Northwestern nursing student and professor present research

Northwestern College nursing student Sarah Kanoy and Professor Diane Smith presented the results of their respective research projects at the 23rd annual Nursing Research Symposium March 30 in Sioux Falls.

Kanoy was one of 19 symposium speakers that included 13 professional nurses and six students. In her presentation, “HIV, Depression and Spirituality,” Kanoy explored research showing that HIV patients experience a higher incidence of depression, which adversely affects their physical health and adherence to treatment.

Citing evidence from studies showing attention to spirituality can lessen depression, Kanoy argued that more attention should be paid to the spiritual health and resources of HIV positive patients.

Kanoy, from Arlington, Neb., will graduate in May with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (B.S.N.) and has accepted a position at Mercy Medical Center in Sioux City. Last summer Kanoy and another Northwestern nursing student served at a clinic in Kenya; she hopes eventually to return to East Africa as a nurse missionary.

Smith’s poster presentation, “The Phenomenon Spirituality,” compared nursing codes of conduct and institutions’ guides for practice regarding spirituality with caregivers’ and patients’ actual experiences of inconsistent spiritual care as part of nursing.

Smith hopes to explore the phenomenon of spirituality further as part of her doctorate work in nursing philosophy at South Dakota State University in Brookings.

Kanoy’s  and Smith’s research both support a foundational principle of Northwestern College’s nursing program that nurses are called to continue Jesus’ healing ministry by promoting not just physical health, but shalom—or health, wholeness and peace—as well.

Northwestern’s nursing department is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education and approved by the Iowa Board of Nursing. Among last year’s Northwestern nursing graduates, 95.2 percent passed their board exam on the first attempt.