Orlando, FL – The National Association of Clinical Nurse Specialists (NACNS) today presented its prestigious Clinical Nurse Specialist Researcher of the Year Award to Kathleen M. Hanna, PhD, RN, CNS, Professor at the Indiana University School of Nursing. The Award was designed to nationally recognize an NACNS member for outstanding professional achievement as a clinical nurse specialist (CNS) who has conducted original nursing research that has significantly enhanced the science of autonomous nursing practice, patient and family outcomes, and/or health care systems. It acknowledges a nurse for an accomplished program of research that has significantly contributed to advancing the nursing profession. The Award was presented at NACNS’ Annual Conference.
Hanna’s research is focused on integration of health promotion with chronic illness for youth and their families. Her work has helped inform CNS practice and that of other health professionals, with respect to working with adolescents and young adults with chronic illness and their families.
Hanna’s current research focuses on the transition to young adulthood for people with type 1 diabetes. Her research team tracked young adults with diabetes for one year after high school graduation. They examined the subjects’ diabetes management, glycemic control, quality of life, and health behaviors typical of this age group, such as alcohol use, weight control behaviors, and smoking and how individual characteristics, parent-adolescent relationships and transitional events influence these behaviors and outcomes. The findings can be used by health professionals to better understand this transition and, once interventions are tested, to promote youth’s successful transition to young adulthood. The study was funded by the National Institute of Health.
“Dr. Hanna’s groundbreaking research on young adults with chronic illness has provided CNSs and other health professionals with information that helps them care for their patients and encourage those patients to make behavior changes that help them manage their illness,” said NACNS 2014 President Les Rodriguez, MSN, MPH, RN, ACNS-BC, APRN. “For her contributions to improving health care and advancing the nursing profession, we are pleased to present her with the NACNS Researcher of the Year Award.”
Hanna holds a PhD in Nursing from the University of Pittsburgh. She earned her MSN from the University of Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha, her BSN from Loretto Heights College in Denver, Colorado, and her RN diploma from West Nebraska General Hospital in Scottsbluff, Nebraska.