Category: Uncategorized

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.

2023 Bama Blitz: Reaching Rural Alabama

A group of CCN faculty, students and community partners in front of CHOICE Resource Center sign.

2023 Bama Blitz to raise funds for CCN Rural Health Initiatives

At CCN, we are working to prepare nurses that will be the positive change we need to see in rural healthcare.

From combating the substance and opioid use epidemic and increasing access to emergency services and telemedicine, to improving mental health primary care integration and increasing rural Alabama COVID-19 vaccination rates, CCN is positively impacting significant rural health issues.

UA’s Bama Blitz crowdfunding campaign will kick off at noon on April 18th and conclude at noon on April 20th. Your gift to the Reaching Rural Alabama Support Fund will help our students and faculty affect change through initiatives like community projects, student and faculty research and experiential learning opportunities.

Using the Alabama Rural Health Association definition of rural, 55 of the 67 Alabama counties are classified as some degree of rural. These rural counties also are classified as medically underserved areas and designated as health provider shortage areas by the Health Resources and Services Administration.

The Capstone College of Nursing is leading the way in Alabama’s rural counties by advocating for policy change, offering services where there is a provider shortage, and using creative research strategies to improve overall health outcomes in Alabama. It is our hope that empowering students with the ability to provide patient-centered, culturally-appropriate care to individuals who otherwise would not have access to health services will create a desire in the next generation of nurses to practice in underserved areas.

We hope you will consider supporting this fund during Bama Blitz. With your help, we can reach our goal to raise $10,000 for the Reaching Rural Alabama Support Fund! 

Visit to make your gift from noon on April 18th until noon on April 20th!

Read CCN’s 2022 Capsule Magazine, Championing Rural Health to learn more about the College’s passion for improving the health and wellbeing of our communities.

Learn more about CCN’s Rural Health Initiatives here.

Recent CCN partnerships and projects:

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.

Dr. Prevost Stepping Down After 10 Years as Dean

Dr. Suzanne Prevost, dean of the Capstone College of Nursing, has announced she plans to step down as dean at the end of the academic year after more than nine years in that role. She plans to continue teaching at UA.

Prevost joined the University as dean and professor in August 2013 after serving in leadership positions at the University of Kentucky College of Nursing and Middle Tennessee State University.

Under Prevost’s leadership, the College’s enrollment increased by 24%. A new wing was added to the College, increasing facility space by 50%. New graduate programs and post graduate certificate programs were established for nurse practitioners and nurse administrators. An independent Doctor of Nursing practice program was established, and the joint nursing science Ph.D. program was established in collaboration with The University of Alabama in Huntsville College of Nursing.

CCN programs rose dramatically in U.S. News & World Report rankings, including the most recent rankings of No. 7 for the Family Nurse Practitioner Program and No. 9 for the Nursing Administration Program. The BSN program is currently ranked in the top 5% of BSN programs nationally. The nursing licensure pass rates for CCN graduates have ranged from 97 to 100%, consistently exceeding statewide and national averages. The College is also designated as one of the National Centers of Excellence in Nursing Education by the National League for Nursing.

Extramural grant funding to the College has increased four-fold over the past decade, and the College established the Research Center for Substance Use and Related Conditions in April. During the current Rising Tide Capital Campaign, the College has raised over $8.6 million, 71% of its $12 million goal.

Information on UA’s search for the next dean of the Capstone College of Nursing can be found here.

Graphic showing Program Rankings below

UACCN Ranks Among Best Online Nursing Programs for 2022

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.

CCN’s Master of Science in Nursing program was ranked No. 11 by the publication for Best Online MSN Program. Additionally, its Family Nurse Practitioner program was ranked No. 7, the highest ranking in both the state and the Southeastern Conference in this category. And, the College’s Nursing Administration program was ranked No. 9 and was the only program in Alabama ranked in this category.

“We at the Capstone College of Nursing strive to provide the best educational opportunities for practicing nurses in a flexible, online format,” said Dean Suzanne Prevost. “These rankings speak to both our students’ passion to advance their education, and our expert faculty and staff’s commitment to creating an innovative and stimulating learning environment. We are proud to again be recognized in this way.”

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; Doctorate in Education for Nurse Educators; 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 Nursing PhD programs.

Graphic showing Program Rankings below

Headshot of Dr. Nathan Culmer and Dr. Todd Smith

University of Alabama receives $1.8 million to improve patient care in rural Alabama

Headshot of Dr. Nathan Culmer and Dr. Todd SmithThe University of Alabama’s Dr. Nathan Culmer (College of Community Health Sciences) and Dr. Todd Smith (Capstone College of Nursing) have received $1.8 million in funding this year from the United States Department of Agriculture Rural Development’s Distance Learning and Telemedicine grant program. This funding will significantly increase the Emergency Medical Services’ telemedicine capabilities in rural Alabama, connecting 49 ambulances with approximately 18 hospitals across 19 rural counties in Alabama.

“With this network of telemedically-equipped ambulances and emergency departments in rural Alabama communities, we anticipate better response times to and from patient sites, improved quality of care at the point of need, and reduced financial burden for both patient and provider,” said Dr. Smith. “Dr. Culmer and I feel that we have created a critical infrastructure of EMS telemedicine capabilities that will enhance patient care and outcomes in medically underserved communities across our state.”

Once fully implemented, the project will offer access to higher quality and more efficient patient care by transporting patients to the most appropriate healthcare facility or enabling emergency department personnel to determine that a patient should remain on site, potentially reducing unnecessary hospital transports and 30-day readmissions. Additionally, it will provide for the transmission of more detailed medical and video data directly from EMS providers to emergency physicians and advanced practice providers in emergency departments. With this advanced data and telemedical communications, patients with possibly life-threatening conditions can be transported to the most appropriate facility in the least amount of time, which could save lives and improve quality of life.

“Our earlier research found that telemedicine capabilities in emergency situations had not been widely implemented across the U.S., and especially in rural communities. In fact, we recently found only 13 previous studies directly related to prehospital telemedicine, most of which did not adequately address concerns related to quality, cost, and patient satisfaction,” said Dr. Culmer. “A project on this scale will not only enhance the quality of care for rural Alabamians but will provide data for future research in this critical area.”

Three EMS personnel in front of ambulance

This project will be implemented in the following Alabama counties: Bibb, Clarke, Clay, Cherokee, Choctaw, Coosa, Covington, Escambia, Greene, Hale, Lamar, Marengo, Monroe, Perry, Randolph, Sumter, Tallapoosa, Washington and Wilcox.  In 2020, these rural counties had a total of 56,346 EMS calls and 26,056 individuals were transported to a hospital emergency department.

