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Large group of nursing school grads

BSN Pinning Ceremony

Group of students gathered for photo on stage

CCN’s Fall 2023 Pinning Ceremony will be Thursday, December 14th at 4 pm in Sellers Auditorium at the Bryant Conference Center. Parking will be available in the parking deck at the corner of 2nd Avenue and Bryant Drive.

For more information, contact the Office of Nursing Student Services at 205-348-6639.

Save the date for upcoming pinning ceremonies:

  • Spring 2024: Thursday, May 2nd at 4 pm in Sellers Auditorium at the Bryant Conference Center

UA Expands Behavioral Health Services for Rural Alabama Youth

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – The University of Alabama is confronting the shortage of behavioral health services for youth in rural Alabama with more than $3.7 million in federal funding.

UA’s College of Human Environmental Sciences and the Center for Substance Use Research and Related Conditions in the Capstone College of Nursing are leading the program supported by the Health Resources and Services Administration. Awards from HRSA’s Rural Communities Opioid Response Program – Child and Adolescent Behavioral Health support the establishment and expansion of sustainable behavioral health care services for children and adolescents aged 5-17 years who live in rural communities, and to prevent substance misuse.

“Children and adolescents in rural communities are among the most vulnerable due to limited resources and limited access to behavioral health and substance use services,” said Dr. Deborah Casper, CHES associate professor who secured the funding. “Our goal is to promote health, opportunity, passion and equity through the development of sustainable, collaborative, community resources for children, youth and families in rural Alabama.”

The UA “Health. Opportunity. Passion. Equity.,” or H.O.P.E., project will provide evidence-based, strength-based and trauma-informed behavioral health and substance use services along the entire continuum of care, including prevention, treatment and recovery, to children and adolescents in Pickens County and surrounding areas.

By working with public school systems, the direct prevention, treatment and recovery services available through H.O.P.E. are projected to reach over 5,000 youth and families in West Alabama. The program will offer services in Pickens County the first year, adding other nearby counties over the four years of the project period.

“The H.O.P.E. project will greatly impact the community by expanding much-needed mental health services and resources to a disadvantaged adolescent population,” said Dr. Letisha Scott, CCN clinical associate professor and member of H.O.P.E. project team. Dr. Scott will oversee the screening and referral of youth attending participating schools that do not have SMART® clinics.

Training and mentorship opportunities for school personnel, professionals and paraprofessionals as well as strengthening community partnerships will increase the communities’ capacity to identify at-risk youth and provide the much-needed services that are virtually nonexistent in these rural communities.

The H.O.P.E project will work in collaboration with CSURRC whose mission is to promote the health and well-being of individuals and communities affected by substance use disorders and related conditions in Alabama and beyond.

“CSURRC is honored to support this important work, as center affiliated scientists and students continue to proactively address substance use and mental health problems in our state,” said Dr. Mercy Mumba, CSURRC director and associate professor of nursing.

Along with Casper, Scott and Mumba, the interdisciplinary team on the H.O.P.E. project includes CHES faculty Dr. Blake Berryhill, associate professor; Dr. Karly Downs, assistant professor, and Dr. Tricia Witte, associate professor; as well as Dr. Hee Yun Lee professor and Endowed Academic Chair in Social Work (Health), and Dr. Laura Hopson, associate professor in the School of Social Work; and Dr. George Mugoya, associate professor in the College of Education.

View of Denny Chimes through trees

UA Reaching Rural Areas to Improve Cardiovascular Health

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – The University of Alabama is spearheading an effort to reduce the risk for cardiovascular disease in West Alabama.

With $6 million from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention spread out over the next five years, UA faculty, staff and students will work with local health care providers to implement programs and resources designed to reduce risk factors for heart attacks, strokes and other issues stemming from poor cardiovascular health. The work will focus on nine counties around the University that include rural and underserved areas of the state.

“UA has strong community-based researchers and strong relationships with communities in West Alabama,” said Dr. Sharlene Newman, executive director of the Alabama Life Research Institute. “We will tackle this problem from multiple directions with hope that the planned programming will result in fewer residents with uncontrolled high blood pressure and high cholesterol as well as fewer smokers.”

The Alabama Life Research Institute at UA is leading the coalition of researchers and practitioners from the Capstone College of Nursing and the Institute of Data Analytics in the Culverhouse College of Business.

“The West Alabama Cardiovascular Health Program will allow us to partner with each community to increase access to care and improve health literacy with a community-specific focus on hypertension prevention and treatment,” said Dr. Paige Turner Johnson, associate professor and the Saxon Chair for Rural Nursing. “Together we can empower them to write their own story of well-being to create a healthier tomorrow.”

Alabama has some of the highest rates of hypertension in the country, ranked at 47 with 42.7% of the population having a diagnosis, and with Alabamians having a 10-percentage point higher hypertension rate than the national average, according to America’s Health Ranking.

