During her clinical rotations in Boston, then-School of Nursing student Katherine Tenney '20 began to notice how few grocery stores were located in urban neighborhoods throughout the city. Areas without direct access to whole grains or fresh produce are known as "food deserts." Unless they travel on public transportation, residents often purchase groceries within walking distance such as nearby convenience stores that offer limited healthy eating choices.
"In the hospital setting, we care for a very diverse population, many who are hospitalized due to underlying health conditions such as diabetes or heart failure, that could have been prevented by following a certain diet," she says. "As a nurse, I wanted to take a more in-depth look into why a lot of patients were not following recommended diets for their conditions and what disparities there are between location, race, and gender."
As part of her work in the Honors Program, Tenney researched and wrote the journal article, "Food Insecurity and Implications for Nursing Practice," which was recently accepted to be published by the professional journal, Imprint!, produced by the National Student Nurses' Association.
"I hope this journal article brings more awareness to food insecurity and food deserts," she says. "I am optimistic that other nursing students or nurses will realize that many patients are affected by food insecurity, and will have the ability to recognize this, and provide the appropriate resources."
Today, Tenney works as a registered nurse at the Catholic Medical Center in Manchester, New Hampshire on the Cardiovascular Surgical Unit and believes the faculty at the College has been instrumental in her success to date.
"I worked on this research for almost two years and it is very rewarding to be published in this journal," she says. "I want to give a special thanks to Professor Julianne Walsh, Professor Jayson Baker, Writing Center Specialist Eileen Mawn, as well as the entire Nursing faculty at Curry. I couldn't have done it without their support."