Asst. Prof. Gian Carlo Torres visited Duke University School of Nursing for a 2-week academic visit last August 13 – 25, 2016. The Duke University School of Nursing, through the efforts of Assoc. Prof. Cristina Hendrix, an alumna of the College of Nursing, bestowed a small research fund in 2014 for her collaborative research with the UST College of Nursing. This collaborative research is a 2-year endeavor that focuses on building research capacity among the faculty of the UST College of Nursing. In order to initiate building research capacity, Dr. Hendrix mentored Torres, her co-principal investigator in the said collaborative research.

A part of the Phase 1 of the study was to determine research capacity among the UST-CON faculty members and as a result, some areas for improvement were identified. This academic visit helped strengthen the research structure and collaboration in the College of Nursing.

During the academic visit, Dr. Hendrix provided Torres the opportunity to experience the process of research proposal submission in Duke University as part of the mentoring program. Further, Torres was given the chance to meet different leaders in the School of Nursing, such as the Dean of DUSON, Prof. Marion Broome, PhD, RN, FAAN; the Associate Dean for Research, Prof. Marilyn Hockenberry, PhD, RN, FAAN; and, the Director for the PhD and Post-Doctoral Program, Prof. Debra Brandon, PhD, R.N., FAAN. Torres was also able to meet various faculty and students and visited the medical library and the Center for Nursing Discovery (skills laboratory).

The opportunity to benchmark gave Torres an overview of the systematic research processes conducted in a premier nursing school in the United States. Additionally, the opportunity to collaborate for possible mentoring and scholarship programs has been established. But most of all, the major accomplishments of Torres was submitting the research protocol of Phase 2 to the DUSON-IRB, a study that will explore the caregiver needs of hemodialysis patients and the successful meeting with Ms. Julie Cusatis (Senior Manager, International Programs, Office of Global and Community Affairs DUSON) and Prof. Donna Biedermann DrPH, MN, RN (course faculty) for the final phase of the conceptualization of the DUSON students’ community and public health nursing clinical rotation at the University of Santo Tomas College of Nursing, which will commence in April 2017.