Our Nurses of the Week are Sabrina Kopf, ACNP-BC, and her husband and fellow DNP student Scott Kopf, ACNP-BC, who recently graduated from the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) program. They are the first husband-wife team to earn their doctorates simultaneously as part of UAB’s Post-MSN to DNP Pathway program.
Scott and Sabrina share a lot in common. They are both acute care nurse practitioners, both work with transplant patients at UAB hospital (Scott with lung transplant patients and Sabrina with heart transplant patients), and are both adjunct clinical instructors in the school’s Master of Science in Nursing Program, Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner Specialty Track.
The couple first met in 2007 at UAB Hospital where Scott would bring patients from the Emergency Department to Sabrina on the Trauma and Burn Intensive Care Unit. They eventually started dating in 2009, then married in 2011, and have now graduated together during UAB’s 2017 summer commencement ceremony and doctoral hooding which was held on August 12.
Scott tells UAB.edu, “As nurse practitioners, we both saw the need for the DNP degree because it would give us more skills to improve patient outcomes and help us have more impact on health care as a whole. We thought it would be good to go together because we knew we would have a good support system throughout the DNP program and at home.”
Their built-in buddy system while completing their DNP was beneficial to both, allowing them to provide encouragement, support, and feedback when they needed it. A unique relationship for two nurses following similar career paths, they treasure their bond as husband and wife, and as nurses and students. To learn more about Sabrina and Scott’s shared path to nursing, visit here.
The University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) School of Nursing was recently designated a Center of Excellence by the National League for Nursing (NLN). The NLN utilizes their Center of Excellence program to recognize schools that demonstrate a commitment to excellence and invested resources to distinguish themselves in a specific area of nursing education.
UAB was recognized for its sustained efforts to “Enhance Student Learning and Professional Development,” a four-year designation that will remain through 2021. Doreen C. Harper, PhD, RN, FAAN, dean of the UAB School of Nursing, tells UABNews:
“This designation is an external confirmation of the UAB School of Nursing’s commitment to preparing future nursing leaders, and aligns with our strategic goals of maintaining excellence in teaching and learning, and provides acknowledgement of faculty efforts in continual quality improvement.”
UAB School of Nursing faculty and students are honored by the Center of Excellence designation, and especially proud of the School of Nursing’s dedication to producing professional and advanced practice nurses to care for patients in rural and underserved areas. The school will be recognized at the NLN’s 2017 Education Summit, held in San Diego, CA in September. To learn more about the UAB School of Nursing, visit here.
The University of Alabama (UA) Capstone College of Nursing recently received a $1.7 million grant from the Health Resources and Services Administration Nursing Workforce Diversity Program to increase the number of baccalaureate-prepared Latino nurses.
With help from the grant, the university will target and recruit 80 Latino associate degree registered nurses to earn their Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree through the College of Nursing’s online RN-BSN program as part of the Bama-Latino Project.
Dr. Norma Cuellar, UA professor of nursing, tells the Ledger-Enquirer: “Right now, the RN population is made up of 83 percent white/Caucasian nurses who are caring for a very diverse population. While we teach our students about cultural sensitivity, we know that many times when people are being cared for by someone who is not like them, there is a barrier that may impact health care outcomes. Sometimes it’s communication, sometimes it’s cultural. Both can pose a problem in delivered health care.”
Latinos make up 17.3 percent of the US population, but fewer than 5 percent of US nurses are Latino according to UA News. Latinos aren’t pursuing nursing because many do not receive the academic support they need in junior and high school in addition to financial barriers that keep them from pursuing higher education. UA hopes that once students in the Bama-Latino Project complete their bachelor’s degrees in nursing they will continue to pursue masters and doctoral nursing degrees.
To learn more about the Bama-Latino Project, visit here.
Herzing University recently opened a new Associate of Science in Nursing degree on its Birmingham campus to meet the growing need for registered nurses in Alabama. The two-year program will prepare students to take the National Council Licensing Examination for registered nurses exam (NCLEX-RN) and become a licensed registered nurse (RN).
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the annual job growth rate for RNs in Alabama is projected to reach more than 15 percent. The new degree program at Herzing is ideal for students who want to pursue a career in nursing, offering clinical education opportunities in high-fidelity simulation training labs with state-of-the-art technology.
Tommy Dennis, Birmingham Campus President at Herzing, tells Herzing.edu, “We’re launching this program in Birmingham because we’ve seen the demand for RNs first-hand at our campus career fairs and through our community partnerships. We’re proud to offer educational opportunities that fulfill a community need and make a positive difference in the lives of students.”
To learn more about the new Associate of Science in Nursing degree at Herzing University, visit here.
Our Nurse of the Week is Bill Smith, a former US Navy welder who pursued a career in nursing following his return from the military and found his calling in the cardiac-cath lab. A veteran for 25 years, Smith used the GI Bill to help him return to school and become a nurse, a field that piqued his interested over two decades ago. Now he works as a shift supervisor and team player in the cardiac-cath lab at Jackson Hospital in Montgomery, AL.
Smith started out his nursing career as a student at Troy State (now Troy University). Following his graduation, he took his first job on a heart floor where he found his passion for cardiac nursing. He has since worked at hospitals all over the state and country, but he prefers his home at Jackson.
As a shift supervisor in the cardiac-cath lab, Smith works with patients who have a cardiac component like chest pains, shortness of breath, or excess fatigue. Smith tells the MontgomeryAdvertiser.com, “We can take a heart attack and stop it midstream. It’s very gratifying to put a heart attack out right in front of you. It’s very gratifying work that we do in the cath lab.”
While returning to civilian life, Smith says the hardest part of his adjustment in leaving the military was going back to school. It was hard work and he found it intimidating at first, but he adjusted quickly and found that he had a talent for it. Smith isn’t big on individual attention, but his hard work has earned attention anyway. He was a recent recipient of the DAISY Award for Extraordinary Nurses and one of the first recipients at Jackson Hospital to receive the award. Discussing his career in nursing, Smith says:
“I’ve learned a lot about myself in that I have more patience than I thought I did, or compassion, toward my fellow man. I did not know before I got into nursing that I could do this role, that I could be as compassionate or patient with mankind, with other people, as I’ve developed over time.”
We want to thank our Nurse of the Week, Bill Smith, for his service over the years in both the Navy and as a dedicated nurse. To learn more about Smith’s experience as a cardiac-cath lab nurse, visit here.
The University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) School of Nursing has been partnering with community agencies to serve the health care needs of underserved populations across the state for many years. In 2013, the UAB School of Nursing Foundry Clinic was created at The Foundry Rescue Mission and Recovery Center in Bessemer, AL. They have also partnered with Cooper Green Mercy Health Services and Aletheia House to provide substance abuse treatment and HIV prevention education to low-income neighborhoods.
Now UAB Nursing is expanding their partnerships to include the Bessemer Neighborhood Health Center as a New Access Point Federally Qualified Health Center by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA). The funding is to help improve the health of underserved communities across the country by increasing access to quality primary health care services. HRSA awards the two-year, $1.4 million grant to 75 institutions, and UAB’s grant was one of only four awarded in Alabama.
UAB strives to provide a full range of primary care to patients at both of its partnership clinics. Patients are able to receive blood pressure management services, diabetes management, treatment of acute illnesses, access to lab facilities, and help having prescriptions filled. Providing these services in their nurse-managed clinics allows underserved communities to receive competent care, increasing the likelihood that these patients will seek the care they need.
To learn more about UAB’s partnership clinics, visit here.