Nurse of the Week: Mary Starks Named New York’s Student NP of the Year

Nurse of the Week: Mary Starks Named New York’s Student NP of the Year

Nurse of the Week Mary Starks, BS., RN, CNOR, NP-S – now at the Rochester School of Nursing (URSON) studying for her dual DNP/Family NP master’s and doctorate – is a classic “Type N” personality. That “N” of course, stands for Nurse, NP, and the Nurse Practitioner Association for New York State’s Region 2 pick for the 2021 NP Student of the Year!*

After studying neuroscience and immunohistochemistry at UCLA, Starks apparently realized that she was a definite Type N and decided to become a nurse. Already bursting at the seams with undergraduate degrees, she flew to the East Coast to pursue her studies in nursing. In New York, she went for an accelerated bachelor’s degree program for non-nurses (APNN) at the University of Rochester School of Nursing. Upon graduation, Strong Memorial Hospital snapped her up before she had a chance to go west again and installed her in the adult operating room, where she now works as a skilled vascular surgery nurse and preceptor.

However, Starks does not spend all of her time lollygagging about the OR or burying her nose in a textbook; she wants to effect change and has already created a place for herself among the new generation of upcoming nurse leaders. She is an active member in her local National Black Nurses Association chapter, the Rochester Black Nurses Association (RBNA), a founding member of the local chapter, and the chapter’s first vice president.

But that isn’t all. Stark is paying it forward as the founder and chair of the RBNA mentoring program in partnership with the URSON’s APNN program, where she and other Black nurses mentor nursing students of color. In true Type N fashion, she also manages to make time to participate as a member of the NPA’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion committee.

After she earns her degree, Starks plans to work as an FNP in primary care. Her passion is caring for those with chronic diseases, especially African American patients. She plans to continue her advocacy for Black patients and students through her continued work in RBNA and other organizations and mentoring programs.

Unlike many students during the pandemic, Starks has been very fortunate with regard to clinicals, and told a reporter that “Luckily, within my program, they didn’t stop us from doing any type of clinical rotation or any type of classes.” In her acceptance speech, the charismatic FNP-to-be graciously thanked everyone who made the award possible and declared her dedication to helping to further NPs’ scope of practice in New York State.

To see an interview with Starks at a local Rochester station, click here. Her acceptance speech is below.

*There are two NPA winners, actually, and we congratulate the Region 7 winner Margaret O’Donnell, DNP, FNP-BC, ANP-BC, FAANP, who will have a post of her own shortly.

Johns Hopkins Launching DNP/MPH Program in 2021

Johns Hopkins Launching DNP/MPH Program in 2021

Starting in summer 2021, nursing graduates interested in working with local and global health agencies, advocacy groups, non-governmental organizations, or other setting related to health policies will be able to pursue a dual-degree Doctor of Nursing Practice Executive/Master of Public Health (DNP/MPH) program at Johns Hopkins.

The Johns Hopkins School of Nursing and the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health are now accepting applicants for their new DNP/MPH program. The prerequisites for applicants are a master’s degree in nursing, RN licensure, and 2 years of health care experience. The combined program can be completed in as little as three years.

The DNP/MPH courses will be a hybrid of online and onsite learning. Students will be able to customize their public health coursework and implement their integrated DNP project in a real-world setting.

Dual degree programs can be valuable tools for professional advancement. They also offer advantages of economy and speed: dual degrees require fewer credits, so students can attain their degrees at a faster rate and a lower cost than other programs.

One of the great virtues of the DNP/MPH degree, according to Bloomberg School of Public Health Dean Ellen J. MacKenzie, PhD, ScM, is that “When nursing and public health bring the best of their skills together, there is so much to be accomplished within advancing health equity and developing solutions to our changing national and global health needs.”

The benefit of combining public health studies with nursing practice in a DNP/MPH program is particularly timely, says Johns Hopkins School of Nursing Dean Patricia Davidson, PhD, MEd, RN, FAAN: “COVID-19 has amplified the critical importance of nurse leaders who develop interventions that are based in both nursing and public health,” Davidson remarked in the announcement. “We are excited to be able to launch the program during this time in history when the perspective of nursing is well recognized and ever essential to creating the path forward to a healthier and more population-focused future.”

For application details, visit this page at JHU School of Nursing site.