The West Alabama Cardiovascular Health Program will offer services that assist communities with controlling blood pressure and cholesterol by helping people take medication regularly and guiding their diet and exercise. UA will also provide smoking cessation programming.

The program will also bring together local health care workers and community leaders to identify issues affecting health and provide a list of resources to address those barriers.

Through a collaboration with One Alabama Health Record, the team will also increase the use of health information systems to monitor and address the cardiovascular health of the targeted counties.

The program will allow for research on local community needs, how to best use health information data to improve community health and what interventions work best for each community.

“All of this is necessary to develop effective change,” Newman said. “Serving our state and conducting research are necessarily intimately intertwined.”

Along with Newman and Johnson, the West Alabama Cardiovascular Heath Program includes Dr. Christina Ezemenaka, assistant professor of nursing; Dr. Wanda Martin Burton, assistant professor of nursing; Dr. Letisha Scott, clinical assistant professor of nursing; and Dr. Matthew Hudnall, associate professor of management information systems and associate director of the Institute of Data and Analytics.

students dressed in Alabama garb cheering from Homecoming float

2023 Homecoming Tailgate

Nursing students dressed in Alabama garb cheering from Homecoming float

Dean Julie Sanford and the Capstone College of Nursing Alumni Association invite you to CCN’s Homecoming Tailgate on the Quad! Join fellow alumni, friends, faculty and staff on October 14th from 8 to 10 a.m. on the Quad for a complimentary pregame breakfast buffet!

Capstone College of Nursing Homecoming Tailgate
October 14, 2023
8 to 10 a.m.
Tents 163C and 164C on The Quad

CCN’s tailgate will be on the Quad, Tents 163C and 164C (map below). Contact Rosemary Kirby ( for more information. Thanks and Roll Tide!

Julie T. Sanford Begins Her Role as Dean of UA Capstone College of Nursing

Headshot - Dean Julie Sanford

The University of Alabama Capstone College of Nursing is pleased to welcome Julie Tanner Sanford, DNS, RN, FAAN, ANEF, as the Angelyn Adams Giambalvo Dean of the College, effective August 1, 2023.

“I am thrilled to return to The University of Alabama as dean of the Capstone College of Nursing,” said Dr. Sanford. “As a nurse, then nurse educator and eventually dean, I have had the pleasure of watching my alma mater achieve great success and become the prestigious program we know today. I am looking forward to being back home at CCN and building on the strengths to even greater excellence. The possibilities are endless!”

Read more here.

The Capstone College of Nursing is recognized as a national innovator in clinical simulation in nursing education, utilizing simulators and telehealth technology in teaching, research and health care delivery. The college partners with a variety of well-respected health care facilities to provide clinical experiences that ease the transition into the working world and prepare graduates for challenges after school.

UA Receives $3.5 Million to Confront Nursing Faculty Shortage

The University of Alabama Capstone College of Nursing is addressing the need to grow and diversify Alabama’s nursing education workforce with the support of more than $3.5 million in funding from the U.S. Department of Labor.

Dr. Susan Welch, associate professor with the Capstone College of Nursing, secured the funding from the department’s Employment and Training Administration’s Nursing Expansion Grant Program that supports innovative partnerships and strategies that expand and diversify America’s pipeline of qualified nursing professionals. Specifically, these grants will increase the number of nursing instructors and educators.

The American Association of Colleges of Nursing reports that only 17.3% of full-time nurse educators in the U.S. are from minority backgrounds. Additionally, one-third of the current nurse educator workforce is projected to retire by 2025.

Welch’s project, BAMA DIstance, aims to increase and diversify the number of nurse educators in Alabama through sustained partnerships between CCN, historically Black colleges and universities, and academic institutions with nursing student populations from underrepresented groups.

The project will recruit Bachelor of Science in Nursing-prepared nurses in Alabama to earn a Master of Science in Nursing degree with a nursing education specialty. Throughout the course of their studies, the program will support participants’ transition from clinical experts to clinical nurse educators.

“The National Academies of Medicine’s ‘Future of Nursing’ calls on nursing schools to address the nurse educator shortage from diverse populations to advance health equity,” said Welch. “BAMA DIstance aims to prepare a diverse population of registered nurses to enter the nursing education workforce, both addressing the nurse educator shortage and transforming the landscape of health care in our state.”

The U.S. Department of Labor Employment and Training Administration will award funding through the Nursing Expansion Grant Program to 25 public-private partnerships in 17 states.

Graduate Program Information Sessions

Save the date! Vickie Samuel, CCN’s Coordinator of Graduate Student Services, is holding information sessions for several of our programs over the next few months. Use the links below to register.

  • July 19, 5 pm: Nurse Practitioner Information Session – Register Here
  • August 16, 5 pm: Nurse Administrator Information Session – Register Here
  • August 29, 3 pm: DNP Information Session – Register Here
  • September 20, 5 pm: Graduate Nursing Information Session – Register Here
  • October 18, 3 pm: Joint PhD Information Session – Register Here

For more information on all graduate programs at CCN, click here.

