Psych/Mental Health Nursing Student Named APNA Scholar
University of Iowa Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) student Brittany Hamm, BSN, RN, has been selected as an American Psychiatric Nurses Association (APNA) Board of Directors Student Scholar.
Hamm, who is a candidate in the DNP’s Psychiatric/Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (PMHNP) and Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP) programs, is honored and fully aware of the positive impact this scholarship program will have on her professional development.
“This is an incredible opportunity to meet and learn from some of the most influential leaders in the psychiatric nursing field,” she said. “I am grateful to be able to hear their stories from their practice as a nurse, including the relationships they have developed with patients, and their visions for the future of psychiatric nursing. To be able to create these connections and future collaborations will be invaluable to my future practice.”
Hamm, along with 29 other APNA Board of Directors Student Scholars, will be invited attend the association’s 33rd Annual Conference in New Orleans in October. This next generation of psychiatric/mental health nursing leaders will also receive a complimentary membership to APNA for one year, allowing them to cultivate invaluable connections with PMHNPs at all levels.
“Brittany is such a shining star,” said Dr. Dan Wesemann, assistant professor (clinical) and director of UI’s PMHNP program. “We are so thrilled that she has received this recognition from APNA and we know it’s a tremendous opportunity for her to network and inevitably enhance her practitioner skills.”
A native of Des Moines, Hamm firmly believes that behavioral health should be an integral component of quality, accessible primary care. Many individuals forgo mental health services because they are not co-located within the primary care setting. As an FNP-PMHNP, Hamm plans to change this dynamic by integrating behavioral health services into the primary care environment.
“In working with underserved populations, I have frequently witnessed a glaring need for primary care providers to acknowledge and assess their patient’s behavioral health needs during routine care visits. We need to integrate these services into familiar, comfortable places where individuals are already accessing health care … this is essential to treating patients holistically.”
After she graduates in August, Hamm will be providing care as a dual-role NP in family practice and psychiatric/mental health at Lake Superior Community Health Center, a federally qualified community health center in Duluth, MN. Here she plans to utilize a model that will address illness, while also focusing on prevention and well-being—creating holistic care for individuals who commonly have significant challenges to accessing health care.
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Founded in 1986, the American Psychiatric Nurses Association (APNA) has grown to be the largest professional membership organization committed to the specialty practice of psychiatric-mental health (PMH) nursing and wellness promotion, prevention of mental health problems, and the care and treatment of persons with psychiatric disorders. Go to apna.org to learn more.