 “Residents in rural Alabama often have limited transportation access due to geographic barriers, which can mean longer distances for ambulance travel, limited communication between first responders and physicians, and a limited number of ambulances spread over a wider geographic range,” said Dr. Elwin Crawford, Alabama State EMS Medical Director. “These factors ultimately yield longer wait times before a patient receives care in hospital facilities, poorer health outcomes, extended transition times, and less patient and provider satisfaction.”

“This project, along with other ongoing initiatives in our state, will do a great deal to address healthcare discrepancies in our rural communities.”

The USDA Rural Development’s Distance Learning and Telemedicine program helps rural communities use the unique capabilities of telecommunications to connect to each other and to the world, overcoming the effects of remoteness and low population density.

Photo captions: TOP: Drs. Nathan Culmer and Todd Smith. BOTTOM: Hale County EMS, represented by Duane Baines, Kade Roberts and Bailey Crawford, will implement the project, connecting telemedically-equipped ambulances and emergency departments in the communities they serve.

Join Our Legendary Faculty!

The Capstone College of Nursing at the University of Alabama is growing– in enrollment and facilities– and we need more nursing faculty at all levels. CCN is currently searching for:

  • MSN-prepared Instructors
  • DNP-prepared Clinical Faculty
  • Tenure Track and Tenured Faculty with research preparation and experience

With an enrollment of over 2,400 nursing students, CCN offers a traditional BSN program, an online RN-to-BSN program, and nurse administrator and nurse practitioner programs at the MSN level. The College also offers three types of doctoral programs: a Nursing Science PhD Program offered online in collaboration with the University of Alabama at Huntsville; a Doctor of Education for Nurse Educators program, jointly taught by CCN faculty and faculty in UA’s College of Education; and an online Doctor of Nursing Practice program.

With our winning traditions in athletics and academics, our programs are consistently ranked by U.S. News and World Report, including our most recent ranking in the Top 5% of BSN programs in the U.S. Our BSN graduates achieved a 100% NCLEX pass rate for first time test takers two years in a row. Our College is also recognized by the NLN as a National Center of Excellence in Nursing Education. Over 35% of incoming freshmen at UA have scored 30 or higher on their ACT exams, and we have over 940 National Merit Scholars on our campus. The University made the 2021 Forbes list of Best Employers for New Graduates.

We are located in Tuscaloosa, a vibrant college community with a moderate climate. Our campus has been ranked as one of the Most Beautiful Campuses in America. Come join us for a stimulating work environment and a great quality of life, at The University of Alabama – Where Legends are Made®.

To apply, visit Employment Opportunities at The University of Alabama is an Equal Opportunity Affirmative Action education institution/employer.

Bartlett Awarded $1.2 Million to Build Diversity in Nursing and among Nurse Scientists and Faculty in Alabama

Robin Bartlett: Professor, Lifespan Researcher

Dr. Robin Bartlett, Associate Dean for Research at the Capstone College of Nursing, and her team have received notice of a $1.2 million Science Education Partnership Award (SEPA) from the National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS) of the National Institutes of Health for their project, Health Sciences & Technology Academy-Alabama (HSTA-AL). The goal of HSTA-AL is to build a pipeline for underrepresented students to the field of nursing, teaching them to become change agents in their communities.

“Our nation is in dire need for more nurses, particularly nurse scientists, nurse faculty, and RNs from rural areas and diverse racial and ethnic backgrounds,” said Dr. Bartlett. “To change this dynamic, we must encourage students from underrepresented populations to enter the field of nursing before they graduate from high school.”

According to the American Association of Colleges of Nursing, nearly 40% of the U.S. population are Black, Indigenous, and people of color, but these groups comprise only about 20% of the nursing workforce and 16% of full-time nursing faculty.

Dr. Bartlett continued, “Nurses from underrepresented and diverse communities have the potential to become change agents in their communities, employing their understanding and expertise to address health inequities that lead to poorer health outcomes among underserved populations.”

This five-year program seeks to replicate West Virginia’s SEPA-supported Health Sciences & Technology Academy (WV HSTA), but with adaptations specific to the needs of rural Alabama (the program will initially focus its efforts in Hale and Pickens Counties). HSTA-AL aims to support inclusion in nursing, nurse faculty and nursing science roles by opening the doors to higher education for underrepresented high school students.

The SEPA funded WV HSTA has been in existence for more than 25 years and has graduated nearly 3000 students from the program, with an 89% graduation rate among those who matriculate to college. WV HSTA graduates often go on to pursue advanced degrees, and many choose nursing as a profession.

“We will build on WV HSTA’s successes, tailoring HSTA-AL to meet the unique needs of Alabama high school students,” said Dr. Bartlett. “We look forward to opening these students up to the possibilities of a biomedical career, especially a career in nursing.”

“The Hale County School System has a passion for providing opportunities for all students, not only in their education endeavors but also in life. This program will do both,” said Mr. Michael Ryans, Superintendent of Hale County Schools. “I believe that long-term, sustainable change will be accomplished through this program. Together, we can improve the health of Hale County residents while educating and preparing our youth to become the health care professionals of tomorrow.”

Steps taken to encourage students to pursue undergraduate degrees will include (but not be limited to): hosting summer camps on nursing, citizen science and rural health disparities; offering after-school clubs to engage students in community-based participatory research; and providing professional development to HSTA-AL in-service and pre-service teachers.

UA’s Capstone College of Nursing HSTA-AL team includes: Dr. Bartlett, Drs. Mercy Mumba, Paige Johnson and Michele Montgomery, and Mrs. Brandi Lester. Dr. Betty Key from Samford University is also a member of the team, as are Ms. Bethany Hornbeck and Dr. Ann Chester from Apis Creative and Drs. Alan and Sherron McKendall from West Virginia University.

Research reported in this publication was supported by the National Institute of General Medical Sciences of the National Institutes of Health under SEPA Award Number R25GM142027. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institutes of Health.

What is HSTA-AL?

Creating a Crimson Closet

CCN student’s idea to aid others under financial stress

While earning a college degree is certainly a strong investment, the expenses associated with pursuing higher education weigh heavily on many. After paying tuition, buying books and covering various additional fees, many students feel a financial strain. And for our nursing students, that strain might be felt long before the bill for their new crimson scrubs comes in.

Thus, the idea for a CCN Crimson Closet was born. Michealyn D. Crauswell, a student entering her upper division nursing courses, approached Dean Suzanne Prevost with an idea that would ease a bit of the burden for students under financial stress.

