Mennonite College of Nursing is dedicated to producing research of the highest quality, centering around symptom science and aging/gerontological nursing. Our nurse scientists strive to improve health outcomes locally and globally and are nationally and internationally recognized for their research and scholarship.
Cardiovascular Disease and Symptom Science - Dr. John Blakeman, Faculty
Dr. Blakeman’s program of research focuses on cardiovascular disease and symptom science. He has published several peer-reviewed manuscripts related to women’s acute coronary syndrome (ACS) symptoms, including a holistic exploration of the symptom of fatigue.
He is actively engaged in various research studies as primary investigator, collaborating with researchers from across the United States: describing the ACS symptoms that U.S. adults attribute to men and to women; discovering factors that predict ACS symptom knowledge, attitudes, and behaviors as well as personal risk perception towards coronary artery disease; and exploring the ways that sex and gender are operationalized in the nursing research literature.
Dr. Blakeman is also currently launching two grant-funded studies, one focused on the ACS symptom knowledge, attitudes, and beliefs of Spanish-speaking Hispanic and Latina/o adults and the other centered on emergency department nurses’ ACS symptom assessment and triage practices. This work is supported by grants from the Emergency Nurses Association/Sigma Foundation for Nursing Research, Xi Pi chapter of Sigma, and a University Research Grant. Dr. Blakeman plans to conduct additional interventional studies in the future.
Dr. John Blakeman PhD, RN, PCCN-K
Children's Oral Health Research - Dr. Susana Calderón, Faculty
Dr. Calderón is a biobehavioral nurse scientist specializes in children's oral health research—particularly using early behavioral intervention with social media and dietary to reduce the risk for dental caries and obesity. Her research focus is to discover the role of the oral microbiome in the prevention of systematic inflammation.
Dr. Susana J Calderon PhD, RN
Investigating Decision-Making and Assessment of Heart Failure - Dr. Marilyn Prasun, Faculty
Dr. Marilyn Prasun is the Carle BroMenn Endowed Professor, Mennonite College of Nursing at Illinois State University. She has worked with patients diagnosed with heart failure in both the hospital and ambulatory care setting for the past 20+ years as an advanced practice nurse and researcher. She works closely with graduate nursing students completing their terminal degree and teaches research.
Dr. Prasun has served as primary investigator and co-investigator on several research studies regarding heart failure and has published in multiple journals. Areas of research interest include heart failure both preserved and reduced ejection fraction, atrial fibrillation, biomarkers, symptom management, quality of life, medication adherence and patient education. She was the 2002 recipient of the American Heart Association Martha N. Hill New Investigator of the Year Award, sponsored by the Council on Cardiovascular Nursing for her research regarding diuretic titration in patients with heart failure. She continues her research in heart failure and recently completing a funded study examining provider’s accuracy in assigning New York Heart Association Class (NYHA). The results of this study was presented at the American Heart Association Scientific sessions and will be in press in the fall. She developed a NYHA-FC guide to facilitate assignment and the research team just completed a second study examining provider’s accuracy of assigning class while using the guide. Future work is planned to further examine the reliability and validity of the guide with incorporation into clinical practice.
Marilyn remains active in many professional organizations. She is a fellow in the American Heart Association. She is a charter member of the American Association of Heart Failure Nurses (AAHFN) where she has served as president and now serves at the chair of the Heart Failure Patient Foundation and the Nursing Research Consortium. In 2019 she was awarded with the AAHFN Distinguished Member Award for her service and contributions to Heart Failure Nursing.
Dr. Marilyn Prasun PhD, MSN, RN
Quality of Life, Symptom Management, and Nursing Care for Older Adults - Dr. Michele Shropshire, Faculty
Dr. Michele Shropshire is a nurse researcher with research foci on improving the quality of life, symptom management, and nursing care for older adults. Her research focus and advocacy for essential caregivers to older adults in long term care environments continues to be a priority. In addition, education for undergraduate students when caring for older adults living in long-term care environments remains a research passion.
Dr. Michele Shropshire PhD, MSN, RN