|Meet Our Grant Recipients - Debra Craighead|
Debra Craighead, PhD, RN, Novice Researcher Award Recipient
“If it wasn’t for AWHONN, I would never have done a national study,” said Craighead. “Receiving the grant validated the study by allowing me to do larger research. It was based on a study I had done for my dissertation on infant health and breastfeeding in Louisiana. The grant enabled us to modify the study by looking at national data, and to duplicate and replicate it to learn implications on national health. This vastly improved the study,” she said. Using AWHONN’s Conceptual Model for Late Preterm Infant Care, the study described current care practices used to promote health outcomes for the early term infant during the early postpartum period. The Novice Researcher Award is intended to assist new researchers to begin areas of study, investigate clinical issues or launch a pilot study.
“I was very surprised and humbled to have received it! I want AWHONN to know that the research built out of my dissertation is already really making difference. I live and work in Louisiana and we are using the data to educate and motivate nurses to stop early delivery where ever possible, and to improve early term infant care. A colleague recently said, ‘The NICU has a low census now. Healthy babies are worth the wait!’ It is having a real effect,” said Craighead. She presented her preliminary findings at the 2013 Annual Convention in Orlando, Florida.
Craighead received a Bachelor of Science and a Master's of Science in Nursing from Northwestern State University in Shreveport, Louisiana. She received a PhD in Nursing from The University of Texas at Tyler and has devoted her nursing career to maternal child health nursing with an emphasis in neonatal nursing. She is an assistant professor at the University of Louisiana at Monroe where she teaches pediatric nursing, testing skills and nursing research. She is currently conducting research on safe sleep.
“I’m truly thankful for all that AWHONN has done for me, as a member and as a grantee. Whatever is AWHONN’s priority, we know we should focus our research in that direction in order to improve maternal and child health,” said Craighead.