Michealyn D. Crauswell in crimson scrubs
Michealyn D. Crauswell

“We have several group chats for our nursing classes where we communicate study tips, answer questions about CCN, and just help each other out. As we were ordering scrubs, I noticed many students were worried about the cost because they’re not cheap– my set was $220,” said Crauswell. “As someone who grew up in a single-parent household, I know how tight money can get.. There have been many times I’ve had to choose between things, or go without because we just couldn’t swing it. My mom is pretty great, and always made something happen though.

Since it was such a large number of students and not just a couple, I took a few days to decide what to do and I came up with the Crimson Closet. I suggested that past CCN students could donate used scrubs, shoes, and coats so that current students could use them for little to no cost.”

As it would turn out, CCN already had an initiative like this in the works. In the past, 5th semester students were asked to consider donating their gently used scrubs back to the school. Those scrubs were then offered to students who needed assistance when entering upper division courses.

“We have been doing this on a smaller scale for a number of years, and are thrilled with the creation of CCN’s Crimson Closet which will now become a significant resource for our students,” said Rebekah Welch, Director of the Office of Nursing Student Services.

Knowing that UA’s Career Center has had such success with their Crimson Career Closet, Dean Prevost and ONSS felt confident this could work at CCN, and immediately identified a physical space for the closet as well as ways to fill it with uniform items. The CCN Board of Visitors has committed funds to ensure the closet is initially stocked, and ONSS will continue to accept donations of gently used scrubs and other uniform items.

Crauswell hopes that the creation of this resource will let students know they are not alone.

“I want our current students to know that past students, as well as their instructors, care enough about them to make sure that they succeed, even if that means helping with the cost of things. It’s okay to not be able to afford things sometimes and that shouldn’t be an embarrassment when resources are readily available. I grew up without a lot of things; we really struggled. Seeing my fellow classmates scared at the thought of going without really upset me. I would help everybody if I could,” said Crauswell.

“I want our current students to know that even though most may not know me, I love and care about them and their well-being. Most of the instructors know we are a tight-knit group, and I hope the Crimson Closet shows them just how much we truly love and are there for one another. I hope eventually that the Crimson Closet has a big enough community impact that purchasing scrubs is optional because they’ve been donated and can just be borrowed. As for the future, I hope our current CCN students remember the good deeds done for them and give back to those in need.”

If you are a CCN alum with crimson scrubs you’d like to donate, please reach out to the Office of Nursing Student Services at (205) 348-6639.

CCN Expansion Provides Unique Learning Opportunities, Amenities

The new addition to the Capstone College of Nursing couldn’t open at a more essential moment in time.

When doors to the new wing opened in January 2021, the College celebrated the growth of its nursing program by expanding student learning and collaboration space and equipping faculty with the square footage needed to conduct research, prepare lectures and meet one-on-one with students.

The three-story, over 30,000-square-foot building expansion has significantly impacted the College’s ability to support its highly qualified students in achieving their dreams of becoming professional nurses. The expansion includes a home health care lab suite, additional practicum lab space, on-site food service, additional quiet study areas, collaborative work areas, private space for academic and career advising, a beautiful outdoor terrace and meditation labyrinth that will greatly improve the student experience!

2020 CCN Distinguished Alumni Award Presented to Dr. Jessica L. Peck

Dr. Jessica Peck holding awardEach year, the Capstone College of Nursing Alumni Association recognizes a distinguished CCN graduate who has demonstrated continuous and exemplary contributions to the profession of nursing and/or healthcare as the recipient of CCN’s Distinguished Alumni Award.

This year, CCNAA is thrilled to honor Jessica L. Peck, DNP, APRN, CPNP-PC, CNE, CNL, FAANP with this award. Dr. Peck is a 2012 graduate of the College’s Doctor of Nursing Practice program and continues to be an example of the key values of CCN: education, scholarship and service.

An expert in her field, Dr. Peck is shaping future nurses as a clinical professor at Baylor’s Louise Herrington School of Nursing. As Dr. Peck’s DNP faculty advisor, the late Dr. Marietta Stanton, once said, “Jessica uses an approach to education that is forward thinking and inventive, utilizing the latest educational theories to deliver current evidence-based practice guidelines in nursing… Her potential for innovation is unlimited.”

As president of the National Association of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners, Dr. Peck is focused on improving the quality of care for infants, children and adolescents. An advocate for vulnerable youth populations, she also combats child trafficking through her work with a number of organizations, including NAPNAP’s Alliance for Children in Trafficking (ACT); Dr. Peck developed ACT Advocates, a grassroots advocacy program, to train healthcare professionals to respond to human trafficking in their communities.

CCNAA is honored to present this award to Dr. Jessica Peck. Below, she shares some highlights from her nursing journey.

What led you to pursue nursing as a career?

I am the firstborn in a new generation in my family. Previously, the only person in my family who had achieved a university education was my maternal grandfather. I was a bright learner and a good student, but I had absolutely no self-awareness, tools, or encouragement to seek academic opportunities after high school. As a woman at that time, the only two career paths that seemed remotely accessible to me were teaching and nursing. Because a teaching degree was not available at a community college, I fell into nursing. I had always loved caring for people and nursing turned out to be a wonderful fit for me. I am so grateful for the nursing profession, which provided affordable, accessible, and innovative pathways for me to grow as a clinician, a scholar, and a leader.

What are some major takeaways from your undergraduate journey?

When nurses, particularly nursing students, see my list of credentials and accomplishments, they often express admiration or intimidation. I love to remind myself and share with them, my very humble beginnings. I was not a strong nursing student in my undergraduate program. Plagued with timidity and a lack of self-confidence, I often found myself an unwilling focus of the instructor!

Once, an elderly female patient for whom I was caring demanded (loudly, rudely, and urgently) that I remove her dentures. I hadn’t practiced that in lab but made an educated guess that it was in the routine hygiene care realm and did not require supervision, put on gloves, and attempted removal. As you have probably guessed, she bit down on my fingers…and did not let go! After frantically signaling the emergency call bell and assisted removal by two nurses with padded tongue depressors, I was rescued. The nurses asked me, “What in the world are you doing?!” When I explained I was attempting to remove her dentures, they said “She doesn’t have dentures!” And that mean lady laughed and laughed and laughed. Long story short, I moved quickly to pediatrics and never looked back.

What motivated you to continue your education, ultimately bringing you to UA for your DNP?

Both my husband and the physician for whom I worked initially encouraged me to pursue a bachelor’s degree. My husband even got a master’s degree during this time, so we could go to school together. Then, he got a second master’s degree while I got my first so we could continue together! Sitting through five graduation ceremonies is true love.

