Office of Nursing Research


Areas of Research

We believe cultivating research is essential to enhancing the science of nursing. Our faculty experts are leaders in their field proposing new ways of understanding patient care. Our faculty are part of a vital community that encourages the pursuit of new knowledge. With support from the Office of Nursing Research, our researchers benefit from a unique intellectual environment that allows them to make a meaningful difference through their research endeavors.

Our core research areas align with those identified by the National Institute of Nursing Research (NINR) at the National Institutes of Health (NIH).


Symptom Science & Precision Health

The state of symptom science deals with the assessment, management and treatment of symptoms associated with disease conditions.

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Clinical Simulation

Simulation is a fundamental aspect of most nursing programs.

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High-Risk & Vulnerable Populations

Our researchers are studying the implications of home life and how to optimize health outcomes and quality of life for high-risk populations.

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Research Collaborations

Our proximity to many of the country’s top medical institutions lends itself to a rich environment of research collaboration. We regularly team up with our partners at Washington University, including the Siteman Cancer Center, The McDonnell Genome Institute, The Institute of Clinical and Translational Sciences, and even the School of Engineering and Applied Science. Our Nurse Anesthesia students refine their skills in operating rooms at Barnes-Jewish Hospital and St. Louis Children's Hospital through a partnership with the Washington University School of Medicine.

These relationships enable our all-encompassing approach to working across disciplines and allow us to find multifaceted solutions to address some of the most pressing issues in the nursing field today.

Research Pilot Grant

From new investigators and junior staff to more experienced researchers and faculty, our academic community strives to improve health outcomes by relying on scientific studies that inform evidence-based practice. In this spirit of advancing nursing practice, Goldfarb School of Nursing at Barnes-Jewish College is proud to offer the Office of Nursing Research Pilot Grant Program.

The ability to secure external funding for research projects often requires the investigator to provide pilot study data — no easy feat for a project that’s just getting off the ground. Through the Research Pilot Grant Program, Goldfarb faculty members can access critical seed funding throughout the year to get a study started and ready for the next phase of growth.

Program Impact

The grant program has already seen great success supporting our faculty. Applicants are not limited to particular topics, but many submissions to date have focused on our main research priorities:

Symptom Science & Precision Health

The state of symptom science deals with the assessment, management and treatment of symptoms associated with disease conditions. By developing better methods of assessing and managing patient symptoms, we can make more informed decisions and ultimately produce better outcomes for our patients. This research typically involves the study of patients who have chronic conditions such as high blood pressure, cancer, HIV, obesity or neurological disorders.

Teaching Clinical Simulation

Simulation is a fundamental aspect of most nursing programs. Yet, little research exists when it comes to training faculty to use high-fidelity simulation in their instruction. We are looking to change that. Our researchers are studying simulation with a focus on how faculty can effectively train nursing students to make a difference from the very outset of their nursing careers.

Health of Vulnerable and High-Risk Populations

We know there’s a lot more to promoting optimal health outcomes than focusing solely on the professional medical care a patient receives. Our researchers are studying the implications of home life and how to optimize health outcomes and quality of life for high-risk populations (such as people with HIV or young mothers struggling with substance abuse). By collaborating with our community partners and focusing on the variety of factors that shape health outcomes, we believe we can provide more thoughtful care and ultimately produce better results in treating our patients.

Dr. Judy Frain’s Grant

Dr. Judy Frain used her grant to test the effects of a computerized training program on the cognition of older adults living with HIV, who can have trouble remembering to follow their medical regimen.

The results of this pilot study showed that over 70% of the participants had severe problems with sleep that may be contributing to the cognitive difficulties. With these initial findings in hand, Dr. Frain was then able to secure grant funding from the National Sigma Theta Tau Society — the only one awarded across the nation that year — to study sleep in this population.

