In addition to coursework and clinical experiences, Pitt’s undergraduate BSN students can enroll in the Undergraduate Research Mentorship Program (URMP). The goal is to introduce students to research methods and to engage them in faculty-led projects and scholarship.
The URMP offers students the chance to improve their academic performance and develop strong critical thinking abilities. Should they choose to pursue graduate studies, as encouraged in the nursing field, students will already have the essential skills and understanding of research methods and processes.
As evidence-based practitioners, nurses will determine patient treatment and interventions based on research; thus, early and ongoing exposure to research processes and outcomes will help graduates to be better healthcare professionals and advocates for their patients. URMP participants noted the benefits of becoming familiar with the entire research process.
Since its creation in 2008, the URMP has enrolled hundreds of BSN students, matching them to faculty mentors and projects. Students have undertaken research tasks such as data collection and management, abstract/proposal writing, preparation of IRB protocols, and dissemination of results. Under the faculty adviser’s tutelage, students learn how to define a research question or problem, explore potential solutions, and test the validity of a proposed solution.
Reflecting the diversity of research areas explored by Pitt Nursing faculty, student research through the URMP covers a broad spectrum of topics. These include (but are not limited to) breast cancer risks and treatments, improving protective factors in teen dating violence, self-management behaviors and health outcomes after lung transplantation, and effectiveness of peer coaching on end-of-life care education.
Reflecting the diversity of research areas explored by Pitt Nursing faculty, student research through the URMP covers a broad spectrum of topics. Some recent student projects include:
- Intervention in neuro-oncology caregivers
- Veterans with depression CBT with or without CBT app
- Psychiatric medication discontinuation during pregnancy
- Bio-behavioral interventions for CVD risk reduction in older breast cancer survivors
- Relationship between social media, depression and puberty in early adolescent girls
- Modernizing emergency department triage. Using machine learning techniques to recognize subtle patterns collected at nurse triage to correlate those complex interactions with a patient specific outcome.
- Mindfulness in Adolescents with T1D
- miRNAs related to age-related macular degeneration
In addition, URMP students submit abstracts (annually) to the National Conference on Undergraduate Research (NCUR). This year, all thirty abstracts were accepted. The projects can be found here:
For more information about the URMP, contact the program at firstname.lastname@example.org.