All along the way, nursing faculty have encouraged me, mentored me, and pushed me to do more. They saw potential in me before I saw it in myself, patiently and persistently guiding me a step further down the path each time. I am so grateful to each of them. I never sought academic or professional opportunity on my own before achieving my DNP. It was always presented to me as an opportunity by a kind and faithful mentor who was willing to invest in the future of their profession.

Dr. Marietta Stanton and Dr. Jessica Peck in graduation robesWhen I was ready to seek doctoral education, as a nurse clinician, I knew the DNP was right for me. At the time, there were no DNP programs in Texas, so I began to look elsewhere, where I quickly found The University of Alabama. With nationally recognized and respected nursing scholars and a well-organized and leading-edge DNP program, I was quickly engaged. During my interview with the faculty who would become chair of my project, Dr. Marietta Stanton, she asked me “Are you willing to make the sacrifices that will be necessary to be successful in this program?” After a pause, I said “yes” and with no pause she said, “The faculty are willing to do the same.” I was sold.

Dr. Marietta Stanton and Dr. Peck at Peck’s DNP commencement ceremony.

What are some of your favorite moments from your graduate journey?

The first memorable moment was during the DNP Intensive. I was chosen as the keynote student speaker and to say I was nervous is a laughable understatement. I rushed off to the hotel business center to access a computer (this was before I had a laptop!) to review my presentation one. last. time. I flew in there like a crazy wind and found another woman working who recognized my distress. She offered to let me practice and gave me some encouraging words. I walked out, feeling more self-assured and confident. As I sat back at my table, I saw the same woman enter the room…and walk straight up to the podium as the keynote speaker. It was Dr. Penny Kaye Jensen, President of the American Association of Nurse Practitioners. I will never forget her humility and her kindness.

During my time at UACCN, I was accepted into the leadership program of the National League for Nursing, a great honor. At that time, Dr. Marsha Adams was a faculty member at UA while also serving as President of the NLN. Although I did not know her well, she came to find me at an NLN gala in Washington D.C. and I sat with the president and CEO, Dr. Beverly Malone as a UACCN DNP student. It was a great honor and a whole lot of fun. Dr. Malone shared stories about dining with Prince Charles and persuading Tony Blair to empower nurses to prescribe! It was a night I’ll never forget.

What did you find challenging about pursuing an advanced degree? Were there any particular obstacles you had to overcome along the way?

Graduate education is never easy. Even if you are a student with no financial stressors, no family challenges, no need to work, and no limit to your social support, it’s still hard! But life happens. Financial stressors arise. Family needs demand your time. Health crises occur.

For me, I got my DNP with four children between the ages of one and seven years, and a full-time job. The only way I could do it was capitalizing on their early bedtime and being disciplined to do it with my husband’s support in cooking and carpooling!

A bigger challenge was continuing to fight for the legitimacy of my DNP degree. Other health professions and professionals expressed skepticism, condescension, mockery even, toward the idea of a nurse with a clinical doctorate. Some of the attacks have been incredibly unprofessional and deeply personal. But I know nursing provided me an accessible pathway to positively impact health outcomes in a way that is innovative, forward-thinking, and modern. I’m meeting real people with real needs in real time, making a real difference.

What impact did obtaining your DNP have on your career?

Of the five academic degrees I now hold, the DNP degree program was by far the most transformative of my entire career. It was during this experience I felt a palpable shift from skilled clinician to leader and scholar. The DNP paradigm lifted my eyes from what I could do for an individual child in my exam room to what I could do for all children all over the world. I also became the first DNP-prepared nursing faculty to achieve the rank of full Professor with tenure in my state university system. I’m proud of that. DNP graduates continue to show the world the resilience and innovation of nursing.

What advice can you share for an undergraduate nursing student?

Maybe you are a student like I was, barely making ends meet and barely getting by in school. Persist. Persevere. Power through. Accept where you are in the journey and know your time to shine is just ahead. Develop relationships with trusted professional mentors. Take their advice. Believe them when they believe in you. Work hard! Never take no for an answer! There is always a new way to try something. If you are already a superstar, then keep shining! Dare to dream big! Nursing need leaders like you.

What advice do you have for a nurse considering an advanced degree?

There has never been a more exciting time to pursue a graduate degree in nursing. This is an unprecedented health crisis as the COVID-19 pandemic spreads throughout 2020, the Year of the Nurse. Nurses are ranked annually as the most trusted profession by the American public. With a holistic practice framework and the trust of the public, nurses are integral to the nation’s health.

The collective strength of nursing as a unified profession can impact health policy by leveraging our acquired knowledge and excellence in leadership to confidently serve the public and promote health equity. Nurses with advanced degrees are much needed and well-equipped leaders to serve at the epicenter of this crisis. Nursing is the most innovative, resilient, caring, and tenacious profession that has ever existed. Nursing will always find a way to rise up and meet the challenges of tomorrow.

You have come full circle—from student to educator. What is your favorite part of being in the classroom? 

My favorite aspect of being in the classroom is my students! They never cease to amaze me, inspire me, and teach me something new every day. I am grateful for the opportunity and carry the weight of the responsibility of stewarding this privilege well. I absolutely love seeing students grow professionally and join me as a colleague. One of my first undergraduate students I taught as a young nursing instructor has now gotten her master’s degree as a nurse practitioner followed by her DNP, and is joining me as faculty. That’s really special.

What is your favorite aspect of practice?

My favorite aspect of practice is the kids of course! The courage, tenacity, resiliency, and fresh-faced honesty of children lifts my spirit, warms my heart, puts spring in my step, and gives me hope for our future.

At CCN, we have made it a priority to encourage work-life balance for our faculty, staff, and students. What are some of the ways you achieve this balance?

My hobby has been learning, as you can see by my credentials and degrees (#NerdAlert). My favorite hobby is spending time with my family. We love to travel all over the world and experience new cultures. I also sing and play the piano a bit, and love being involved in my church’s worship ministry. I am an avid reader and an aspiring writer. Family is always most important. I often take my family with me when I travel. For example, my teen daughter came with me on a road trip to testify at the state capitol. I got to do my job, she got to see how government worked, and we had six hours in the car to talk. I use this approach as often as possible.

What do you see as your greatest achievement thus far?

My greatest achievement both personally and professionally is my four wonderful children. As a mother of three teens and one preteen, I am inspired every day to make the world a better place for them. My children have been so supportive of my career and my efforts to improve child health. They, along with my husband, are my greatest champions.

Professionally, I am honored to have been a trailblazer in a string of firsts, following in the footsteps of true legends in our profession… first woman in my family with a university degree, first nurse practitioner hired in three healthcare organizations, first DNP graduate on the faculty at the University of Texas Medical Branch, first DNP to achieve the rank of tenured professor in the Texas A&M system, now helping lead the first BSN-DNP program for pediatric nurse practitioners in Texas.

