Northwestern nursing grads prep for journey 'down under'

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Northwestern nursing grads prep for journey 'down under'

 June 11, 2012

Five recent Northwestern Oklahoma State University nursing graduates are beginning the final planning stage for a trip to Brisbane, Australia beginning in late July, by launching a few fundraising efforts.

The group members have been invited to present their “Bio-Touch” research at the Sigma Theta Tau International Research Conference to be held July 26 through Aug. 4. Bio-Touch is a butterfly-light-touch applied to specific points on the human body. The Northwestern research utilized the therapy to assess effects on stress and other related factors.

The graduates making the trip are Carrie Abbott, Kiowa, Kan.; Bethany Duhan, Cayla Bynum Dupy, Tasha Schaffer, all of Enid, and Shawna Stewart, Woodward.

“It is unprecedented for nursing students to present undergraduate research results at Sigma Theta Tau International Research Conference,” said Dr. Carole McKenzie, chair of the Division of Nursing, who will accompany the group.

“In addition, they have been accepted for a full symposium, not just a 20-minute presentation,” McKenzie said. “The opportunity for our students to represent not only the university, but the state and nation at an international conference such as this, gives remarkable visibility to our students and reaffirms the excellence in the nursing program.”

The conference is designed to explore innovative strategies to promote excellence in global nursing practice, advance the science of nursing using innovation and new technologies, explore opportunities for international collaboration and create an international forum for the exchange of evidence-based practices and solutions among nurse researchers, clinicians, educators, policy makers and administrators.

“As you might imagine, a once in a lifetime trip like this is wonderful for our students and their research efforts, but it is expensive,” McKenzie said. “The students currently are fundraising to help cover their costs, and we would appreciate support from the public.”

McKenzie said the students have had several fundraisers and have an Internet-based campaign at The site features candles, candle holders, cookie and soup mixes and other items.

There also will be a garage sale on Friday and Saturday in Enid. Anyone wishing to donate items may contact McKenzie at (580) 327-8489 or by email at

Tax deductible gifts to the Nursing Research Fund also may be made through the Northwestern Foundation, McKenzie said. Those donations may be sent directly to the Foundation or to the Division of Nursing office on the Alva campus at 709 Oklahoma Blvd., Alva, OK 73717.