Shirey receives NPAA Power of One Award

Among six from SON recognized for leadership, service to the profession
Photo of Maria Rodriguez Shirey

By Claire McElheney

University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Nursing Jane H. Brock-Nightingale Endowed Professor and Associate Dean of Clinical and Global Partnerships Maria Rodriguez Shirey, PhD, MBA, MS, RN, NEA-BC, ANEF, FACHE, FNAP, FAAN, has received the Power of One Award from the Nurse Practitioner Alliance of Alabama. She was among six from the UAB School of Nursing honored by NPAA at its 15th annual conference in November 2021.

Immediate NPAA past president, three-time UAB School of Nursing graduate and adjunct clinical assistant professor in the School, D'Ann Somerall DNP, CRNP, FNP-BC, FAANP (BSN 1995, MSN 1999, DNP 2011), presented Shirey with the award.

Shirey was honored for her influence on the profession for over 20 years as a nurse executive, advocate and educator.

"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 School of Nursing were also honored for their impact on the nursing profession in Alabama and beyond.

Tara Wood, DNP, CRNP, NNP-BC, (MSN 2011, DNP 2017), 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 PhD, CRNP, ACNP-BC, FAANP (MSN 2005, PhD 2015), 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 School's 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 received by Instructor Bela Patel DNP, CRNP, NP-C (MSN 2014, DNP 2019), who also is lead nurse practitioner at the School's PATH Clinic. Patel was recognized for her achievements in providing care for underresourced patients diagnosed with diabetes, as well as her leadership during the clinic's transition to telehealth during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Mayowa Otuada (BSN 2018), received the Nurse Practitioner Student Leadership Award. Otuada is a student enrolled in the School's Doctor of Nursing Practice Program in the Women's Health Nurse Practitioner specialty track. Prior to earning her BSN degree from the School, she was as 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, PMHNP, FNP (MSN 2015), was recognized as the Nurse Practitioner of the Year for 2021. Essex's work focuses on aiding and improving Veterans' psychiatric care.

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