Other highlights include Fellowship in both the American Association of Nurse Practitioners and the American Academy of Nursing as well as being named Texas Nurse Practitioner of the Year. Serving the National Association of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners has been the most meaningful and impactful professional experience of my career.

What do you hope to achieve in the future?

This is an exciting time in my career. As a Clinical Professor, I have academic freedom to choose scholarly projects that are the most meaningful to me, and those which may have the greatest impact. I am very excited to see Baylor’s desire to use scholarship to positively impact underserved populations. I hope to impact my students by inspiring them to follow God’s calling with their profession. I hope to impact the patients we serve both directly and indirectly by using nursing to improve health outcomes.

While the care provided by nurses is widely and loudly celebrated, the voice of nursing lacks equal attention. As a scientific profession, nurses are not only caregivers but scholarly practitioners of care with a distinct culture of evidence-inquiry and implementation. Nurses conduct research, advocate for effective health policy, implement evidence-based practice, provide rigorous education and lead interprofessional teams to make a difference in health systems. Although nursing as a profession safeguards the majority of public trust, nursing voices are underrepresented at decision-making tables, in leadership positions, in government-appointed task forces and in the media.

Ultimately, I hope my work will shape the public’s health in the future by inspiring others to use their voices as policy advocates, their eyes and hands as competent caregivers, their minds as teachers and scholars, and their hearts to clothe these efforts in compassion, strength, innovation, and resilience. Nursing will always rise up to meet the challenges of tomorrow.

Finally, is there anything you would like to leave us with today?

Our profession often requires grueling work which costs us physically, mentally, and emotionally. We practice in a world where our families struggle at times to understand burdens we bear, our education is diminished, our moral distress is present in decision-making, our bodies and minds are tired, and our voices are silenced. Nurses often put the needs of others above our own needs, to our detriment at times. These are, as many have said, uncertain times. However, I am certain the test of this pandemic will reinforce the strengths of nursing and we will come through this stronger together. And so, we press on. Despite the dangers, we are there in the most fragile and vulnerable times during human life. We meet indignities with the utmost dignity and compassion. We keep confidences without judgment. We honor wishes and protect autonomy. We cheer progress even when the end seems endless. We serve daily doses of hope in the face of utter hopelessness. We wipe tears of strangers and hug broken human spirits. We care for people when they cannot care for themselves. We are calm in the face of fear. We are comfort in the midst of pain. We face difficult things straight on, head up and eyes clear, although we take a moment to cry in the parking lot before we drive home to care for our own families.

As the most disruptive innovation in 21st century healthcare, DNP-prepared scholars have a calling to provide high quality, accessible, affordable care, especially to the most vulnerable among us– our children. It will take extraordinary courage to impact the issues facing healthcare today. As nurses, it will take our collective efforts, our acquired knowledge, our applied wisdom, and our unwavering dedication to fearlessly do whatever it takes to be a voice of advocacy for health all over the world.

Eight CCN Students Receive DCH Health System BSN Scholarship

DCH BSN Scholarship Recipients: TOP Left to Right: Paola Araque, Jordan Beckham, Abby Christensen, Javier Figueroa. BOTTOM Left to Right: Alisha Isbell, Amber Liu, Carly Stegall, Madeline Stoettner

The Capstone College of Nursing is pleased to announce that eight of its students are recipients of the DCH Health System’s BSN Scholarship.

CCN students Paola Araque (Mount Juliet, Tenn.), Jordan Beckham (Mobile, Ala.), Abby Christensen (Frankfort, Ill.), Javier Figueroa (Holly Pond, Ala.), Alisha Isbell (Tuscaloosa, Ala.), Amber Liu (Sandy Springs, Ga.), Carly Stegall (Helena, Ala.) and Madeline Stoettner (Western Springs, Ill.) were selected to receive the scholarship. Araque, Liu, Figueroa, Christensen and Stegall are current DCH employees.

“We are so appreciative of this opportunity for our students,” said Dr. Suzanne Prevost, CCN Dean. “The need for nurses has never been greater, and many of our nursing students are experiencing increased financial challenges due to the pandemic. The DCH Health System BSN Scholarship is easing the financial burden of pursuing a BSN, while ensuring that qualified nurses remain in our community during this time of great need.”

The DCH BSN Scholarship Program is open to all BSN college students enrolled in their last four semesters at an approved nursing program. Recipients of this scholarship are expected to become employed as full-time RNs at DCH Health System, and to remain employed at DCH for 12 months for each semester of scholarship assistance.

“Some of these students have already been gaining experience at DCH. From those experiences and what we have read, they are an exceptional group,” said Faye Zwieg, Chief Nursing Officer at DCH Health System. “We are excited to offer these scholarships and look forward to working with each of them.”

For questions about the scholarship program, please contact Peggy Sease at, or Rebekah Welch at

The University of Alabama Capstone College of Nursing prepares graduates for the professional practice of nursing. The college is a national innovator in clinical simulation in nursing education, utilizing simulators and telehealth technology in teaching, research and health care delivery. We partner 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.

For nearly 100 years, DCH Health System has been providing quality and compassionate health care to its friends and neighbors in West Alabama. Today, the DCH Health System includes DCH Regional Medical Center, Northport Medical Center and Fayette Medical Center.

IMAGE: Top Left to Right: Paola Araque, Jordan Beckham, Abby Christensen, Javier Figueroa. Bottom Left to Right: Alisha Isbell, Amber Liu, Carly Stegal and Madeline Stoettner.

Clarification and Message to CCN Faculty

Dear Faculty Colleagues,

In my email to you yesterday with the subject line “Plans and Coverage for Fall Semester,” I noted that faculty with school-age children may be facing childcare challenges this fall, and asked that faculty unable to return to work let me know by August 7, so that the College has “time to hire a new faculty member to replace you.” 

I did not mean to suggest that any of you should resign from your faculty positions or that you will be terminated if you are unable to return to work, and I apologize if I created that impression. What I meant was that if you are unable to fulfill your teaching assignment, we need to know as soon as possible, so that we can make alternate arrangements for those courses.

I remind you that the Families First Coronavirus Response Act provides employees with emergency paid sick leave and expanded family and medical leave for specified reasons related to the COVID-19 pandemic. You can find more information regarding those provisions here: Further, for those who are in the vulnerable population, and need a COVID-19 related accommodation, please find the COVID-19 Accommodation Request Form here:  Moreover, should anybody need an accommodation under the ADA, please contact our ADA Coordinator, Emily Marbutt.  

