Undergraduate Research

Begin your journey of discovery

You don’t have to wait until you’re in graduate school to start your career as a nurse-researcher. At the Indiana University School of Nursing, you can start exploring your research interests as an undergraduate—and you’ll have the opportunity to work with distinguished faculty researchers whose work is advancing nursing education and practice worldwide.

Learn about faculty research

Research opportunities for undergraduates

The IU School of Nursing Bloomington honors program allows eligible students to gain experience in research, evidence-based practice (EBP), and dissemination of scholarly work by completing elective coursework in the traditional track of the Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree program. Eligibility for the honors program is based on student’s cumulative IU GPA (>3.5 GPA).

As a student in the honors program, you will be mentored by faculty researchers whose work is advancing nursing education and practice, worldwide. Interested, eligible students learn about the honors program during their second or third year of the nursing program and are assigned to a faculty mentor. Students are mentored in individual or small group (similar to a task force in practice) work to develop a research proposal, collect and analyze data, and interpret results in context. Students will also disseminate meaningful results through abstract development and submission for presentation at professional conference and/or manuscript development and submission for publication in a scholarly journal. Summer meetings and writing are often required, but are generally completed remotely, so students do not need to stay in Bloomington over the summer.

Research topics and mentors are determined by faculty availability. Past student projects have focused on topics such as:

  • Public health: Addressing health disparities among active duty men who have sex with other men; Black and Latinx healthcare access in Indiana; sexual risk among men who have sex with other men while under the influence of illicit substances; and the lived experience of people who inject drugs in south central Indiana. 
  • Development and testing of a Qigong (Chinese Traditional Medicine Exercise) instrument to aid in intervention delivery and fidelity check in research.
  • Quality and safety in acute care settings.
  • Risk factors and complications associated with perioperative hypothermia.
  • Commonalities among patient- and care-related factors in CDC reportable organ/space surgical site infections.
  • Similarities and differences between what statistical methods are published in scholarly journals and taught in undergraduate courses.
  • EBP knowledge development of baccalaureate nursing students.

If you’re interested in conducting a research project through the honors program, your first step is to contact our faculty sponsor Associate Professor Amy Wonder.

L-R: Honors students Emily Hawkins, Kennedy McCrea, Bailee Leathers, Lauren Heitman, and Tricia Abbott with Dr. Angela Opsahl at the Indiana Academies Symposium, April 2021. 

Research spotlight

Honors students from the Traditional track BSN Class of 2021, under the supervision of Dr. Angela Opsahl, worked closely with Nursing Administration and Nurse Educators at IU Health Bloomington Hospital on their project to create educational modules, recorded and uploaded onto the hospital learning system, for implementation as a video-on-demand for asynchronous learning. Outcomes from their study were presented in April 2021 at Beyond Boundaries, a session of the Indiana Academies Symposium. The conference was sponsored by the IU Bicentennial. Their work was also selected to be presented at the Sigma Theta Tau International 46th Biennial Convention, November 6-10, 2020, to an audience of global leaders in nursing. Additionally, the manuscript from this work was submitted for publication to the Journal of Continuing Education in Nursing.

 

This has been one of the most beneficial experiences of my entire student career. It’s allowed me to pursue my love of research while providing an invaluable opportunity for personal growth and professional development.

Rebecca Serfass, BSN ’17