Journal of Student Nursing Research

Editor-in-Chief:Sarah Voisine

The Organization of Student Nursing Research (OSNR) is a organization at Penn that promotes awareness of current nursing research and encourage students to get involved in research, in a way that interests them. It is a forum for students to voice their views on current nursing-related topics and serve as an opportunity for students to publish their work in a student-run research journal--The Journal of Student Nursing Research (JOSNR).

We welcome all interested students to get involved in our organization as a regular member or to take on officer/editorship positions. It is a great opportunity to improve writing and editing skills and meet other students who are passionate about research and academia. If you are interested or have any questions, please e-mail us at





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Now showing 1 - 10 of 44
  • Publication
    Mentoring for Nursing Research: Students' Perspectives and Experiences
    (2008-01-29) Persichilli, Joseph M; Daniels, Tammy V
    This paper explores the connection between nursing research and mentorship. The importance of nursing research and the concept of mentoring are discussed based on a review of the literature. Using personal experiences of undergraduate research assistants, positive outcomes of mentorship are explained. Outcomes cited include collaborative effort on projects, future aspirations, preparedness for evidence-based practice, improved patient care, personal and professional development, and increased exposure and awareness of research. The relevance of mentoring to current and future nursing research is described.
  • Publication
    The Ethics of Gestational Surrogacy and the Need for Legal Reform
    (2014-03-28) Meyerowitz, Shira L
    The ethical and legal dilemmas surrounding gestational surrogacy are complex and abounding. A gestational surrogate is paid to be implanted with a fertilized ovum genetically unrelated to her and carry a pregnancy for a commissioning couple. the legal determination of maternal rights and the enforceability of surrogacy contracts are among many ethical dilemmas. Nurses must effectively communicate with gestational surrogacy parties and understand that ethical dilemmas may arise. This brief report summarizes the perspectives that pregnancy may be unethical due to alienation and dehumanization, that anti-surrogacy arguments are flawed, and that it is difficult to deem surrogacy as immoral, and finally discusses four paradigms for determining legal maternity. In conclusion, federal legislation to standardize surrogacy laws is recommended and elaborated upon.
  • Publication
    "Doing the Month": Exploring Chinese Culture
    (2014-03-09) Ng, Diana S
    Cultural values and practices significantly affect patient care and education. Every effort must be made on the healthcare works part, especially nurses, to understand and integrate cultural customs into their interventions and teachings. The majority of Chinese women practice a tradition called "doing the month" after childbirth. They spend a month on best-rest, isolated in their homes from the public, and are expected to perform ancestral rituals such as diet restrictions and abstaining from bathing. This paper reviews three articles on the topic, including a classic article, and determined that social and industrial advances have changed the manner in which the rituals are performed. However, the rationales behind the cultural practice have for the most part remained the same. Therefore, cultural competency must be achieved by nurses in order to facilitate improved communication and interventions with Chinese women in their early postpartum period.
  • Publication
    Use of Chemotherapy in Pregnant Breast Cancer Patients
    (2009-09-17) Schmitt, Mary
    With fertility now possible at a later age, women find themselves at an increased risk for concurrent breast cancer diagnosis. Due to the teratogenic effects of most chemotherapeutic agents, difficult decisions must be made regarding the best outcomes for both mother and baby. Depending on the stage of their cancer, the gestational age of the fetus, and the timing of the diagnosis, women must choose between a therapeutic abortion, safer surgical modalities, a modified treatment plan beginning in the second or third trimester, or postponement of the treatment until the baby is born. Oncology and OB/GYN nurses need to be aware of these complex cases and offer advanced support and care to meet the needs of their patients.
  • Publication
    A Fence for the Wind
    (2014-03-09) Hildebrand-Turcik, Caitlin
  • Publication
    The Effect of Family Therapy On Weight Loss in Children and Adolescents
    (2008-01-29) Crumpler, Laura A
