After obtaining her doctoral degree in occupational epidemiology from the Harvard School of Public Health in 2002, Dr. Susan Duty joined the nursing faculty in the nursing program at Simmons College. She is an associate professor and teaches across the baccalaureate, master’s and doctoral curriculums. She is also certified as an Adult Nurse Practitioner with specialization in Occupational Health.
In addition to her teaching responsibilities at Simmons, Susan works clinically at South Shore Hospital as a Nurse Research Scientist and is a Visiting Scholar at the Harvard School of Public Health. Her research agenda explores environmental exposures to plasticizers including phthalates and bisphenol A and works collaborative with students and multidisciplinary faculty on studies exploring Methicillin Resistant Staphylococcus aureus colonization of people, pets and surfaces. She has many peer reviewed publications and has presented her work regionally, nationally and internationally. She has more recently extended her scholarly activity into clinical research translation aimed at reducing 30-day readmissions, enhancing mammography compliance, improving satisfaction with patient care and reducing hospital acquired adverse outcomes.
Grant funding has been secured from highly competitive National Institute for Occupational Health and Safety, the National Institute for Environmental Health and Safety, as well as from the Simmons College President's Fund and from private foundations like the Passport Foundation and the New England Deaconess Hospital School of Nursing Alumnae Association. She recently received a $250,000 workforce development grant from the Commonwealth Corporation to improve the infrastructure for palliative care at Simmons College and at our practice partner sites.
Dr. Duty is a member of the Organization of Nurse Leaders Research Council. She also serves as a peer reviewer for many top tier journals. Dr. Duty received The Theresa LaPlante Award for Excellence in Administration from Sigma Theta Tau and is Treasurer of the Theta-at-large Chapter of Sigma Theta Tau International.
Clinical Decision Making – Undergraduate seniors
Research Methods and Statistics – Graduate students
Integrative Seminars in Nursing Research – Undergraduate seniors
Epidemiology – Doctoral students
Capstone 3- Doctoral Students
I am working on several collaborative research projects at this time with fellow faculty members and with students. Two studies involved swabbing student nurses and then professional nurses, scrub tops after a clinical shift and again after laundering to determine whether the scrubs were contaminated with any potentially pathogenic organisms after work and whether their home laundry methods cleared any contamination. Students are currently working in the lab to process all these specimens and are gathering survey data on laundry practices. We hope to compile a manuscript of this work in the fall. Preliminary results from the nursing student scrubs were presented by a student working on the project in a poster session at the Annual Meeting of the American Society for Microbiology. The poster was awarded “Outstanding Student Poster” at this event.
Another collaborative study involving students and other nursing faculty involved assessing baccalaureate nursing student’s level of test taking anxiety. We found relatively high levels of test taking anxiety which was associate with lower academic performance as measured by GPA and nursing exam grades. These results were presented as a poster at the Organization of Nurse Leaders spring 2014 meeting and at the Sigma Theta Tau, Theta-at-large Chapter’s 60th Anniversary Celebration poster session. Manuscript preparation is underway and plans to conduct an intervention trial to reduce this anxiety are underway for the fall semester 2014.
As part of a multicenter study “Assessment of genomic literacy among BSN students in the United States
”, we conducted a pilot study of a new tool ‘Genomic Nursing Concept Inventory’ which is still in psychometric testing phase. Simmons College student’s performance on this inventory will be compared to other nursing students across the United States and results will be used to identify opportunities for where genetic and genomic concepts can be enhanced in our current curriculum.
Additionally I have conducted randomized controlled trials of post discharge telephone calls and their effect on 30-day readmission rates after acute care hospitalization. In a similar study, I am comparing the effectiveness of a Transitional Care Case Manager position compared to usual discharge care on the rate of 30-day readmissions.