This site is an archive of a closed Robert Wood Johnson Foundation program, provided for educational and historical purposes. Please note that this content is not routinely updated and that contact information and social links may not work.

Wayne State University’s Casida Named Robert Wood Johnson Foundation ‘Nurse Faculty Scholar’


NEWS RELEASE                                                     Contact: Gretchen Wright or Johanna Diaz
September 23, 2009                                                                   202/371-1999
Wayne State University’s Casida Named
Robert Wood Johnson Foundation ‘Nurse Faculty Scholar’
Sleep Studies Researcher Working with Advanced Heart Failure Patients is Selected for Prestigious Program to Advance Careers of Nation’s Most Promising Junior Nurse Faculty
Detroit, M.I.—Jesus (Jessie) Casida, Ph.D., RN, CCRN-CSC, APN-C, Assistant Professor at Wayne State University College of Nursing, has won a competitive grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) to conduct research on sleep disruption, depression, and impaired cognitive function that afflicts patients with advanced heart failure (AHF), and how to improve patient self care capability and quality of life. Casida is one of just 15 nurse educators from around the country to receive the three-year $350,000 “Nurse Faculty Scholar” award this year. It is given to junior faculty who show outstanding promise as future leaders in academic nursing. The grant period begins this month.
“The generous support from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation will enable me to be the first to document some of the unique challenges faced by adults with AHF symptoms and provide guidance on how nurses can help patients improve their self care capabilities and quality of life,” Casida said.
For his research, Casida will examine AHF patients who are living with a Left Ventricular Assist Device (LVAD), which is a mechanical heart. His work will analyze patients’cognitive function, patterns and symptoms of depression and sleep disruption that may be caused by the LVAD, and how these symptoms influence a patient’s ability to perform self care and live independently. Casida will focus on developing an intervention and strategies for nurses to help patients have a better quality of life after implantation of an LVAD. Study participants will be located throughout Michigan.
“Patients with AHF can struggle a great deal, and experience sleep disruption, depression and impaired cognitive function,” said Casida. “There is a tremendous need to help these patients adjust to the changes brought on by the LVAD and overcome the secondary negative effects influencing quality of life. Once we identify patterns and critical points for intervention, nurses can really make a difference, and help these patients help themselves.”  
Jean E. Davis, Ph.D., RN, Assistant Dean for Adult Health and Doctoral Programs Director at Wayne State University College of Nursing, and Peter A. Lichtenberg, Ph.D., ABPP, Director and Professor of Psychology at the Institute of Gerontology at Wayne State University, will serve as his mentors.
“Casida’s groundbreaking research on symptoms affecting self-care and quality of life for AHF patients with LVADs is much needed and long overdue,” Davis said. “His work will contribute a great deal to the field, and will set the stage for improved independence and functionality for AHF patients everywhere.”
The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s“Nurse Faculty Scholar” award aims to strengthen the academic productivity and overall excellence of nursing schools by developing the next generation of national leaders in academic nursing.
Supporting junior nurse faculty will help curb a severe shortage of nurse educators that threatens to undermine the health and health care of all Americans. Many nursing schools lack the resources needed to hire and support enough faculty to train the next generation of nurses. As a result, nursing schools are turning away thousands of qualified applicants—rejecting the very people who can help reverse a serious looming nurse shortage. As the supply of nurses shrinks and the demand for their services grows, patient care will suffer.
The Foundation’s “Nurse Faculty Scholars” program aims to curb the effects of the nursing shortage by helping more junior faculty succeed in, and commit to, academic careers. The program provides talented junior faculty with salary and research support as well as the chance to participate in institutional and national mentoring activities, leadership training, and networking events with colleagues in nursing and other fields, while continuing to teach and provide institutional, professional and community service in their universities.
The program will also enhance the stature of the scholars’ academic institutions, which will benefit fellow nurse educators seeking professional development opportunities.
To receive the award, scholars must be registered nurses who have completed a research doctorate in nursing or a related discipline and who have held a tenure-eligible faculty position at an accredited nursing school for at least two and no more than five years.
The program is funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and administered through the Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing. It is directed by Jacquelyn Campbell, Ph.D., R.N., F.A.A.N., who is the Anna D. Wolf chair and professor at the Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing.
To learn more about the program, visit
# # # #

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation focuses on the pressing health and health care issues facing our country. As the nation’s largest philanthropy devoted exclusively to improving the health and health care of all Americans, we work with a diverse group of organizations and individuals to identify solutions and achieve comprehensive, meaningful and timely change. For more than 35 years we’ve brought experience, commitment and a rigorous, balanced approach to the problems that affect the health and health care of those we serve. When it comes to helping Americans lead healthier lives and get the care they need, we expect to make a difference in your lifetime.