data, the WAVE Nucleic Acid Fragment Analysis System from Transgenomic to perform dHPLC, an AB17000 TaqMan apparatus for quantitative PCR and allele discrimination assays, horizontal/vertical electrophoresis units and power supplies, several SSCP apparatuses, a gel documentation system, culture room equipment, and several 96-well thermal cyclers.
Computing Services and Systems Development
Computing Services and Systems Development (CSSD) provides the infrastructure, resources, and support for these activities, which are utilized by nearly every student, faculty, and staff member at the University of Pittsburgh. CSSD provides the network infrastructure and telecommunications backbone for the University community. The University’s data network, PittNet, connects thousands of computers at all five University campuses to the Internet. Ethernet connections are the standard for University offices. Off-campus students, faculty, and staff have access to PittNet through broadband and VPN access. Extensive telecommunications support is provided to more than 18,000 telephones as well as telegraph, voice mail, telephone credit cards, paging support, and large-group conference call service.
The Technology Help Desk is available 24 hours a day, seven days per week. The Technology Help Desk provides troubleshooting, problem resolution, and answers “how to’ questions on a variety of information technology issues. An online service, Knowledgebase, provides users with access to solutions and recommendations from the Technology Help Desk archive. Students have access to computing resources and services via the six Pittsburgh Campus computing labs. David Lawrence and Sutherland Hall computing labs are open on a 24-hour schedule, seven days per week. Resources include more than 600 computers (Windows, Macintosh, and UNIX) equipped with several hundred of the latest software application and tools. Each lab features several media stations which offer CD duplication, scanning and image processing capability. Printing services include high-speed laser and color laser print capability.
Approximately 100 e-mail kiosks are available in high traffic student areas throughout the Pittsburgh campus which provide e-mail and Internet access. University timesharing services consist of UNIX, VMS, and MVS environments. Software applications include database management systems, graphical analysis programs, mathematical and statistical packages, simulation packages, and tape/file transfer utilities supported by these systems. Students can sign up for no-cost instructor- led training classes provided by CSSD. These classes range from beginner to advanced levels and cover topics such as operating systems, software applications, e mail, and the Internet.
Additionally, self-paced web-based training programs are available to the entire University community, accommodating users independent of time and place. Through a partnership with Sun Microsystems, Inc., CSSD operates an Authorized Sun Education Center (ASEC) in which students may enroll in non-credit Java programming courses. CSSD also offers the Microsoft training curriculum of certification as a Microsoft Certified System Engineer (MC SE). Students are provided an extensive suite of free software applications and utilities. Due to the result of a recent agreement with Microsoft, CSSD provides Microsoft applications and operating systems to students at no cost. Students receive all upgrades while they are enrolled at the University and may retain the software when they leave. CSSD also offers mathematics, statistics, utility, and Internet software products that are provided free or at a greatly reduced cost.
Falk Library of the Health Sciences is the flagship library of the Health Sciences Library System and serves the Schools of Nursing, Dental Medicine, Health and Rehabilitation Sciences, Medicine, Pharmacy and the Graduate School of Public Health. The library houses more than 300,000 volumes, receives over 2,100 journal subscriptions, and includes the History of Medicine collection with over 15,000 volumes featuring rare books on medicine, nursing, psychiatry, and public health.
To assist faculty with their literature searches, trained reference librarians are available from 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday - Friday and 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Saturday. Other libraries in the Health Sciences Library System (HSLS) are Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic Library, the James Frazer Hillman Health Sciences Library and Hopwood Patient Education Library both at UPMC Shadyside.
HSL Online provides access to databases and electronic resources to faculty, staff, and students. HSL Online offers access to approximately 50 bibliographic databases including CINAHL (Cumulative Index to Nursing and Allied Health Literature), MEDLINE (biomedical journal literature), CancerLit, Health & Psychosocial Instruments, PsycINFO, Health Reference Center, Micromedex, PubMed and many more. HSL Online includes access to 2,500 full-text electronic journals and more than 400 full-text electronic textbooks. The University's online catalog, PittCAT, provides information about the availability of materials at all University of Pittsburgh libraries.