Institutional Review Board (IRB)

What is the IRB?

The IRB is an Institutional Review Board made of members who participate in the FNU IRB Mission to: Protect the rights, dignity, welfare, and privacy of the human subjects in all research conducted on behalf of the university (regardless of funding) by adhering to the principles outlined in the National Commission for the Protection of Human Subjects of Biomedical and Behavioral Research report entitled, Ethical Principles & Guidelines for the Protection of Human Subjects of Research ("Belmont Report") and the regulations of the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and other applicable agencies. The Program is committed to advancing the ethical treatment of research participants, promoting the responsible conduct of research, and ensuring and protecting the rights of every human research volunteer.

The IRB achieves its mission by:

  • Ensuring that all research involving human subjects receives required approvals before research activities are initiated

  • Creating an environment at the university of respect for, and understanding of, the rights and welfare of research participants

  • Educating the university community about federal, state, and university research regulations, policies, and practice pertaining to human subjects protection

  • Conducting activities to enhance compliance within the requirements of the IRB.



A core purpose of Frontier Nursing University is to advance the well-being of the people in rural communities through the creation and dissemination of knowledge. The areas of priority focus in the university’s academic plan include providing distinctive education for its students, facilitating cutting-edge research, and supporting outreach and engagement with the Frontier communities local and at large. The IRB of Frontier Nursing University is charged with the overall responsibility for the protection of human subjects in these research endeavors, regardless of funding source.


FNU IRB Members :

IRB Chair: Nena R. Harris, PhD, FNP-BC, CNM, CNE

IRB Vice-Chair: Tanya Tanner, PhD, MBA, RN, CNM, FACNM

Research Committee Chair: Tanya Tanner, PhD, MBA, RN, CNM, FACNM

Diane Y. John, PhD, ARNP, FNP-BC, CNE

Victoria Baker, PhD, CNM, CPH

Anne Cockerham, PhD, CNM, WHNP-BC, CNE

Daisy J. Goodman, DNP, CNM, WHNP, MPH (Consultant)

Deborah Karsnitz, DNP, CNM, FACNM

Laura Manns-James, PhD, CNM, WHNP-BC

Lutheria Peters, PhD, MPH (external-nonscientific member)

Melinda Webb, DNP, APRN, NP-C

Brian M. Webster, DNP, APRN, NP-C, FAWM



The complete descriptions of the role of the FNU IRB, types of research, and applications for review can be found in the IRB Course, available via this link: Select to enroll in the course for full access.  


The FNU IRB encourages the FNU community to listen to each of the ​videos listed below. The videos are from reliable sources including the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and its subdivisions, OHRP (Office for Human Research Participants) and the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ).

Webinar: What You Should Know About IRB Review of Research July 12, 2016

Back to Basics: Does My Project Fall Within the Scope of the Regulations? July 12, 2016

Institutional Review Board (IRB) Challenges in QI & Research July 17, 2015