Watch videos about nursing research at Mayo Clinic's campus in Rochester, Minnesota, and about division leaders' research focus areas.

Linda L. Chlan, Ph.D., R.N., ATSF, FAAN — Nursing Research in Rochester, Minnesota

At the core of the Mayo Clinic nursing research division are Ph.D.-prepared nurses conducting care-focused, clinically relevant research to better serve patients.

Linda L. Chlan, Ph.D., R.N., ATSF, FAAN — My Interest of Study

Dr. Chlan's patient-centered research to improve care for patients receiving ventilatory support grew out of her time at the bedside in the intensive care unit.

Sherry S. Chesak, Ph.D., R.N. — My Interest of Study

Dr. Chesak's research on care for the caregiver addresses the increasing levels of stress and burnout of professional health care providers and lay or family caregivers across the nation.

Samantha Conley, Ph.D., R.N. — Nursing Research Area of Interest

Dr. Samantha Conley explains her area of research interest: inflammatory bowel disease.

Hi, my name is Samantha Connolly and I'm a nurse scientist at Mayo Clinic. I completed my master's degree in Nursing at the University of Michigan and my PhD and postdoctoral training in nursing at Yale University with a focus on self and family management. My research focuses on the self management of symptoms in people with chronic conditions. I am particularly interested in young adults with inflammatory bowel disease. Inflammatory bowel disease includes Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis and is a chronic inflammatory disease of the gastrointestinal track. Most people with inflammatory bowel disease experienced many symptoms, even during periods of inactive disease, including pain, fatigue, depression, anxiety, and sleep disturbance. However, the symptoms do not occur in isolation and most people with IBD experience at least two of these symptoms at once. These outcomes are especially alarming. Has half of people with inflammatory bowel disease are diagnosed before the age of 30. And IBD can disrupt education, career plans, and family rearing. The goal of my research is to help people with inflammatory bowel disease better manage their symptoms, to improve their well-being and daily functioning. My research has two main focuses. First, I aim to better understand what causes symptoms in people with IBD. One key area that I research is sleep. Because sleep is a restorative process that is essential for everyone's well-being. Poor sleep is common in people with IBD, and they experience both short and disrupted sleep. I am interested in how sleep health impacts symptoms in people with IBD. So we can determine the type and timing of sleep interventions needed to improve their symptom burden. My second focus is on the development and testing of precision symptom management interventions. Better understanding the right intervention for the right person at the right time will help us to know how and when to offer symptom management interventions. My research team hopes to offer evidence-based interventions to people with inflammatory bowel disease that they can integrate into their daily lives to improve their symptoms and promote their well-being. Thank you.

Heidi L. Lindroth, Ph.D., R.N. — My Interest of Study

Nursing researcher Heidi L. Lindroth, Ph.D., R.N., describes her area of research and what motivates her goal to eliminate delirium in patients.

Hi, my name is Heidi Lindroth. I am a nurse scientist and practicing critical care nurse at Mayo Clinic.

My vision is a world without delirium. Delirium is a type of an acute brain failure that people experience after an acute event like a surgery, an infection or a traumatic event like a car accident.

Imagine, if your loved one went into the hospital for an elective surgery and while the surgery itself went well, they experienced delirium after surgery and their lives were forever changed. Delirium independently increases the risk of death, both in the hospital and after discharge.

People who experience delirium are more likely to need an institutional facility after discharge from the hospital instead of returning home. They are also more likely to experience declines in both their thinking (or cognition) and function.

In addition to all of this, it is a terrifying experience. A quote from one of my colleagues and a delirium survivor, Mark Hudson, illustrates his experience with delirium well. He says, "Words can't do justice to the horror, terror and fear I experienced while suffering from delirium."

Now my goal is to stop this from happening: to prevent delirium. I am collaborating with an amazing international team of scientists and clinicians, at Mayo Clinic and beyond, to reach this goal. My program of research focuses on anything that will move the needle toward that goal.

This includes the vulnerability to delirium, identifying at-risk individuals and predicting delirium. Building on all available evidence we strive to prevent delirium by finding innovative, scalable, and sustainable solutions to individualize care and mitigate the symptoms and severity of delirium. In other words, identifying things that all of us can do and things that will work.

The patient is central to everything I do. I believe clinical care and research go together. We make our best advancements when we work as part of a team and that is why I am a team research scientist.

I received my Ph.D. from University of Wisconsin-Madison with a focus in neuroscience. My postdoctoral fellowship was at Indiana University where I trained in agile methodologies. And I am honored to be a part of Mayo Clinic. Thank you for listening.

Cindy Tofthagen, Ph.D., ARNP, AOCNP, FAANP, FAAN — My Interest of Study

Dr. Tofthagen's research addresses toxicities of cancer therapies — including psychosocial concerns — and decision-making at end of life.