Somerall named top professor by professional site

DeAnnD'Ann Somerall, DNP, RN, MAEd, FNP-BC, Assistant Professor in the University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Nursing has been named by as one of the top 15 family nurse practitioner faculty in the country.

Somerall is the track coordinator for the Family Nurse Practitioner program at UAB and serves as a mentor for the school's Doctorate of Nursing Practice students as well as President of Sigma Theta Tau International. She earned her BSN, MSN and DNP at UAB.

Langston receives ACC "Volunteer of the Year" award

June2014 Langston Summer 2Summer Langston, DNP, CRNP, ACNP-BC, AACC, assistant professor in the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) School of Nursing has received the "Volunteer of the Year" award from the Alabama Chapter of the American College of Cardiology (ACC). This award is given annually to a deserving member the Alabama ACC chapter.

Langston became a member of the ACC in 2008. At the time she was a student in the Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) program in the UAB School of Nursing and working as nurse practitioner at the Alabama Cardiovascular Group in Birmingham.

In 2008, during research for a course in the DNP program, Langston reached out to members of the ACC for additional information pertaining to her project. After working with the organization and learning about their mission she applied for a travel grant to attend the ACC annual conference. Langston joined the organization later that year.

She has served on the educational board since 2008 and served as the Cardiac Care Associates (CCA) state liaison from 2011-2014. Langston was recently reelected for a second term as the CCA state liaison and was recently advanced to Associate of the ACC (AACC). She is the only nurse practitioner on the council.

"It is such an honor to represent nurses and other cardiac clinicians throughout the state in this capacity," said Langston.

The council meets several times a year for formal meetings as well as attends an annual legislative conference in Washington, D.C. The members have an impact on health care policy on a national and state level.

The Alabama Chapter of the American College of Cardiology is improving heart health through continuing medical education, continuous quality improvement, patient-centered care, professionalism, and the influence of health care policy. It is a nonprofit state medical society comprised of physicians, nurses, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, pharmacists and practice managers.

Alumna Disch co-authors textbook on person-and family-centered care

Disch Joanne 300ppiWhile estimates from the Institute of Medicine have stated that 98,000 Americans die each year from preventable deaths due to errors, a recent study suggests that closer to 400,000 people die each year from preventable deaths due to errors. This would mean that more than 1000 people die needlessly each day, or the equivalent of two jumbo jets crashing daily.

Alumna Joanne Disch, PhD, RN, FAAN, Professor ad Honorem in the University of Minnesota School of Nursing, along with co-authors Jane Barnsteiner, PhD, FAAN, Professor in the University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing, and Mary K. Walton, MSN, MBE, RN, Nurse Ethicist and Director of Patient and Family Centered Care at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, has written a new textbook – Person- and Family-Centered Care – and propose that one key strategy for reducing preventable deaths is to actively include individuals and their families as partners in care planning, delivery and evaluation.

The text, published by Sigma Theta Tau International, provides insights into the needed transition from thinking of the patient as dependent and a recipient of care, to engaging the person and family as partners in care. Additionally, chapter authors examine the challenges that nurses do face in providing person- and family-centered care, and offer pragmatic strategies for helping deal with these challenges. More information is available at

Disch earned her MSN from the UAB School of Nursing in 1976.



PhD student receives United Health Foundation's Scholarship

 marcia lowe2Marcia Lowe, MSN, RN-BC, third year PhD student in the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) School of Nursing has been selected as a recipient of a United Health Foundation’s Scholarship presented by the National Black Nurses Association (NBNA).

Lowe will accept the award at the National Black Nurses Association’s Conference in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on August 7, 2014.

Lowe was president of the Birmingham Black Nurses Association from 2005 to 2008. She also served on the NBNA Board of Directors and as the chair of the national membership committee from 2010 to 2013.

Lowe currently is employed by UAB hospital as an Advanced Nursing Coordinator in the Medical Nursing Division and works with nurses on the Palliative Care and GI/Liver Transplant units. The scholarship will assist her in completing the PhD program.

“As a lifetime member of NBNA, it is an honor to receive this scholarship. Nursing is my passion and I am excited to be on this journey,” said Lowe.

As part of the scholarship program Lowe will be assigned an NBNA-affiliated mentor to help her achieve her professional goals and aspirations. She also will be able to submit articles for publication in the NBNA newsletter and to speak at the NBNA conference. She also will work closely with her program advisor Pat Patrician, PhD, RN, and academic advisors Martha A. Dawson, DNP, RN, and Jennifer Coleman, PhD, RN, CNE.

The National Black Nurses Association’s mission is to represent and provide a forum for black nurses to advocate for and implement strategies to ensure access to the highest quality of healthcare for persons of color.



Student Spotlight: Jeremy Jordan helps revive NGSA

 jeremy jordanJeremy Jordan, a master’s student at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) School of Nursing, has always been fully committed to achieving his goals and aspirations.

Originally from Mobile, Jeremy was never interested in organized sports as a child but his parents wanted him to take part in extracurricular activities. In 2001, his parents enrolled Jeremy in Tae Kwon do lessons. He loved the structure and technical aspect of martial arts and competed into his high school years, teaching and competing at the regional level. But at 17 a broken leg forced him to stop practicing the sport he loved.

With his Tae Kwon Do practice coming to jarring halt, Jeremy was eager to pursue a new path. During this transitional period he reflected on the aspects of martial arts that he enjoyed -- teaching children and making a positive impact on their lives. Deciding he wanted to continue helping people, Jeremy began looking at colleges and contemplating different careers options.

In 2008 Jeremy enrolled at UAB in the health care management program in the School of Health Professions, earning that degree in 2011. In the fall of 2011, Jeremy decided to enroll in the Accelerated Master’s in Nursing Pathway (AMNP) program in the UAB School of Nursing. He said his love for children and helping others made the transition into nursing a natural path.

Much like his dedication to Tae Kwon Do, Jeremy has been very involved in the UAB School of Nursing. Upon learning there was no longer a graduate equivalent to the undergraduate’s Student Nurses Association (SNA) he approached Stephanie Hamberger, MPA, director of student evaluations and scholarships, and with her guidance revived the Nursing Graduate Student Association (NGSA).

“Jeremy has been a positive role model from the moment he started the AMNP program,” Hamberger said.  He jumped at the opportunity to restart the NGSA and has done a spectacular job pulling a new committee together to better serve our graduate students.”

Now in his final semester in the Acute Care Pediatric Nurse Practitioner Program, Jeremy works as a nurse at Children’s of Alabama in the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit. He hopes to continue his practice as a nurse practitioner at Children’s after graduation. Jeremy says he plans to use his health care management background as well as his nursing expertise to help improve health care reform.

“I want to positively impact people’s lives, both through nursing and through health policy,” he said.