Thank you for all your efforts to ensure that our students have the best possible instructional experiences this fall, even in these challenging times.

Dean Prevost

Suzanne S. Prevost, PhD, RN, FAAN
Angelyn Adams Giambalvo Dean and Professor
Capstone College of Nursing
The University of Alabama
650 University Boulevard East, Room 3035
Tuscaloosa, AL 35487
office 205-348-1040

The University of Alabama

DNP and MSN Program Q&A

The Future Is In Your Hands

Earn your DNP or MSN (Nurse Administrator) from The University of Alabama and equip yourself to make a difference in the future of health care. 

Join us for a Zoom question and answer session!

Time: Apr 24, 2020 01:00 PM Central Time (US and Canada)

Join from PC, Mac, Linux, iOS or Android:

Meeting ID: 951 2350 3556

If you are not able to join us, please contact Vickie Samuel at for any questions about the MSN or DNP programs.

Master of Science in Nursing (Nurse Administrator) – 100% Online

  • Prepares you for leadership positions in nursing
  • Ranked 12th among best online MSN programs for Nursing Administration/Leadership by U.S. News & World Report (2020)

Doctor of Nursing Practice – 100% Online

  • Prepares you for the highest level of specialty practice or health care leadership
  • MSN-educated nurses with certification eligibility as advanced practice nurses are eligible for the MSN to DNP pathway (38 – 42 credit hours)
  • BSN-educated nurses from Alabama, Florida, Georgia or Mississippi are eligible for the BSN to DNP pathway (70 – 91 credit hours)
Contact us today to take the first step toward your future in nursing!

A Note from The Capstone College of Nursing

Thank you #BamaNurses!

Suzanne S. Prevost is Dean and Professor

Dear UA Nursing Community,


As we navigate these uncertain times, I want to express my deepest gratitude for your tireless efforts addressing the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Many of our alumni are risking their lives to save others; while our students and their families, our faculty, staff, friends and volunteers, all continue to provide support and encouragement. I have never been more thankful for the training we received as nurses and that we are passing on to the next generation of healthcare heroes. Across the nation, courageous nurses are leading the fight against this pandemic, using critical thinking and creative problem solving in their response to new and challenging ways of working in clinical settings, at home, and at school.


At CCN, we are working with the UA community to continue our mission of promoting health and well-being through nursing education, research, scholarship, and service. Our faculty and staff have embraced the challenge of rapidly adapting our undergraduate and graduate classes for online and other alternate forms of content delivery; so that we can stay on track with producing highly qualified nurse clinicians, administrators, and educators.


Additionally, our Office of Nursing Student Services continues to work with our students, offering advising and other supportive interventions by phone and videoconferences. While we are disappointed that commencement and many spring events will not take place as originally planned, we are developing alternate plans for some and rescheduling others.


The unprecedented demand for nurses reinforces the need for our CCN building expansion project. We are happy to share the good news that the construction is continuing as scheduled. With very few people in our building this month, the disruption from noise and dust is less of a concern. We cannot wait to show you our progress when we open the new wing in Spring 2021! 


This semester has taken a much different path than any of us could have imagined, but we want to assure our friends that we are all in this together. As we continue to be physically distant from our CCN family, we encourage you to remain socially present and engaged. We know how important it is to have a support system, especially during challenging times! Stay tuned to our social media channels for updates and ways to be involved and engaged from afar. Please take the time to express your gratitude to your nurse colleagues today. 


For campus-wide updates, resources and frequently asked questions, please refer to


Thank you. Stay safe, and Roll Tide!

Suzanne S. Prevost, PhD, FAAN, RN

Angelyn Adams Giambalvo Dean and Professor

CCN Research Society Update

The CCN Research Society is continuously recruiting new members and faculty research mentors. The purpose of this club is to increase student interest in and knowledge of undergraduate research, with the goal of increasing the number of students who develop their own research projects.  

 “Membership in the CCN Research Society provides opportunities for students to experience all of the different aspects of the research process while working alongside a faculty mentor,” Faculty Advisor Dr. Paige Johnson states. “It helps them understand, firsthand, how research and evidence-based practice informs nursing practice. “  

The research club meets once a month on Monday afternoon. Students in both lower division and upper division are encouraged to join the club. In addition to club meetings, members are planning to present at the Undergraduate Research and Creative Activity Conference held this spring.  

A large number of students are working with faculty members on research projects that should yield presentations and publications from their collaboration. Hillary Melton, undergraduate student member, states, “As a member of the CCN Research Society and Randall Research Scholars Program, I have been given the opportunity to present my research on Telomere Length, Life’s Simple 7, and Psychosociocultural Factors Among African American Women to faculty and students.” Melton’s experience working with faculty research mentorDr. Theresa Wadashas encouraged her to, “diversify my nursing practices and select a topic for my ancillary project within the overarching research initiative.” 

Membership in the CCN Research Society is mutually beneficial to both students and faculty. Dr. Johnson affirms, “Faculty benefit tremendously from working with undergraduate students on research projects. Students not only assist in all of the work that has to be done to complete a project but also bring a fresh perspective and new ideas to explore.”  

For more information on becoming a faculty mentor, contact Dr. Paige Johnson ( or Dr. Michele Montgomery ( Undergraduate students who would like to become involved with the CCN Research Society and want more information, email 

Fall 2020 Faculty Spotlight: Dr. Robin Bartlett

Robin Bartlett: Professor, Lifespan ResearcherDr. Robin Bartlett received her both her Bachelor of Science and Master of Science in Nursing Administration degrees from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. She earned her PhD from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Prior to joining the Capstone College of Nursing in August of 2019, Dr. Bartlett taught for several years and served as Director of the PhD in nursing program for four years at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro.

Dr. Bartlett serves as faculty in CCN and is affiliated with the Alabama Life Research Institute in her role as Lifespan Researcher. In these roles, she will be teaching CCN graduate courses and conducting funded research aligned with the mission of the Life Research Institute and an affiliated research center, the Center for Youth Development and Intervention. Dr. Bartlett will also be providing research mentoring to CCN junior faculty and students.

Dr. Bartlett’s clinical practice experiences in mental health settings inspired her to conduct health disparities research. Her primary research focus has been understanding risky behaviors and their associated prevention measures in a population primarily comprised of minority adolescents, particularly African American and Latinx adolescent girls. Dr. Bartlett takes a special interest in risk and protective factors associated with behavior trajectories, health outcomes, health disparities and parenting. For example, she has conducted intervention studies focused on the prevention of risk behaviors that could lead to negative health outcomes for minority adolescent girls.

