Faculty receive ALN teaching honors

By Laura Gasque

Several University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Nursing faculty members received recognition from the Alabama League for Nursing with its Excellence in Teaching Award, presented at the 2024 Lamplighter Banquet. The award recognizes exemplary educators for the development and implementation of innovative teaching strategies employed in a variety of settings.

Assistant Professor Jennie Alspach, DNP, MSN, CRNP, FNP-BC (BSN 1996, MSN 1999, DNP 2020), Instructor Rachael Bruce, MSN, MPH, CRNP, FNP-C, CNE (MSN 2016), Instructor Jessica Bumpus, PhD, and Instructor Laketa Huddleston-Pettiway, PhD, M.Ed, received the Excellence in Teaching Award for their work developing the Student Success Champions program. This innovative retention strategy connects students who may be facing academic challenges to resources to provide the support they need to be successful. The SSCP has had a significant impact on reducing attrition rates in the School, particularly with students from low socioeconomic backgrounds.

Skills Lab Educator Samantha Berrien, MSN, RN, received the Excellence in Teaching Award for her work in identifying a learning gap with students and piloting a program for personalized coaching sessions. Berrien tailored her teaching style to the learning style of each student, coaching and mentoring them individually or in groups to help them perfect and practice their skills. The strategy has resulted in students being more confident and successful when validating their skills.

Instructor Hiboombe Haamankuli, DNP, CRNP, ACNP-BC (MSN 2010), Assistant Professor Sabrina Kopf, DNP, CRNP, ACNP-BC (BSN 2009, DNP 2017), and Assistant Professor Somali Nguyen, DNP, CRNP, AGACNP-BC (BSN 2010, MSN 2014, DNP 2019), received the Excellence in Teaching Award for their work to utilize gamification to teach critical skills such as antimicrobial selection, chest X-ray interpretation and point-of-care ultrasound. The goal was to improve engagement and knowledge retention among students, ensuring they are well-prepared to excel in clinical practice and deliver high-quality patient care, which was accomplished.

“We are very proud of our faculty who have been recognized by ALN for teaching excellence,” said University Professor and Senior Associate Dean for Academic Affairs Linda Moneyham, PhD, RN, FAAN. “The faculty of the UAB School of Nursing have worked diligently to achieve excellence in teaching pedagogy as demonstrated by these efforts to develop new innovative, teaching strategies that are effective in supporting students achieve mastery of knowledge and skills required for excellence in nursing practice.”

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