The rigors of cancer are well understood by Deborah K. Walker, DNP, CRNP, AOCN. At the same time, Walker also knows about treatments and treatment teams that can successfully fight cancer.

UAB School of Nursing faculty member Walker participates in care for breast cancer and lymphoma patients as part of her faculty practice at UAB's internationally renowned Comprehensive Cancer Center.

As a nurse practitioner with a doctorate in nursing practice (DNP), Walker works with fellow health professionals who use the best evidence for the good of their patients. This means they carefully evaluate treatments based on evidence from research studies.

"The doctorally prepared nurse practitioner can provide the patient with that extra level of quality care," said Walker. Regarding treatments that patients receive, Walker said that she and others on treatment teams "are educated to critically evaluate the evidence that's out there."

The experience and expertise of Walker and her colleagues were a comfort to breast cancer patient Susan Forehand of Hoover after she was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2011, thus following in the footsteps of her grandmother, mother, and sister in having that diagnosis. Forehand recalled all too well how, as a teenager, she lost her mother to breast cancer. With her family history of the disease, Forehand was drawn by UAB's excellent reputation and found herself leaning on Deborah Walker for guidance in how to make the most of UAB's powerful resources.

"Debbie was so responsive," said Forehand. "She knew how to help me navigate the system."

As much as cancer patient Forehand appreciates nurse practitioner Walker, the opposite is also true. Seeing Susan Forehand receive the care she needs is a gift to Walker, who said, "I believe that Susan and I were meant to go on this journey together."

Several years ago, when Walker was planning her career as a nurse specializing in cancer care, or oncology, she selected progressive UAB as where she wanted to work because, as she noted, "UAB is on the cutting edge."

In joining the faculty at the UAB School of Nursing, Walker said she found an exciting professional home. "Being on the faculty of the UAB School of Nursing has become my dream job," she said. Through her UAB faculty practice, Walker has an opportunity to take care of patients, such as Susan Forehand. Too, she can participate in UAB research, including working on clinical trials of some of the newest anti-cancer drug treatments. And, very important to her, she has the opportunity to teach, helping to educate nurses of tomorrow. She thrives on teaching cancer care to nursing students. "I love to educate nursing students," she said. "I love to see those 'aha moments' in students' eyes."

Leadership Positions

Student Leadership Positions

The School of Nursing has leadership positions for students enabling them to participate in the operations and decisions made through the school’s committee process.  The students serve on these committees for a one-year term that begins during the fall. Nominees must have at least two semesters remaining in the nursing program to be eligible.

Students serving on School of Nursing Committees 2016-2017:

Faculty Practice:  MSN - Caleb Gray  |   Doctoral - Debby Bowers

Curriculum: BSN - Sameera Rajpari |  MSN -Ashlee Bennett

Support and Recognition: NGSA - Billy Alexander  |  SNA -Julia Solomon

Evaluation: BSN -Eric Nguyen  |  MSN - Heather Hyde  | Doctoral - Jennifer Bail



Student Nurses Association (SNA) 

The UAB Student Nurses Association (SNA) promotes and upholds high professional standards, aids in the professional growth and development of students, promotes professional and social unity among nursing student Membership in the UAB-SNA is open to students in the School of Nursing at UAB. Membership in the UAB organization also provides for membership in the Alabama Association of Nursing Students, as well as the National Student Nurses Association.



Nursing Graduate Student Association (NGSA) 

The NGSA serves the graduate nursing students at UAB by helping to help promote academic and professional success while fostering a sense of community among the student body.  All students who are actively enrolled in a graduate program of study in the School of Nursing automatically enrolled as members of the NGSA. National or state affiliations? Not at this time, they are just getting started.



Sigma Theta Tau – Nu Chapter 

As a knowledge and leadership organization, the honor society of nursing -- Sigma Theta Tau International --  responds to health- and nursing-profession trends and issues that are germane to its mission. The UAB chapter (Nu Chapter) was chartered in 1958, the 12th chapter to be chartered by STTI.


Honors Program

Honors Program 

F. A. Q. The Nursing Honors Program is for undergraduate students and provides service-learning experiences that engage students, faculty, and staff with the community to identify and meet community needs and to enhance academic and civic learning.



BSN Students content