Her work at CCN is expanding her health disparities work to younger children and rural-residing Alabamian adolescents. Dr. Bartlett’s research efforts are influenced by her positive approach. She exemplifies this perspective by focusing on strengths of diverse ethnic and cultural groups. She is a proponent for shifting focus from deficit research to preventative and proactive measures in research. Dr. Bartlett is honored to be a part of CCN and Life Research Institute community.

Mumba Awarded NIH Grant to Aid in Reversal of Opioid Crisis

Mercy Mumba - Assistant ProfessorDr. Mercy Mumba, Assistant Professor at the Capstone College of Nursing, grew up in Zambia, where nursing was not a well-respected profession. After moving to the United States, Dr. Mumba earned her Bachelor of Science in Nursing from the University of Texas at Arlington. Only two years after graduating with her BSN, she entered a BSN to PhD program; and four years later she graduated with a PhD from UT Arlington’s College of Nursing and Health Innovation. A passionate researcher, Dr. Mumba has a number of funded grants, most of which concentrate on preventions and treatment of substance abuse disorders and their co-morbid psychiatric mental health conditions.

Dr. Mumba and her team have received notice of an award from the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH) at the NIH for their proposal entitled “A Mindfulness and Peer Mentoring Program to Improve Adherence to Medication Assisted Treatment for Opioid Use Disorders.” This five-year project, funded through The Helping to End Addiction Long-Term (HEAL) Initiative, is the only one funded from the state of Alabama. This award is one of 375 grant awards across 41 states made by the National Institutes of Health in fiscal year 2019 to apply scientific solutions to reverse the national opioid crisis. Below, we asked Dr. Mumba to share some insight into this project.

Please describe the purpose and goal of this project.

The purpose of this project is to improve adherence to medication-assisted therapies for opioid use disorders, such as buprenorphine and methadone, among others by utilizing a combination of mindfulness-based relapse prevention and peer support specialists.  We are also trying to see if this intervention helps with reducing relapse, cravings, depression, anxiety and stress.

What are the plans and goals of each phase of the project?

In Phase 1, we will be piloting the feasibility and acceptability of this new intervention that we developed to see if it works and to see if people with opioid problems think that this is something they can participate in if it was available. We will also be examining the preliminary efficacy of the intervention in decreasing relapse, cravings, depression, anxiety and stress.

Please elaborate on the mentoring aspect of this study. Why mentoring is important to you?

There is a growing body of evidence showing that using peer mentoring in substance use recovery produces better outcomes. This is because patients have an accountability partner as well as a role model to look up to in their sobriety journey. The road to recovery is often difficult and can be lonely. Therefore, utilizing peer mentoring can improve social engagement, reduce isolation and provide a sense of belonging for individuals recovering from addiction.

What does this grant mean to you and your team?

Our team is excited about the opportunity to increase access to evidence-based treatment modalities for individuals with opioid use disorders. Alabama is one of the hardest hit states when it comes to the opioid crisis and yet, we also have serious problems when it comes to access to care. We believe that our grant is providing a much-needed service and has potential to reduce morbidity and mortality related to opioid misuse.

How do you hope this study will inspire or influence other nurses or researchers in the field?

I think this study challenges all of us to look at individuals with opioid use disorder from a holistic perspective. There are many issues that contribute to addiction and substance abuse; however, when we look at treatment options, they sometimes tend to neglect all the other problems that may have contributed to the addiction in the first place. This is why we believe that addressing co-morbid mental health and other psychiatric disorders in this population is an integral part of promoting sustained recovery.

Dr. Mumba is the principal investigator and program director. Her co-investigators include Drs. Andrea Glenn (Psychology), George Mugoya (Educational Counseling), Rebecca Allen (Psychology), David Albright (Social Work), Lori Davis (Tuscaloosa VAMC), Joshua Richman (Tuscaloosa VAMC) and Ms. Austin Butler (Alabama Community Care).

Research reported in this publication was supported by the National Center for Complementary & Integrative Health of the National Institutes of Health under Award Number R61AT010802. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institutes of Health.


CCN’s Dr. Lippe Recognized as Sojourns Scholar

Assistant ProfessorCapstone College of Nursing assistant professor, Dr. Megan Lippe, has been accepted into the sixth cohort of Cambia Health Foundation’s Sojourns® Scholar Leadership Program. The Sojourns Scholar Leadership Program’s purpose is to identify, cultivate and advance the next generation of palliative care leaders. Each Scholar receives funding over a two-year period to conduct a project that will essentially enhance the field of palliative care. Those Scholars also will be mentored in the design and implementation of a development plan that supports their growth as palliative care leaders.

Dr. Lippe is one of 10 selected to help advance the field of palliative care, and she is elated to see her project come to life over the next two years. “I am so honored and humbled to have been selected to be a Sojourn Scholar,” said Dr. Lippe. “I know several past and current scholars, and these amazing individuals have contributed substantially to the advancement of the field of palliative care. As one of the few nurses selected, I am appreciative to Cambia for awarding me this opportunity and I am also excited for the road ahead. My work as a Sojourn Scholar will allow me to make a meaningful impact on the provision of palliative care in Alabama.”

Dr. Lippe’s research focuses on palliative and end-of-life care education. Her passion for palliative care is shown with her project funded by Cambia Health Foundation’s Sojourn Scholar Leadership Program.

In Dr. Lippe’s project, she will mentor two groups of advanced practice registered nurses (APRN): a core group and survey group. Both groups will receive palliative care education through the ELNEC-Graduate curriculum. The project will begin with focus groups within the core group where APRNS will facilitate the identification of factors influencing palliative care provision in rural Alabama. Participants in these focus groups will explore factors influencing provision of palliative care. APRNs will consider difficulties and successes in addressing patients’ needs and improving quality of life. Using focus group results, Dr. Lippe will create an online survey that asks survey group APRNs to rank factors by priority impact on practice.

After the focus groups, Dr. Lippe will hold monthly team meetings with core group APRNs to discuss key issues in palliative care within Alabama, such as current primary palliative care practice and future directions for palliative care within the state. APRNs practicing in rural care settings will have the opportunity to share their perspectives on the provision of palliative care to patients with serious illnesses through a presentation at the November 2021 State Advisory Council on Palliative Care and Quality of Life meeting. They will work as a team to determine the presentation content, delivery mechanism, and distribute portions to all APRNs who will be able to attend the council meeting.

Dr. Lippe is committed to becoming a future palliative care leader by mobilizing APRNs in rural primary care practice settings to serve as leaders and advocates for primary palliative care within their communities and Alabama.

