Two University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) School of Nursing students currently enrolled in the Psychiatric/Mental Health Nurse Practitioner Specialty Track recently received awards from prestigious national organizations to help further their education.
Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) student Thomas Sargent, RN, was selected to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s (SAMHSA) Minority Fellowship Program-Youth with the American Nurses Association for the 2015-16 academic year, while fellow MSN student Timothy Young, BSN, RN, was awarded a Lois Widly Student Scholarship by the Foundation for Addictions Nursing.
As a SAMHSA MFP-Y fellow, Sargent will participate in summer and winter training institutes, internet-based modules, teleconferences, virtual instructional lectures and other learning activities designed to strengthen his knowledge and skills in the area of mental health and substance abuse disorders prevention and treatment in nursing. As part of his fellowship, Sargent receives a stipend each semester, tuition assistance and travel expenses for his trips to the on-site intensives.
Young’s award covered the cost of registration and helped offset his travel expenses to attend the 39th Annual Educational Conference of the International Nurses Society on Addictions (IntNSA) in Charlotte, N.C., in late October.
The Lois Widly Student Scholarship honors a staunch supporter of addiction nursing who was involved in the founding of IntNSA through the collaboration of three separate nursing organizations.
Young, who was recognized at the IntNSA Awards Banquet as part of his trip, hopes to use the information he gleaned from the conference to educate patients, family members, fellow health-care professionals and the public on the greater good of promoting the awareness and treatment options for the disease of addictions.
Associate Professor Susanne Fogger, DNP, RN, PMHNP-BC, CARN-AP, faculty advisor for Sargent and Young, was highly complimentary of each and said she expects both to make significant marks on the field of psychiatric care.
“Alabama truly needs more young professionals like Thomas to help address the mental health needs of our youth,” Fogger said. “He has experience working with chronically mentally ill youth in the behavioral health-care setting and is a rare combination of common sense and intelligence coupled with life experience working with difficult patients. I am confident he will be an amazing nurse practitioner and strong nurse leader.”
Young is equally impressive, Fogger said.
“He is skilled in interpersonal communication and works well with all kinds of patients and staff,” Fogger said. “He is highly motivated and will integrate what he learned from attending the IntNSA conference into his future patient care.
“He recognizes the prevalence of co-occurring substance use disorders in treating those with psychiatric illness and hopes to make a difference in his community by increasing access to care.”
Sargent is a December 2013 graduate of the School’s Accelerated Master’s in Nursing Program.