APNA Research Grant Recipients

Ensuring the Future: The APNA Research Grant program aids scientific research and contributions which add to the knowledge and practice of psychiatric-mental health nursing. This year, APNA will assisting three members in their research or evidence-based project with a grant to support their work.

Chrissy Agenor

Chrissy Agenor, MPH, RN-BC
University of Central Florida
A Proposal for a Grounded Theory Study of Flourishing in Recent Gulf War Era Veterans

Chrissy Agenor, MPH, RN-BC is a Nursing PhD student at the University of Central Florida and nurse manager at the Bay Pines VA. She is a Jonas Scholar in the 2018-2020 cohort. Her interests include mental health promotion, whole health, psychiatric rehabilitation, and Veteran care. Her dissertation study will use grounded theory to explore the processes that support flourishing in recent Gulf War era Veterans. Veterans who served during the recent Gulf War era conflicts of Operation Enduring Freedom, Operation Iraqi Freedom, and Operation New Dawn (OEF/OIF/OND) make up the largest current Veteran cohort (VA, 2016). Nearly one-fifth of Veterans who enrolled in the military during the six-year period following 9/11 had depression (Seal et al., 2009). Additionally, the suicide rate was 1.5 times greater for Veterans than for non-Veteran adults (U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs [VA], 2018b). If we can promote flourishing amongst this vulnerable population, we may be able to reduce or prevent episodes of mental illness, substance abuse, and suicide. At this time, flourishing has not been studied in the veteran population and we do not know how veterans flourish. Qualitative research is needed to explore the processes that support flourishing amongst veterans and inform the development of flourishing interventions



Elizabeth DePalma

Elizabeth DePalma, MSN, RN, PMHNP-BC
University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus; United States Air Force
Implementation of a Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) Training Intervention to Support College Student Mental Health by Improving Peers’ Readiness to Offer Help

Liz is a recent PMHNP graduate from CU Anschutz and a current Health Professions Scholarship Program (HPSP) recipient from the United States Air Force (USAF). She continues her scholarly work at CU Anschutz in the DNP program, where her own experiences and observations as a student in a competitive academic environment have informed the focus of her doctoral project. Liz has been reviewing the literature for factors that both encourage and undermine college student mental health, finding that peer support is a powerful influence. She has been working with her mentor, Dr. Nicole Brodrick, to evaluate the impact of Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) training among specific college student groups to improve mental health helping behaviors of those students toward their peers. With the funding awarded from the APNA Research Grant, Liz will be able to continue to work with the key stakeholders involved in her project to ensure the sustainability of MHFA training and other student mental health interventions on campus. Upon completion of the DNP program, Liz looks forward to an exciting career as a PMHNP in the USAF, providing mental health care to active duty service members and their families. Liz credits her successes thus far to the unwavering support and encouragement of her family, friends, mentors, and partner.


Henna Lee

Hyunhwa “Henna” Lee, PhD, MSN, APRN, PMHNP-BC
University of Nevada, Las Vegas
Epigenetic Effects of Preinjury Adversity on Functional Disparities after Mild Traumatic Brain Injury in Asian and Pacific Islanders

Dr. Hyunhwa ‘Henna’ Lee is an Assistant Professor in nursing at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas who earned post-master’s psychiatric-mental health nurse practitioner and Ph.D. degrees in nursing at the University of Michigan and received her training in translational genomics at the National Institutes of Health National Institute of Nursing Research. Dr. Lee has a broad background in clinical and translational research for concussion, mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI), and posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), with specific training and expertise in genetic and epigenetic studies using peripheral blood samples to measure symptom severities. In successful partnerships with interdisciplinary collaborators in neurology, physical therapy, and computer science, as well as community partners, Dr. Lee is identifying peripheral epigenetic markers (blood and salivary) and objective functional measures for mTBI that may be used to detect early signs of post-injury neurodegeneration and to develop clinically effective assessment and treatment. As a recipient of the 2019 APNA Research Grant, Dr. Lee will expand her research interest in mTBI health disparities with a specific focus on Asians and Pacific Islanders (APIs). Most studies focused on mTBI biomarkers in non-Hispanic Whites, thereby overlooking racial minorities with mTBI. Racial minorities, including APIs, are disproportionately exposed to multiple adverse psycho-social events which affect both their physical and mental health via epigenetic mechanisms at the molecular level years later. Dr. Lee will examine how previous life adversity may affect post-injury symptom profiles among APIs with mTBIs in Nevada, the fifth most diverse state in the U.S.


The APNA Grant Review Committee would like to thank all of the applicants.

