Megan Foreman is a graduate student in the School of Nursing and the mother of a three year old daughter. She is often reminded of her early love of science and research as she watches her daughter trying to answer some of life’s most important questions -“do these markers only write on paper” or “will the cat like to take a bath as much as I do?”
In addition to being a mother and a student, Megan is a neonatal intensive care nurse and has cared for babies born up to four months before their due date and weighing a little more than half a pound. Recently, she became aware of emerging research on an often overlooked population of premature infants - late preterms. Late preterms are babies born up to four weeks early and while they may look as physiologically mature as full term infants they have been shown to have higher rates of morbidity, mortality, learning disorders and behavior disabilities.
For her thesis, Megan collected data in rural hospitals in Colorado using a survey designed to measure nurses’ knowledge and confidence in caring for late preterm infants. She found her work both challenging and extremely rewarding and was surprised to find how exciting it was to go through the process of data analysis. Megan’s initial findings provide a rationale for additional research and suggest that there is a need for an education program for late preterm care.
“This is what I love about research - it is infinite” said Megan. “There is no end to the number of topics that can be researched. I find it fascinating and exciting that one small study can lead to a cascade of studies, which can provide knowledge on a topic that previously did not exist.”