AANP inducts faculty, alumna as Fellows

Two faculty members also recognized by AANP for outstanding achievements as nurse practitioners

Photo: Kala K. Blakely and Heather JacksonBy Hunter Carter
The University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Nursing continues to produce and support leaders who influence the field of nursing, and two of those leaders have been inducted as Fellows of the American Association of Nursing Practitioners (AANP). This accomplishment brings the number of Fellows from the UABSON community to 44.

Inductees include Assistant Professor and Adult Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner Specialty Track Coordinator Kala K. Blakely, DNP, CRNP, NP-C, CNE (MSN 2010, DNP 2013), and alumna and Administrative Director of Advanced Practice for Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center Heather Jackson, PhD, APRN, FNP-BC, NEA-BC (BSN 2003).

Two faculty members in the School were also recognized by AANP for their outstanding achievements as nurse practitioners at the state level. Interim Assistant Dean for Graduate Clinical Education and Associate Professor Aimee Holland, DNP, CRNP, WHNP-BC, NP-C, FAANP (DNP 2012), and UAB Hospital Assistant Director of Advanced Practice Providers and Adjunct Instructor Eileen Meyer, DNP, ACNP-BC (BSN 1994, MSN 1996), received the AANP State Awards for excellence in clinical practice and for making significant contributions toward increasing awareness and recognition of nurse practitioners in Alabama.

Kala K. Blakely, DNP, CRNP, NP-C, CNE

“There are so many great and accomplished nurse practitioners across our country. It was a humbling honor to know that I was named a Fellow,” said Blakely.

Since 2010, Blakely has positively impacted the patients she serves as an adult nurse practitioner with a focus on providing primary care and women’s health to those in rural areas in Alabama and internationally in the Caribbean and Latin America. She joined the UAB School of Nursing as full-time faculty in 2014.

Blakely has been an active member of AANP for the past decade and participated in several AANP quality improvement initiatives focused on nurse practitioner led clinics across the United States. Along with being a nurse educator, she also volunteers as a nurse practitioner at a nurse practitioner-led clinic in Moody, Ala. she founded.

“I have always dreamed of being a missionary,” Blake said. “My clinical work has allowed me to fulfill my missionary dream and it just happens to be in Alabama.”

The clinic began by providing health care to uninsured and underinsured patients, and now cares for adolescents to older adults regardless of health insurance coverage type.

“The clinic has also been a welcome place for the UAB nursing students to actively see how NPs can be leaders in a clinic, at the bedside, and in the community,” said Blakely.

Heather Jackson, PhD, APRN, FNP-BC, NEA-BC

When Jackson received the email notifying her that she had been selected as a Fellow of the AANP, she was ecstatic.

“I was so happy and honored when I found out I was named a Fellow,” said Jackson. “The nomination process is very rigorous, and I think it is hard to gauge where anyone stands going into the nomination process, so to make it through and receive this honor is just extraordinary.”

Jackson has served in various roles at Vanderbilt University Medical Center since 2006, including as a nurse practitioner where she cared for pediatric trauma and surgery patients. She currently is administrative director of advanced practice where she leads a team of advanced practice providers through day-to-day operations and promotes full scope of practice.

“I lead a team of about 80 cancer specialty advanced practice providers. My personal clinical specialty is cancer and chronic pain,” said Jackson.

She also is a nationally recognized pain specialist with leadership roles in multiple professional organizations.

Jackson credits the UAB School of Nursing for building a solid nursing foundation and motivation push herself to think outside of the box in ensuring inclusion and promotion of nursing throughout her career.

“UAB is the cornerstone of my nursing education and philosophy,” said Jackson. “The mentors I had while earning my BSN at the UAB School of Nursing really taught me how to think critically and prepared me well for transition into practice. I trace a lot of my success back to UAB.”

Jackson also received the 2021 AANP State Award of Excellence –Tennessee.

Read 1303 times Last modified on September 30, 2021

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