    Objective. To examine the current evidence on the use of family therapy as a treatment for obesity in children and adolescents. Research Design and Methods. CINAHL, Medline, PubMed, PsycInfo, and the Cochrane Library were searched for studies containing keywords: family therapy and weight loss and family therapy and obesity. Articles were limited to primary research articles from 1990 to the present pertaining specifically to children and/or adolescents. Results. Eighteen articles met the inclusion criteria. All articles found family therapy to be an effective means of treating obesity in children and adolescents as demonstrated through significant reductions in overweight measuring variables following treatment. However, the behavioral and educational components of family therapy varied among studies. Additionally the designs of most studies were poor and failed to control for important variables. Therefore, focusing on the specific variables of family therapy, parental weight loss, adherence, maintenance, and additions to family therapy allowed for accurate conclusions to be drawn. Conclusions. Although family therapy is shown to be a successful treatment for obesity in children and adolescents, no specific method of treatment proves to be better than the others. Future research needs to build upon current knowledge of family therapy by including control groups receiving alternate treatments or standards of care. Despite the need for more research, the success of family therapy in existing studies suggests that health care providers should utilize families in the treatment of pediatric obesity.
  • Publication
    Including Adolescents and Young Adults in Decisions at the End-of-Life
    (2013-07-15) Berger, Rebecca S
    Over 3000 young people die of chronic illnesses annually in the United States. Health care providers often struggle to include these patients in end-of-life planning. The purpose of this inquiry is to examine the current literature addressing the inclusion of adolescents and young adults in decision-making at the end-of-life. A systematic search of the electronic databases PubMed, Scopus, CINAHL, ISI, and Cochrane revealed 9 articles relevant to this topic. The results show that adolescents and young adults want to be included in end-of-life decisions and often have similar values as their parents and providers when making these decisions. The major limitations are the limited population sample of the studies, in terms of size and patient characteristics, and inconsistencies with the ages of participants in the studies. Ideas for further research, in addition to implications for clinical practice will be discussed in this paper.
  • Publication
    Female Genital Mutilation and Reinfibulation: Considerations in Obstetrics
    (2014-03-28) Boroski, Lauren
    This paper provides current information about female genital mutilation (FGM) and reinfibulation so that health providers can make informed decisions about obstetric treatment of women with history of FGM. A review of literature is conducted, revealing extensive health risks of reinfibulation in obstetric patients and discontent and concerns within sub-Saharan African populations related to genital cutting practices. Suggestions for change in current management of patients with history of genital cutting are offered, including extensive counseling and education of the patient. The paper concludes that the healthcare provider must remain sensitive to patients' needs and concerns about FGM in order to devise a solution for moving forward with their obstetric care.
  • Publication
    Breastfeeding Practices of HIV-Positive Mothers in Resource-Limited Settings
    (2014-03-09) Altemeyer, Amy
    HIV-postive mothers in resource-limited settings must balance the risk of HIV transmission through breast milk with the well-documented and culturally embraced benefits of breastfeeding when deciding whether or not to breastfeed their newborns. Additionally, these mothers must also simultaneously overcome the stigma associated with their HIV-positive status. Although a large amount of research has been conducted regarding this topic, few mothers in these settings are educated about the best practices to maximize the benefits of breastfeeding while minimizing the risk of vertical HIV transmission (Holmes & Savage, 2007). This paper utilizes a review of the current research regarding the issue of breastfeeding and HIV-positive mothers to determine the most effective practices, the barriers to implementation in resource-limited settings, and the educational approaches that would best overcome these barriers. Exclusive breastfeeding for six months and a need for successful and appropriate education interventions were deemed to be the most prominent findings.
  • Publication
    Nursing Advocacy for Optimal Palliative Care of Patients with Advanced Cancer
    (2013-07-15) Kossman, Debra A
    The purpose of this paper is to review selected research findings about obstacles to palliative care for patients with progressive cancer and discuss the role that oncology and palliative care nurses play in helping to remove these obstacles.