Honors student research a success at WIN conferenceAsia Groves | College of Nursing May 4, 2017
Undergraduate Honors student Alex David was among the hundreds of students and professionals to present research at the Western Institute of Nursing’s (WIN) 50th Annual Communicating Nursing Research Conference in April. David presented research that she conducted with Dr. Blaine Reeder, PhD, Assistant Professor, during the conference’s poster sessions. Attendees took a particular interest in her poster, “Comparing Smart Watch and Research Grade Activity Monitors,” which was well-attended throughout the poster session.
David’s decision to study the applications and accuracy of smart watches and activity monitors in health research spawned from Dr. Reeder’s previous work using smart watches and her own interest in the clinical integration of the devices. In response to finding very little data on the accuracy of consumer-grade smart watches, David and Dr. Reeder developed a feasibility study of the Samsung Gear and the Pebble Classic smart watches. The study revealed that both watches performed with varying degrees of accuracy, either over-reporting or under-reporting step counts. “Equally important to the study result were the questions that rose along the way. We have identified several questions that ought to be addressed should these devices continue to be used in future research,” David says.
Other WIN attendees seemed extremely interested in David’s presentation, creating a constant presence at her poster. David speculates that attendees were so interested because so many had smart watch devices of their own and were curious about their accuracy. Because smart watches are becoming popular tools in health research, many nurse researchers at the conference currently use or are considering incorporating smart watches in their own research. Some even asked David’s opinion on which devices they should incorporate into their research and potential problems they may run into.
David cites many benefits for student researchers attending professional conferences like WIN. Research conferences are an opportunity to learn about current nursing research and to network with other professionals. Attending may pique a new research interest or even spark a relationship with a potential mentor or collaborator. Presenting research at a conference also builds confidence and creates the opportunity to receive feedback from other researchers. “Personally, the conference attendance renewed my love for nursing research and makes me excited for my future in this field,” she says.
According to David, the College of Nursing’s BS Honors program is an invaluable experience for students interested in conducting nursing research who see themselves pursuing an advanced degree in the future. “Being able to walk through the steps of project initiation, overcoming project difficulties, as well as thesis writing, have placed me in an advantageous position for graduate school,” she says.
David graduates with her Bachelor of Science in Nursing May 26, 2017. She thanks Dr. Reeder; Dr. Madalynn Neu, PhD, RN, FAAN, Associate Professor; and Dr. Catherine Jankowski, PhD, FACSM, Associate Professor. She notes that without their dedication to the honors program and integration of student nurses into research, she would not have had the opportunity to attend the WIN Conference. “Nursing research is my passion and I am very fortunate to have such a supportive team, mentors and fellow honor student researchers, to guide me through this experience. What I’ve learned over the past two years will serve me for the rest of my career.”