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Dr. Mary Hancock is lead investigator in statewide study

ISSUED: 28 April 2020
MEDIA CONTACT: Valerie Owens

SHEPHERDSTOWN, WV — A Shepherd University nursing professor has been selected to lead a Future of Nursing West Virginia Bedside Nurse’s Study that will look at what factors contribute to a shortage of patient bedside nurses. Dr. Mary Hancock, associate professor of nursing, was chosen to lead the study based on her experience with qualitative research, nursing workforce development research, and service.

“Health care organizations need to retain nurses at the patient bedside,” Hancock said. “As nurses gain experience, many pursue advanced degrees expanding their career options that involve leaving the patient bedside. The intellectual knowledge and experience leave with the nurse resulting in a workforce with limited experience that could potentially result in poor patient outcomes.”

Hancock said the study will be qualitative in nature and will be conducted online due to the current COVID-19 pandemic and the rural nature of the state. Hancock is currently working with co-investigator Dr. Trisha Petitte, assistant professor of nursing at West Virginia University School of Nursing, to perform a literature review to determine the best methodology to ensure participant confidentiality.

“The number of participants will depend on data saturation,” Hancock said. “We will be working on the logistics this summer and conduct the study this fall.”

Hancock and Petitte will interview nurse managers and staff members who have longevity at the bedside and on their particular units to ascertain the key factors contributing to longevity. The research will be published and disseminated in presentations and publications.

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