7 committee members stand behind governor at desk

Governor Proclaims November 9 as Alabama Frontline Nurses Day

7 committee members stand behind governor at desk

MONTGOMERY, Ala. — Governor Kay Ivey has proclaimed November 9, 2023, as Alabama Frontline Nurses Day. The Alabama Nursing Hall of Fame Committee requested the proclamation to raise awareness of the essential role frontline nurses play in our state’s healthcare system.

The proclamation recognizes nursing as the nation’s largest healthcare profession, with over 4 million registered nurses nationwide, and that nurses are “an indispensable component of the safety and quality of patients’ care.” See the official proclamation here.

Nov. 9 has been proclaimed Alabama Frontline Nurses Day as that is the date of the 2023 Alabama Nursing Hall of Fame, an event that will bring together individuals and organizations to celebrate the accomplishments, excellence and impact of outstanding members of the nursing profession.

Established by the Capstone College of Nursing’s Board of Visitors in March 2001, the Alabama Nursing Hall of Fame was created to honor nurses and others who, through their work and accomplishments, have brought honor and fame to the profession of nursing and the state of Alabama.

The Alabama Nursing Hall of Fame committee is proud to announce the individuals selected for induction in 2023 include Dr. Judy Bittinger, Ms. Carolyn Chalkley, Dr. Jennifer Coleman, Dr. Joy P. Deupree, Ms. Pepper Hoover, Dr. Joyce Loyd-Davis, Ms. Dorothy Scarbrough, and Ms. Ernestine Tucker.

Judy Bittinger, DSN, PhD, RN

Carolyn B. Chalkley, MSN, RN, Retired

Jennifer J. Coleman, PhD, RN, CNE, COI, Professor, Moffett & Sanders School of Nursing, Samford University

Joy P. Deupree, PhD, RN, WHNP-BC, FAAN, Professor, The University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Nursing

Deborah “Pepper” Hoover, MSN, FNP, RN, Program Director, Department of Nursing Education, Wallace State Community College Hanceville 

Joyce Loyd-Davis DNP, FNP-BC, MSN, MSM, Sr. Director of Health Services, Alabama State University

Dorothy Ray Scarbrough, BSN, MSN, RNC

Ernestine Tucker, RN, Certified Nurse Practitioner

The 2023 Alabama Nursing Hall of Fame will be held on Thursday, Nov. 9 at the Bryant Conference Center in Tuscaloosa, Ala. Event sponsorship and ticket details forthcoming.

For more information, click here or contact Rosemary Kirby, Communications Specialist and Events Coordinator for the Capstone College of Nursing.

Rosemary Russell Kirby,, (205) 348-7429

Pictured above: Alabama Nursing Hall of Fame representatives Allison Chandler, Wayne Hogg, Cathy Boardman, Regina Yarbrough, Anita Hamlett, Suzy McCallum, Leah Ann Sexton, Amanda Meacham and Tony Roberson with Governor Kay Ivey.

UACCN Recognized for Top Online Programs

The Capstone College of Nursing at The University of Alabama is proud to announce its online programs have again been ranked among the best in the country by U.S. News & World Report.

In 2023, CCN received top recognition, ranking No. 1 for Best Online Programs for Veterans. UA is the only school in the state of Alabama ranked in this category. Additionally, the College’s Master of Science in Nursing Program ranked No. 2 for Best Online MSN Program and was the only Alabama nursing program ranked in the top 50.

CCN’s Family Nurse Practitioner program was ranked No. 4, the highest ranking in both the state and the Southeastern Conference in this category. And, its Nursing Administration program was ranked No. 14 for 2023.

“The Capstone College of Nursing prides itself on offering flexible online programs for practicing nurses while maintaining the level of excellence for which our educational programs are known,” said Dean Suzanne Prevost. “We are proud to again be recognized in this way. These rankings show the outstanding commitment of our faculty and staff to provide creative and innovative learning environments for our students who are truly passionate lifelong learners.”

U.S. News & World Report’s Best Online Nursing Programs were determined based on the institution’s performance across five categories: engagement, faculty credentials and training, expert opinion, services and technologies, and student excellence. For more information about the Best Online Programs methodology, click here.

CCN currently offers the following graduate programs: MSN Nurse Administrator; MSN Nurse Practitioner (Family and/or Mental Health); Doctor of Nursing Practice; Joint Online Nursing Science PhD program with the University of Alabama in Huntsville; Doctorate in Education for Nurse Educators in partnership with UA College of Education; and post-graduate Nurse Practitioner Certificate Programs. For more information about CCN’s graduate programs, click here.

Currently, U.S. News & World Report does not report rankings for online DNP and PhD programs.