Past APNA Grant Recipients 


Nadia Ali Muhammad Ali Charania, Ph.D., RN
University of Michigan School of Nursing
Arab American Women with Recurrent Depression: Self-management Strategies and
Social Determinants

Elizabeth Hutson, MS, RN, PMHNP-BC
Ohio State University
#mindstrong to Combat Bullying a Cognitive Behavior Skills Building Intervention for Adolescents

Krista Scorsone MS, RN, PMPNP-BC
University of New Mexico College of Nursing
Exploring Perspectives of Medication Assisted Therapy


Jenna Brager, MS, BSN-RN
Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing
Perceptions, Use, and Impact of Digital Technologies for Strengthening Parenting

Brenda C. Fore, MHA, BSN, RN-BC, PMHN
Mission Health
Trauma Informed Care: Using Evidence-Based Education to Combat a Population Crisis

Allison McCord, BSN, RN
Indiana University School of Nursing
The Unfolding of Depressive Symptoms, Disease Self-Management, and Treatment Utilization for Latina Adolescents


Nicholas Guenzel, PhD, APRN
University of Nebraska Medical Center College of Nursing
Relationships between Historical Trauma and Mental Health among Adult Urban American Indians


Kosuke Niitsu, MSN, APRN-NP, PMHNP-BC/PhD Student
University of Nebraska Medical Center
Genetic Influence on Resilience to Potentially Traumatic Events
Hear from Niitsu about his research and experience as an APNF Research Grant Recipient.


Robin Osterman, PhD, RNC-OB, CNS
University of Cincinnati College of Nursing
Alcohol Use Biomarkers in Pregnant Methadone Users

Choochart Wong-Anuchit, PhD(c), RN
Saint Louis University School of Nursing
A Meta-analysis of Motivational Interviewing in People with Severe Mental Illness


Marian J. Hardwick, MS, RN
University of South Florida, School of Nursing
Accelerated Resolution Therapy for PTSD and Sleep Disturbance

Kerry Peterson, DNP, PMHCNS, PMHNP
Johns Hopkins University, School of Nursing
Evaluation of Two Dating Violence Prevention Programs on a College Campus


Esther Meerwijk, PhD(c), RN
University of California, San Francisco, School of Nursing
Heart rate variability and frontal EEG asymmetry as markers of psychological pain.

Andrea Warner Stidham, PhD, RN
Kent State University
The Relationship of PostTraumatic Growth to Depressive Symptoms and Physical Health in Spouses of U.S. Service Members Deployed to Iraq or Afghanistan.


Abir Bekhet, PhD, RN, H.S.M.I.
Marquette University
Effects of Positive Cognitions and Resourcefulness on Autism Spectrum Disorder Caregiver’s Burden

Nutchanart Bunthumporn, RN
Case Western Reserve University – PhD candidate
Effects of Biofeedback Training on Negative Emotions, Depressive Cognition, and Resourcefulness in Thai Elders

Carrie M. Carretta, PhD(c), APN, AHN-BC
Vanderbilt University – PhD candidate
Rape Trauma: A Study of Preferred Rape Disclosure Methods and Factors Influencing Psychological Outcomes in Rape Victims

Jennifer Rode, MSN, RN
University of Cincinnati – PhD candidate
The Protective Effects of Social Support on Postpartum Depression: Does Emotional Intelligence Matter?

Kimberly A. Williams, RN, DNSc, PMHNP-BC, ANP-BC
University of South Alabama
School Nurse Feasibility, Reliability and Validity Test of the SARA and SLICE® Tools for Self-Harm


Andrea N. Kwasky, DNP, PMHNP-BC, PMHCNS-BC
University of Detroit Mercy
Vitamin D and Depression:  Is There a Relationship in Young African American Women?

Betty D. Morgan, PhD, PMHCNS, BC
University of Massachusetts Lowell
Nursing Educational Needs for Caring for People with Serious Mental Illness (SMI) at End-of-Life

Mary Rosedale, PhD, PMHNP-BC, NEA-BC
College of Nursing, New York University
The structure of the lived experience of the expert electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) nurse and their meaning of expertise


Eileen Cormier, PhD, RN
Florida State University
How Parents Make Decisions about Medication to Treat Their Child’s ADHD Symptoms

Kimberly O. Hemphill, APRN-BC
Doctoral Student, University of Virginia
Determinants of Health Risk Behavior in Male Juvenile Offenders in Rural Arizona

Linda C. Lewin, PhD, APRN-BC
Case Western Reserve University
Parenting Among Women in Substance Abuse Treatment


Kathryn Anderson
Florida International University
Factors Affecting Health Promoting Screening, Treatment, Couple Relationships and Depression during Breast Cancer: Identifying Couple Risks, Needs, and Solutions from Ethnically Diverse Couples

Ursula Kelly
University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
Group Interventions for PTSD symptoms in immigrant Latina women exposed to Intimate Partner Violence

Mary Rosedale
New York University
The structure of the lived experience for persons having undergone rTMS for depression treatment

Marianne Smith
University of Iowa
Improving mood in Long-term Care: A Psychiatric Nurse Enhanced Model

Richard Zoucha
Dusquesne University
Understand the Meaning of Mental Health and Illness in an Urban Nicaraguan Community: An Ethnography

AMERICAN PSYCHIATRIC NURSES ASSOCIATION and APNA-Logoare registered in the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office as trademarks of the American Psychiatric Nurses Association.
The American Psychiatric Nurses Association is accredited with distinction as a provider of nursing continuing professional development by the American Nurses Credentialing Center’s Commission on Accreditation.