Dr. Heidi Holtz’s Grant

Dr. Heidi Holtz, collaborating with the University of Colorado and Penn. State, is performing a multi-site trial to assess the efficacy and reach of a cognitive and behavioral therapy-based program on the psychological health and stress of nurses working in a hospital setting. Her prior work has shown that 50% of nurses caring for COVID patients meet the criteria for post-traumatic stress disorder but few resources help with their recovery. This program is aimed at reducing work-associated stressors before they cause mental and physical health problems.


Recent Nursing Research Grant Recipients

  • J. Frain: Can Computerized Training Improve Cognitive Functioning in Older Adults Living with HIV? A Pilot Study
  • A.McConachie: Validation of the Relational Communication Scale within Interprofessional Health Education
  • T. Otey: Setting Parameters for Healthcare Research in Rural Nigeria
  • J. Sledge and M. Hoffman: Communication Methods for Human Papillomavirus (HPV) and HPV Vaccine Information for Young Men in St. Louis: A Qualitative Assessment
  • T. Otey: Nigeria Faith Community Nurse Training as Preparation for Research Projects


Funding Restrictions

While investigators aren’t limited by research topic, the pilot grant program funds can only be directed to activities directly related to conducting research:

  • Paid research assistants
  • Special equipment
  • Supplies
  • Unique computing needs

The program is not able to fund faculty compensation or standard equipment like computers and their components. Depending on budgetary requirements, investigators may apply for funds in one of two categories: requests up to $5,000 (Category I) or requests up to $10,000 (Category II). Funding is limited to a period of one year.

How to Apply

To ensure that you have timely access to funding, the Research Pilot Grant Program accepts applications throughout the year on a rolling basis. It is suggested that all applicants contact Ms. Kristy Kight prior to submitting your proposal to arrange for pre-submission counseling to strengthen your application. In order to be considered, your application must include the following components, which are explained in greater detail in the application itself:

  • Cover page
  • 200-word abstract
  • Project narrative
  • Budget and justification
  • Appendices, such as references, questionnaires, and a time schedule.

When the application package is ready, please send it to the Office of Nursing Research by emailing [email protected].

Selection Process

The application will be reviewed by two members of the scientific review committee. Members are doctorally-prepared nurse researchers who have been trained to use our detailed scientific review guidelines.

The proposal will be given a score by each reviewer based on established criteria with a recommendation for funding. The application, scores, and recommendations are then considered by the senior associate dean for research who makes the final decision regarding funding. The faculty will be notified about the decision within one month of submitting the application.

Contact Information

For more information about the Research Pilot Grant Program, please contact the college by calling 314.454.7055. We encourage all faculty at Goldfarb to apply for our nursing research grants and would be happy to answer your questions.

Faculty Research

At Goldfarb School of Nursing at Barnes-Jewish College, faculty members conduct research and make scientific discoveries that improve the lives of people from all walks of life. Our researchers are collaborative and innovative in their pursuits.

Their contributions advance nursing practice and health care in three main areas:


Our Faculty Researchers

Meet our faculty researchers and learn about their areas of focus and recent accomplishments. Students who are interested in these areas of research can apply to work alongside faculty mentors through the Research Assistant program.

Sarah Farabi, PhD, RN

Sarah Farabi, PhD, RN

Assistant Professor Dr. Sarah Farabi's areas of expertise include measurement of sleep and metabolic disease. Her research focus has been on understanding the impact of sleep disruption on metabolic control in young adults with type 1 diabetes, with a particular interest in understanding the detrimental effects of sleep disruption during pregnancy. Currently, she involves the study of how treatment of sleep apnea during pregnancy may help to improve metabolic function in women.


Heidi Holtz, PhD, RN

Dr. Holtz completed a postdoctoral fellowship at Johns Hopkins Berman Institute of Bioethics. As a fellow, Dr. Holtz collaborated with and was mentored by experts in the field of nursing and bioethics researching moral resilience and moral distress in healthcare. Dr. Holtz’s observations of nurses’ adversity, along with her own experiences as a nurse led to her aspirations to support nurses in building resiliency and fostering a safe environment to practice. Dr. Holtz’s current research is focused on providing interventions to support nurses' healing and overall well-being following moral injury and trauma experienced during the COVID-19 pandemic. Her future goals include supporting nurses and healthcare clinicians and empowering them to be able to maintain their professional identity, protect themselves and their well-being, and prevent the frequency of burnout. Dr. Holtz currently is a KL2 Career Development Award Scholar with the Washington University Institute of Clinical Translational Sciences (ICTS). 


