Dr. Specht's research interests include practice models to promote professional nursing; diagnosis, interventions and outcomes for older persons with urinary incontinence; and care of persons with dementia and their families. Dr. Specht had a grant through the Administration on Aging and the Iowa Department of Elder Affairs for a demonstration project to increase access to, and use of community based dementia- specific services in rural Iowa. The proposed model included the use of Nurse Care Managers to deliver direct services to persons with dementia and their caregivers, and a community development program to involve the community in identifying and developing needed services. The grant provided rich opportunities to increase services as well as influence policy at the state and national level. She currently has a grant from NINR to implement Evidence Based Practice for Pain Management and Continence Promotion in 50 nursing homes in Iowa. She and her partner Dr. Meridean Maas developed and operated an alternative living facility for persons’ with dementia for 5 years and currently own and operate HomeSafe, a care management business to help maintain older persons in their preferred living arrangements. Prior to joining the faculty at the college of nursing in 1999, Dr. Specht was Director of Nursing at an 800 bed long term care facility for 29 years, an investigator on a Family Involvement in Care Alzheimer’s Grant and a research scientist on a VA grant to use telemedicine to improve care for chronically ill veterans. She is the Director of the John A. Hartford Center of Geriatric Nursing Excellence, PhD in Nursing, The University of Iowa MA in Nursing, The University of Iowa BSN, The University of Iowa Diploma in Nursing, Evangelical School of Nursing
Expanding the role of long-term care social workers: Assessment and intervention related to urinary incontinence (with S. Sanders, M. Bern-Klug, Paula R. Mobily, and A. Bossen), Journal of Gerontological Social Work (2012)
Urinary incontinence (UI) is a common and stigmatizing problem faced by long-term care (LTC) residents....
Decisional involvement: Staff nurse and nurse manager perceptions (with C. A. Scherb, J. L. Loes, and D. Reed), Western Journal of Nursing Research (2011)
Enhancing involvement in organizational decisions is one strategy to improve the work environment of registered...
Promoting continence in individuals with dementia, Journal of Gerontological Nursing (2011)
Urinary incontinence (UI) is common in individuals with dementia as the disease progresses. The primary...
Aging issues: Nursing imperatives for healthcare reform (with C. Beverly, S. G. Burger, and Meridean L. Maas), Nursing Administration Quarterly (2010)
The people of the United States sent a clear message in November 2008 that they...
Improving continence and pain: The M-TRAIN intervention (with Paula R. Mobily and J. Russell), The Japanese Journal of Nursing Research (2010)
Iowa outcomes project: Nursing outcomes classification (NOC) (with Marion Johnson, Meridean Maas, Sue Moorhead, M. A. Anderson, M. Aquilino, S. Bellinger, V. Brighton, M. Clarke, R. Cox, M. P. Donahue, J. Eland, B. Head, L. Marshall, C. Prophet, M. A. Rankin, Deborah P. Schoenfelder, Elizabeth A. Swanson, B. Wakefield, M. Willits, and G. Woodworth), Nursing Publications (2000)
Contributions to Books