Shirey receives NPAA Power of One award

UAB School of Nursing faculty, alumni and student receive honors from the Nurse Practitioner Alliance of Alabama for their impact on the nursing profession.
Written by: Claire McElheney
Media contact: Hannah Echols

University of Alabama at BirminghamSirey StreamMaria Rodriguez Shirey
Photography: Frank Couch
School of Nursing professor Maria Rodriguez Shirey, Ph.D., received the Power of One Award from the Nurse Practitioner Alliance of Alabama. She is among six from the UAB School of Nursing honored by NPAA at its 15th annual conference in November 2021.

Shirey, the Jane H. Brock-Nightingale Endowed Professor and associate dean of Clinical and Global Partnerships, was honored for her influence on the profession for over 20 years as a nurse executive, advocate and educator. D’Ann Somerall, DNP, NPAA past president and assistant professor in the UAB School of Nursing, presented Shirey with the award.

“Maria Shirey is being recognized for her leadership role in building clinical and educational partnerships that impact the community to improve access to quality health care,” Somerall said. “Throughout her career, she has shown tremendous support of the nurse practitioner role, creating strategic opportunities for nurse practitioners to work at the top of their licenses developing, implementing and evaluating new care delivery models that position them to drive health care transformation, reduce disparities and enhance equity.”

“Although Shirey is not a nurse practitioner, the NPAA board determined her impact as instrumental in establishing the expansion of academic-practice, faculty and clinical partnerships,” Somerall said.

In addition to Shirey, five others from the school were honored for their impact on the nursing profession in Alabama and beyond.

Tara Wood, DNP, associate professor and coordinator for the Neonatal Nurse Practitioner Specialty Track, received the Outstanding Faculty Award for 2021. Wood was recognized for her innovative teaching practices involving immersive simulation and advanced learning experiences for NNP students.

Michele Talley, Ph.D., assistant dean for Clinical and Community Programs and associate professor, received the Preceptor of the Year Award. Talley also serves as the director of the PATH Clinic. Her hands-on mentorship and support for preceptorship of nurse practitioners and scholarly leadership have led the PATH Clinic to be one of the most reliable clinical placement sites for nurse practitioner students.

The Rising Star of the Year Award was given to instructor Bela Patel, DNP, who is also lead nurse practitioner at the nursing school’s PATH Clinic. Patel was recognized for her achievements in providing care for under-resourced patients diagnosed with diabetes, as well as her leadership during the clinic’s transition to telehealth during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Doctor of Nursing Practice student Mayowa Otuada received the Nurse Practitioner Student Leadership Award. Otuada is enrolled in the Women’s Health Nurse Practitioner specialty track. Prior to earning her bachelor’s degree from the UAB School of Nursing, she was a registered midwife in Nigeria. Otuada works at the UAB Women and Infants Center on the High-Risk Obstetrics Unit and is a fellow of the Albert Schweitzer Foundation. Her scholarship and service focus on improving the care of women during the postpartum period.

Alumna Daphne Essex, DNP, was recognized as the Nurse Practitioner of the Year for 2021. Essex’s work focuses on aiding and improving veterans’ psychiatric care.