Kathryn Laughon, Ph.D., R.N. Selected as a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Nurse Faculty Scholar





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 Kathryn Laughon Named a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Nurse Faculty Scholar
New national program seeks to advance careers of talented junior nursing faculty
Charlottesville, VA (July28, 2008) ─ Kathryn LaughonPh.D., R.N.,an assistant professor at the University of Virginia School of Nursing, was one of 15 junior faculty nationwide to receive an inaugural Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Nurse Faculty Scholar award. The three-year, $350,000 grant will begin September 1.
The award will support her research to test a computerized safety planning aid for battered women seeking protective orders for intimate partner violence. Intimate partner violence represents a significant public health burden for society, and abused women and their children are at risk for homicide, injury, and a wide range of chronic health problems.  The planning aid is a computer-based program for assisting women in developing a safety plan based on each woman’s individual characteristics, preferences, and the best evidence currently available. This is the first clinical trial to measure the effectiveness of safety planning, long held to be the cornerstone of intimate partner violence intervention, on women’s safety, exposure to further violence, and health outcomes for the women and her children.  The award will also support Laughon’s participation in a training program that will help prepare her for academic leadership and translating evidence into policy and practice initiatives.
“This generous support from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation will enable me to learn whether this innovative planning aid will help to improve the safety and quality of life for battered women and their children.  Through the national training that the Foundation provides, I will also have the opportunity to work with national nursing leaders so that I can gain the skills necessary to quickly move research findings into policy and practice.  After all, research findings do not help anyone if we cannot get them out into the hands of the people doing the work on the ground,” said Laughon. 
Herfaculty mentors for this research are Theresa A. Thomas Professor of Nursing Barbara Parker, Ph.D., R.N., FAAN, and Professor of Psychology Melvin Wilson, Ph.D.
Jeanette Lancaster, Ph.D., R.N., FAAN, Sadie Heath Cabaniss Professor of Nursing and Dean noted, “The School of Nursing is excited that Assistant Professor Kathryn Laughon, was chosen as a Robert Wood Johnson Nurse Faculty Scholar during the first year of this program. The aim of the program is to develop to the fullest level possible highly qualified junior faculty so they will be successful in all three of the major faculty roles: teaching, research and service. Ms. Laughon has, in her first four years at the University, developed into an effective teacher, participating member of the faculty and has begun a highly promising research career.  This award is a significant tribute to both Ms. Laughon and the School, including her mentors and research colleagues.”
Laughon was just awarded a National Institute of Mental Health R21 grant of $261,250 to fund her study “Testing an Interactive Health Communication Application for Guardians of Survivors of Intraparental Homicide” and was a co-investigator for an National Institutes of Health/National Institute of Nursing Research study, “The Lasting Experience of Domestic Homicide.” As a doctoral student, she received the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Doctoral Dissertation Award and wasGloria Smith, R.N./American Nurses Foundation Scholar for 2003.   She has won a Faculty Publication Award, Undergraduate Research Fellowship, and multiple research awards at the University Of Virginia School Of Nursing. She is a member of Sigma Theta Tau International. 
The goal of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Nurse Faculty Scholars program is to develop the next generation of national leaders in academic nursing through career development awards for outstanding junior nursing faculty. The program aims to strengthen the academic productivity and overall excellence of nursing schools by providing mentorship, leadership training, salary and research support to young faculty.
Despite a rise in applicants, U.S. nursing schools turn away thousands of prospective students from baccalaureate and masters programs because of an acute shortage of faculty and clinical preceptors, training sites, space and funding constraints. Since the stature of nursing schools and the promotion of nursing faculty are dependent on the quality of the nursing faculty’s scholarly and/or research pursuits, the Nurse Faculty Scholars program seeks to strengthen the link between institutional reputation and faculty success by providing career development and other opportunities to junior faculty.
With a large number of faculty nurses set to retire soon, the Nurse Faculty Scholars program also aims to encourage junior nurse faculty to continue on in their roles as educators.
The program is run out of the Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing. Jacquelyn C. Campbell, Ph.D., R.N., F.A.A.N., Anna D. Wolf chair and professor in the Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing directs the program. For more information, go to: www.nursefacultyscholars.org.
The University Of Virginia School Of Nursing stands among the top 5% in the nation, ranked 19 by US News & World Report; two of its graduate programs are currently listed inthe U.S. News Top Ten. With a vigorous research program that includes studies in rural health care and disparities, oncology, gerontology, complementary therapies and nursing history, the School has implemented new programs and strategies to address the national nursing shortage and the concurrent need for more highly educated nurses to deliver increasingly complex health care. The newly opened Claude Moore Nursing Education Building and upcoming renovation of McLeod Hall allows for an enrollment increase and expansion of the Clinical Simulation Learning Center and the Center for Nursing Historical Inquiry. For more information about the UVA School of Nursing and its programs, visit www.nursing.virginia.edu.
The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation focuses on the pressing health and health care issues facing our country. As the nation's largest philanthropy devoted exclusively to improving the health and health care of all Americans, the Foundation works with a diverse group of organizations and individuals to identify solutions and achieve comprehensive, meaningful and timely change. For more than 35 years the Foundation has brought experience, commitment, and a rigorous, balanced approach to the problems that affect the health and health care of those it serves. When it comes to helping Americans lead healthier lives and get the care they need, the Foundation expects to make a difference in your lifetime. For more information, visit www.rwjf.org.