JoAnn Jabbari, PhD  

JoAnn is a recent graduate of the Washington University and Barnes-Jewish College Goldfarb School of Nursing PhD in Nursing Science Program.  The focus of her research centers around loneliness and psychological distress and its impact on health.  She is a Jonas Scholar. Launched in 2008, the Jonas Scholars program is the signature initiative of Jonas Nursing, whose mission is to enhance the nursing profession by developing nurse leaders who will address the nursing shortage by educating the future nursing workforce and by investing in the health and well-being of underserved communities. 


Sarah Oerther, Ph.D., M.Ed, RN, FNP-BC, FNAP, ANEF 

Sarah Oerther Ph.D., M.Ed, RN, FNP-BC, FNAP, ANEF is an Assistant Professor at Barnes-Jewish College Goldfarb School of Nursing. Her practice spans from advanced hospital critical care to home health care and disaster medicine in the community. She holds past certifications in toxicology and substance abuse prevention.
To promote climate resilience, Dr. Oerther seeks to create culturally appropriate tools that can help individuals assess their risk and take action to protect their health. She is currently part of the 2024 cohort for Environmental Health Research Institute for Nurse and Clinician Scientists (EHRI-NCS) and was recently selected as a CHARTER fellow for 2024 with the Woodruff Health Sciences Center at Emory University.

Tamara Otey, PhD, RN

Tamara Otey, PhD, RN

Assistant Professor Tamara Otey, PhD, RN is passionate about addressing health disparities globally. She performs community-based participatory research in Nigeria and research in St. Louis. Dr. Otey also serves in an academic partnership with a local community hospital as a research and evidence-based practice mentor for their nurses.


Dominic Reeds, MD

Dr. Dominic Reeds, Professor of Medicine; Associate Dean of Research, Goldfarb School of Nursing; Director, Barnes Jewish Hospital Nutrition Support Service, Geriatrics and Nutritional Science, Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, MO.   

Dr. Reeds is a dedicated leader in clinical research and education at Washington University School of Medicine. He serves as Medical Director of the Clinical Research Unit, co-Director of the Master of Science in Clinical Investigation Program, Associate Director of the Mentored Training Program in Clinical Investigation and Director of the Washington University KL2 program. He has a focus on assisting early-stage investigators through his roles as Director of the Pilot and Feasibility Programs for the Nutrition and Obesity Research Core and the Center for Diabetes Translation Research and Director of the Longer Life Center at Washington University. He has mentored more than 20 early-stage investigators and is a regular member of several NIH study sections.


Marilyn Schallom PhD, MSN(R), RN, CCNS, CCRN, FCCM

Marilyn (Lynn) Schallom PhD, RN, CCNS, CCRN-K, FCCM holds a Joint Faculty Position in the Department of Research for Patient Care Services at Barnes-Jewish Hospital at Washington University in St. Louis, MO and Barnes Jewish Goldfarb School of Nursing. With 40 years of critical care experience as a nurse, clinical nurse specialist, and researcher, Lynn collaborates with the ICUs to conduct interdisciplinary research and implement EBP and process improvement projects. She is currently studying pressure injury risk assessment and streamlining the supply retrieval process with voice user interface. Interdisciplinary studies have explored methods to reduce device related pressure injuries, end of life care and family communication in the ICUs, reduction in hospital acquired infections, early mobility, and workplace violence prevention.

Lynn's educational background includes a diploma in nursing, a BSN and MSN from St. Louis University, and a PhD in Nursing with a minor in Integrative Biology from the University of Kansas.

Contact Us

For more information about faculty research at Goldfarb School of Nursing at Barnes-Jewish College, including potential collaborations, please contact the college by calling 314.454.7055 or contact us using the form below.

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