Research funding up 37 percent at the WSU College of Nursing

SPOKANE, Wash. – Researchers at the Washington State University College of Nursing received $9.8 million in external funding in the 2018 federal fiscal year — up 37 percent from the previous year. About 62 percent of the College of Nursing’s external funding came from competitive grants awarded by the National Institutes of Health.

Funded research includes:

  • An initiative to attract more nurse practitioners to work with rural and underserved populations;
  • A pilot project on how smart-home technology can help people with chronic illness;
  • An evaluation of implicit-bias training for law enforcement officers;
  • A study of knowledge, practices and attitudes about medical marijuana among healthcare providers and marijuana consultants;
  • A subaward on a larger study, examining whether an online pain management program can help patients who have chronic pain reduce the amount of prescription opioids they take;
  • Testing the effectiveness of a specific intervention in reducing stroke and cardiovascular disease in American Indians;
  • An examination of the prevalence and consequences of sleep deprivation and fatigue in National Guard medical personnel.

“We are pleased to see our research portfolio continue to grow and diversify,” said Celestina Barbosa-Leiker, associate dean for research at the College of Nursing. “It is no surprise that as our Spokane campus continues to expand, so do our interdisciplinary research endeavors. At the same time, our Vancouver faculty continue to contribute significantly to our research portfolio. Our next goals are to increase scholarship and research across all ranks of faculty, utilizing clinical expertise and increasing clinical partnerships.”

Nursing research focuses on four core areas of distinction — behavioral health, community and public health, educational innovations and outcomes, and patient care quality and safety. The college’s research portfolio has grown steadily since a Ph.D. program was started in 2007.

Joyce Griffin-Sobel, dean and professor of the WSU College of Nursing, said, “So much of what we do in healthcare is not based in science, so I place tremendous value in the research the College of Nursing does. It is personally and professionally rewarding for me to see that the increased research support we have been able to provide to faculty is having such a positive effect in funding. Helping the elderly remain in their homes, reducing pain in the chronically ill, or addressing the impact of fatigue on nurses’ work are just a few of the ways nurse researchers are contributing to quality of life and safer care. I know the College will continue to create the science that helps our community have healthier lives.”

The WSU College of Nursing is committed to innovative, relevant research that contributes to WSU’s Drive to 25 — a goal to become one of the nation’s top 25 public research universities by 2030.



  • Celestina Barbosa-Leiker, associate dean, WSU College of Nursing, 509-324-7477,
  • Addy Hatch, communication director, WSU College of Nursing, 509-324-7340,

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