Oceanside CA— MiraCosta College Nursing Instructor Julie Vignato has been selected as a “Rising Star of Research and Scholarship” by the University of San Diego Hahn School of Nursing’s Betty and Bob Beyster Institute for Nursing Research for her work in trying to change health care for women during and after pregnancy.
“One in three women have mental health issues related to the perinatal period, and nurses can provide the best care for their patients given the latest research and screening tools to properly assess for perinatal mental health disorders.”
A former Navy nurse who has been teaching at MiraCosta College for the past 10 years, Vignato in April earned her Ph.D. from the University of San Diego after completing a dissertation entitled Perinatal Depression and Risk Factors of Perinatal Posttraumatic Stress Disorder.
Vignato will present her research poster entitled Perinatal Post Traumatic Stress Disorder during the Rising Stars of Research and Scholarship event at Sigma Theta Tau International’s Leadership Connection Conference this September in Indianapolis.
The objective of her research? Identify risk factors and adverse infant outcomes of perinatal posttraumatic stress disorder among women with depression. Perinatal PTSD is the maternal individual’s personal perception of a trauma occurring before conception to one year postpartum.
Vignato served as a Navy nurse at bases in Virginia, Puerto Rico, Italy and Camp Pendleton. She also worked as a per diem nurse at Camp Pendleton after leaving the service. It was during that time that she saw how PTSD often manifested itself years later in women who were pregnant or had recently given birth.
She earned her bachelor of science degree in nursing from the University of Rochester and her master’s degree in nursing education from St. Joseph’s College in Maine before embarking on her Ph.D. from the University of San Diego. Her doctorate came while she was raising two small children and working full time at MiraCosta College.
It could have been worse.
“There were some people in my cohort who would drive down from Los Angeles and sleep in their car overnight, so my sacrifice was nothing compared to that,” said Vignato.
The payoff was worth it. “It really allowed me to grow and expand and change the way I think,” she said. “And I am constantly bringing in the latest literature and the most up-to-date information into the classroom.”
Julie is committed to her craft and helping women during their perinatal challenges.
“These women are hurting and are afraid to seek proper medical care due to a societal stigma, knowledge deficit, or fear of losing their newborn,” she said. “There is a need to provide support and a thorough mental health assessment to women through their pregnancy and postpartum.”