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BSN Student Recognized as APNA Scholar

Rachel Hendron

Rachel Hendron, a student in the University of Iowa College of Nursing’s Bachelor of Science in Nursing program, was recently named to the American Psychiatric Nurses Association’s (APNA) 2016 class of student scholars.

Honored to be recognized with those who are considered to be the future of psychiatric/mental health nursing, Hendron understands the significance of this appointment and the impact it could have on her professional development.

“I believe my experience as an APNA Board of Directors Scholar will allow me to gain contacts I need to help make my career both meaningful and fulfilling as well as improve my networking skills exponentially,” said Hendron. “Creating relationships with people who share the same passions as you is powerful and it makes changes to the system and society's view of mental health seem much more approachable.”

Hendron, who is from Somonauk, Ill., said she was drawn to psych/mental health nursing early on, and believes her mother’s involvement as a mental health provider also piqued her interest.

“After deciding to join the Young Psychiatric/Mental Health Nurse Clinician Program, I realized my passion for this area of nursing,” she explained. “Professor Tess Judge-Ellis has been a source of personal support as well as someone who I can count on to push me out of my comfort zone. She knew what I needed in a mentor and she did it without fear of my reaction. It was inspiring to find someone who made me realize that I wanted to be that kind of nurse—the one who doesn’t find the easiest solution but instead finds a solution that works for each individual I provide care for.”

Hendron and the other APNA Board of Directors Student Scholars will be recognized at the Association’s annual conference, which will be held October 19-22 in Hartford, Connecticut.

“As future leaders in psychiatric/mental health nursing, these students bring a fresh perspective and dedication that will continue to bring psych/mental health nurses to the forefront of health care,” said Mary Ann Nihart, MA, APRN, PMHCNS-BC, PMHNP-BC, president of the American Psychiatric Nurses Association. “The future of psychiatric/mental health nursing will surely be revolutionized with inspirational students like these!”

With the confidence gained from nursing school, as well as this APNA scholarship, Hendron plans to work on a med/psych or any adult/adolescent psychiatric unit for a couple of years after she graduates in December 2016. She then intends to pursue a DNP degree in psychiatric/mental health nursing from the University of Iowa and use this degree to serve rural Iowa while still working within a local nursing college to help prepare more psychiatric nurses.

“I want more next generation nurses to believe that mental illness can be just as debilitating as any physical injury,” said Hendron. “I believe my role, as a future psychiatric/mental health nurse, is to provide equitable care to all of those I take care of. I view my role as a future care provider to be one that is ever changing and full of challenges and I want to be a part of creating new innovative solutions. I want to provide my patients with care that is compassionate and find ways to heal their minds, no matter the cause or severity of their illness. I will act as the patients’ partner in finding his or her own unique path to mental health recovery.”

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About the American Psychiatric Nurses Association
The American Psychiatric Nurses Association (APNA) was founded in 1986. In the ensuing 28 years, 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. Learn more at


Posted On: 
Jul 26th, 2016