Me, Dr. Melnyk, Dr. Stephens, Marie Morilus-Black

I was invited to listen to a panel discussion of several distinguished healthcare professionals address childhood obesity and mental illness today at the National Press Club!  The keynote speaker was the current Surgeon General of the United States, Richard Carmona.  The discussion was the brainchild of Dr. Bernadette Melnyk, dean of the Arizona State University School of Nursing and Health Innovations.  I was excited to have an opportunity to not only witness but also, perhaps get a chance to meet Dr. Melnyk because I cited her Evidence-Based Practice work in my final Scholarly Paper last month (can you say, ‘NETWORKING OPPORTUNITY’???)!!  Dr. Melnyk and her partners have dominated the EBP Nursing world for the last decade or so with their model of EBP (STAR), developed at the University of Texas School of Nursing.  Dr. Melnyk is a dually-prepared NP–in pedes and psychiatry/mental health (WHEW!!), so she is unequivocally qualified to speak to both topics!  Here she is on the dais with Marie (3rd from right)

Dr. Melnyk speaking from the dais--Marie is 3rd from right

and another of her giving the closing remarks.

Dr. Melnyk mentioned being friends with UMB Dean, Janet Allen and how Dr. Allen commented on her (many) projects in the works!!

The event was organized by Kenja Hassan, who is the daughter of one of my co-workers, Sondra Hassan (see mother-daughter photo).

Sandy and Kenja Hassan

Kenja was kind enough to orchestrate a introduction to Dr. Melnyk for me!  I gushed excitement during the actual meeting (I have NO SHAME!!).

I was also able to invite faculty from the Howard University College of Pharmacy, Nursing and Allied Health Sciences.  Eva Stephens, one of the NP faculty, was the Division of Nursing representative.  I (for the first time in my networking-career (!) was able to serve as the conduit for her to meet others at the conference (see photos).  One of the panelists was the DC Department of Mental Health’s Director of Child & Youth Services, Marie Morilus-Black, LCSW-R.   DMH contingent attending the event were so proud of Marie’s outspoken support of her program and all that the Department is doing for the children in the City.

Me, Dr. Melnyk and Dr. Stephens



As of December 2010, I am the EXTREMELY PROUD holder of a Master of Science in Nursing Administration with a Certificate in Teaching in the Health Professions!!!!  YAYYYYY MEEEEEEE!!

This is a photo of me minutes after learning I would graduate!!

Now that I finally have the degree, I’ve got to figure out what I want to do with it!  I’m rather open to suggestions, recommendations and job offers (not-so-subtle ‘hint-hint’), etc!  I will be working towards my certification as a nurse executive within the next 8-9 months.  I want to do some educational consultation, and teach at the university level at some point.

I have been certified as a Professional Legal Nurse Consultant for two years, but haven’t been able to pursue it because of school.  I’m ready to get that going and get an additional stream of income flowing!  PLNC!

I will continue to pursue my love of writing and expressing myself through other media. I want other psych nurses to see my blog and contribute and post, since I believe it’s the only one I’ve found dedicated to psychiatric nursing.  We can make it bigger and better!

Follow me on Facebook and LinkedIn!

Merry ChristmasHanukkahKwanzaa and Happy New Year!!



I am so very proud to have FINALLY been inducted into this elite group of academics!  It didn’t happen in undergrad, but I only had to wait another 31 years!  Dreams DO come true!!

My husband is a pretty good photographer and caught me at the perfect moment, just as I was getting my Purple and White Honor Cord.
I posed with other members of my family–my husband, my sister, who is also an RN and my mother-in-law who is the unofficial president of my fan club!!

This is the HUGE cake (it was at least two full sheet cakes wide)–there were over 300 inductees!!

Here I am grinning as hard as I can, showing off my new award!!

FEATURED NURSE EDUCATORS from the Institute for Educators Conference

  • SUSAN BOYER, MEd, RN, FAHCEP, Executive Director of VNIP (Vermont Nurses In Partnership), an organization dedicated to supporting nurse development.  Her organization has initiated a movement to provide curriculum for and regulate nursing preceptorships.  She gave a very energetic lecture–at the Institute for Educators on March 11, 2010.  Check out her website at!
  • DEBRA WEBSTER, EdD, MS, RNBC, of SALISBURY UNIVERSITY, Salisbury, MD.  She was a Poster Presenter on ‘Addressing Academic Uncivility in Nursing Education’. She can be reached at
  • TRACY BARR, BSN, RN, CEN, TRACY KOSTELEC, BSN, RN, CEN and Monica Nelson at Mercy Medical Center, who were Poster Presenters on ‘Writer’s Block: Improving Nurses’ Professional Writing Skills’.  Their In-House Workshops educated the Mercy Medical Center nurses on Basics, Getting Published, Grant Writing!  20% of their attendees have gotten published!!  This is something I’m very interested in.  I want to become (more) published and learn how to write grants!  Tracy Kostelec can be contacted for more information at

It was also a pleasure meeting Julie Cook, MSN/MPH, RN, PHCNS, who works with the Programs of Assertive Community Treatment (PACT) at the University of Maryland Medical System (UMMS)