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STTI Announces Recent Nursing Research Grant Recipients

The STTI Foundation for Nursing contributes to evidence-based research and practice

INDIANAPOLIS — The Honor Society of Nursing, Sigma Theta Tau International (STTI) enables nursing research through the grants program administered by the STTI Foundation for Nursing. In July 2016, STTI awarded the following three grants, made possible by contributions to STTI Foundation for Nursing, to fund research projects: 


Nurses' Customization of Physiologic Monitor Alarms in Intensive Care Units
Halley W. Ruppel MS, BSN

Grant Impact: This study intends to support nurses to customize alarms appropriately for their patients. The researcher will identify barriers and facilitators to alarm customization and determine what patterns or gaps exist, allowing her to pinpoint appropriate areas for interventions to enhance alarm customization practices.  Appropriate customization of alarms may ultimately enhance patient safety by reducing non-actionable alarms, which contribute to alarm fatigue, and increase nurses’ capacity to respond to alarms, so that critical patient events will not be missed.

The results, and future work building on the results, of this study will benefit patients, nurses, ICU staff, and hospital administrators. Patients, nurses, and other ICU staff will benefit from a safer, quieter ICU environment. Hospital administrators may be able to use the findings to develop meaningful alarm customization policies and demonstrate compliance with regulatory requirements. Finally, other researchers may benefit from and build on the research methods and study findings.

Funds provided by interest from a research endowment established at Sigma Theta Tau International Foundation for Nursing, with a donation by the Hugoton Foundation.

Conceptualizing Student Experiences of Psychological Safety in Simulation Through Grounded Theory

Carol T. Kostovich PhD, MSN
Loyola University, Chicago

Grant Impact: This study represents the essential first step in the development of an empirically-derived instrument to measure students’ perceptions of psychological safety during a simulation learning experience.

The Standards of Best Practice advocated by The International Nursing Association for Clinical Simulation and Learning (INACSL) emphasize the need to create a psychologically safe environment for students in a simulated setting to maximize student learning. To determine if this environment has been achieved, a psychometrically sound instrument to measure individual students’ perceptions of psychological safety experienced during simulation must be used. However, no known instrument with established psychometric properties is available. This study aims to develop an instrument grounded in the experiences of the participants by discovering the processes at work in a psychologically safe simulation learning environment. Findings from this study will advance the science of simulation and support best practices in nursing education.

The Educational Assessment Nursing Research Grant is co-sponsored by ATI Nursing Education (ATI) with the Honor Society of Nursing, Sigma Theta Tau International (STTI).

Predicting NCLEX Failures Using Standardized Assessments
DeAnna Jan Emory PhD, MSN
University of Arkansas

Grant Impact: This study aims to increase the available nursing workforce by developing an assessment to help recognize at-risk students early in the nursing education program and allow instructors to intervene to avoid NCLEX failures. As the aging population increases, the growing demand for nurses has resulted in record numbers of applicants to programs of nursing. Enrollments are limited by an aging faculty workforce and viable clinical placements for students. The current passing percentages for NCLEX-RN and NCLEX-PN (the examinations for the licensing of US registered and practical nurses) are just 83.6 percent and 82.62 percent, respectively.

In response to the ongoing problem of NCLEX failures, nurse educators need valid and reliable tools to assist in early identification and intervention of those at risk. This study will seek to recognize measurable variables associated with NCLEX failures to benefit students, nurse educators, and society. The results of this study will enable early recognition and remediation to increase NCLEX success. With more successful graduates to care for a diverse and aged population, the nation as a whole will ultimately benefit.

For more information on the STTI Foundation for Nursing and its small and collaborative nursing research grants program, please visit the STTI website at



About the Honor Society of Nursing, Sigma Theta Tau International (STTI)The Honor Society of Nursing, Sigma Theta Tau International (STTI) is a nonprofit organization whose mission is advancing world health and celebrating nursing excellence in scholarship, leadership, and service. Founded in 1922, STTI has more than 135,000 active members over 90 countries. Members include practicing nurses, instructors, researchers, policymakers, entrepreneurs, and others. STTI’s 515 chapters are located at more than 700 institutions of higher education throughout Armenia, Australia, Botswana, Brazil, Canada, Colombia, England, Ghana, Hong Kong, Japan, Kenya, Lebanon, Malawi, Mexico, the Netherlands, Pakistan, Philippines, Portugal, Singapore, South Africa, South Korea, Swaziland, Sweden, Taiwan, Tanzania, Thailand, the United States, and Wales. Learn more at