Staja ‘Star’ Booker, PhD, RN is an assistant professor in the Behavioral Nursing Science department. Booker’s research interests center on understanding the lived experience of osteoarthritis pain in older adults.
Why did you decide to become a nurse researcher?
I went into research because I’m naturally curious about things. I like asking people questions and trying to understanding how they view the world. Plus, I observed that many older adults were not getting the care they needed for pain and I wanted to change how we view, assess and treat pain in this population that I admire so much.
I remain drawn to this area because assessment and treatment of pain in older adults remains a significant problem worldwide. We’ve made a lot of progress in this area, but still much more is needed, especially for “racially underrepresented” older adults.
What are you working on now?
I am currently investigating how movement can evoke pain and its impact on performance on functional tests. My objective with my research program is to identify ways to reduce pain disparities in older adults and improve self-management of osteoarthritis pain.
What excites you about conducting research at the College of Nursing?
What excites me is that I have several colleagues in the College of Nursing that I can reach out to for collaboration at the drop of a hat. The college makes it easy to do research and is supportive in ensuring that you have the resources needed to successfully conduct research. The faculty at the college have great ideas for high-impact studies and I like the freedom to be creative and innovative in my research.
A fun fact about you?
I love chicken salad! I’m willing to try chicken salad from almost anywhere.