“Alabama ranks as the one of the worst performing states in the provision of palliative care, consistently receiving a D grading on Center to Advance Palliative Care (CAPC) state report cards,” said Dr. Lippe. “The state is mostly rural, and few specialized palliative care clinics or providers are accessible for Alabama residents throughout the state, except near Birmingham. Many patients with serious illness in the state receive their care from APRNs in primary care settings. However, the poor statistics in the state suggest that these APRNs are a currently untapped resource for enhancing the provision of primary palliative care.”

Palliative care education has been and will continue to be Dr. Lippe’s passion. Through this project, she hopes to become a change agent in the field of palliative care by advocating for the need for students and nurses to be educated and competent in providing palliative care to all patients and their families. “I hope this project is just the first step in a long road of advocating for and creating change within the field of palliative care.”

Mumba Awarded NIH Grant to Aid in Reversal of Opioid Crisis

Mercy Mumba: Assistant ProfessorDr. Mercy Mumba, Assistant Professor at the Capstone College of Nursing, and her team have received notice of an award from the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH) at the NIH for their proposal entitled “A Mindfulness and Peer Mentoring Program to Improve Adherence to Medication Assisted Treatment for Opioid Use Disorders.”

This five-year project, funded through The Helping to End Addiction Long-Term (HEAL) Initiative, is the only one funded from the state of Alabama. The trans-NIH research effort aims to improve treatments for chronic pain, curb the rates of opioid use disorder (OUD) and overdose and achieve long-term recovery from opioid addiction.  Phase 1 of the project (R61 phase) is a two-year pilot study to test the feasibility and acceptability of this intervention, and phase 2 (R33 phase) is a three-year clinical trial. The approved budget for Phase 1 is $783,788, and the total budget for the five-year project is $2,793,879. The release of funds for Phase 2 will be contingent upon successful completion of Phase 1. The funded project is summarized below.

There is evidence that combining mindfulness-based interventions and peer recovery support services with medication-assisted therapy (MAT) to treat opioid use disorders (OUD) reduces substance use, cravings, symptoms of depression and anxiety and relapse rates. The intervention can also improve treatment retention and relationships with treatment providers and social supports. The goal of the present study is to determine the effectiveness of a mindfulness-based intervention that also uses peer mentors in addition to professional substance abuse therapists (the Minds and Mentors program [MiMP]) in improving adherence to MAT for OUD and reducing relapse rates in a sample of individuals with OUD. The study hypothesizes that participants in MiMP will demonstrate better adherence; reduced relapse and cravings (primary outcomes measures); reduced depression, anxiety, and stress; improved social support; and reduced cortisol levels and reactivity to drug cues.

Dr. Mumba is the principal investigator and program director. Her co-investigators include Drs. Andrea Glenn (Psychology), George Mugoya (Educational Counseling), Rebecca Allen (Psychology), David Albright (Social Work), Lori Davis (Tuscaloosa VAMC), Joshua Richman (Tuscaloosa VAMC) and Ms. Austin Butler (Alabama Community Care).

This award is one of 375 grant awards across 41 states made by the National Institutes of Health in fiscal year 2019 to apply scientific solutions to reverse the national opioid crisis.

Research reported in this publication was supported by the National Center for Complementary & Integrative Health of the National Institutes of Health under Award Number R61AT010802. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institutes of Health.

Nursing Night at Alabama Baseball – May 10, 2019

Invitation to Nursing Night at Alabama Baseball, May 10, 2019

Join us for Nursing Night at the Joe!

We invite all CCN students, faculty, staff, alums and friends to join us as Alabama Baseball takes on Texas A&M at Sewell-Thomas Stadium!

When: Friday, May 10th at 6 p.m.

Where: Sewell-Thomas Stadium, 241 Paul Bryant Drive

Please purchase your discounted tickets by May 3rd! Your $7 ticket includes your seat, entrance to the CCN tailgate and a gameday buffet! → Promo code: BBNURSING

Contact Rosemary Russell, for more information.

Dr. Marietta Stanton

Dr. Marietta Stanton is a dedicated nurse, nurse educator, researcher, and administrator. She is a Professor at The University of Alabama’s Capstone College of Nursing (CCN) and previously served as its Assistant Dean of the Graduate Programs. Dr. Stanton was instrumental in the implementation of CCN’s graduate programs. She played a primary role in both the Joint Doctor of Nursing Practice program with UAH and UAB, and the Joint Doctor of Education program with UA’s College of Education.

Dr. Stanton spent the early years of her nursing career in service to our country. Commissioned as a Captain in U.S. Army in1977, she served at several military hospitals including Walter Reed Medical Center. She came to Tuscaloosa in 1999 as Commander of the 75th Combat Support Hospital. Dr. Stanton is the recipient of a number of awards and honors including the prestigious Legion of Merit.

Her practice and research address three primary areas: case management, nurse veterans, and nursing practice and education. Dr. Stanton’s expertise in these areas is demonstrated through her extensive body of scientific publications and contributions to books. She has more than 40 years of experience conducting large scale, collaborative training and research projects in civilian and military healthcare systems.

Dr. Stanton is currently working on projects related to post traumatic stress, depression, and other psychological disorders. She is recognized for developing a case management model for providing support to returning reservist soldiers that has been implemented nationwide.

Described as an educator who empowers students to soar to new heights, Marietta Stanton has made a powerful state, national, and international impact on nursing and nursing education.

Dr. Linda Moneyham

Dr. Linda Moneyham has devoted her career to nursing practice, education, and research. She is Senior Associate Dean and Professor in the School of Nursing at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. Her scientific and professional work emphasizes two aims: empowering women with HIV living in rural areas to cope and to develop self-care skills, and mentoring minority and disadvantaged students preparing to become scientific and practice leaders in nursing. Her commitment to these two aims is reflected in her being awarded more than $8M in funding from the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the National Center on Minority Health and Disparities (NCMHD), the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), and the National Institute of Nursing Research (NINR).

Dr. Moneyham has published, as primary or contributing author, more than 100 scientific articles and book chapters. Her dedication to the nursing profession in Alabama was demonstrated through her leadership as Coordinator of the Joint University of Alabama System Doctor of Nursing Practice Program. She has received multiple honors and awards recognizing her work on behalf of nursing research and practice. Dr. Moneyham received the Minority Health Research Award from the Southern Nursing Research Society, and she was named a Top 100 Legacy Leader by the Indiana University School of Nursing. Being awarded the University of Alabama at Birmingham’s Charles Barkley Excellence in Mentoring Award and the Graduate Dean’s Award for Excellence in Mentoring speaks to her commitment to mentoring future nurse practitioners and researchers.

As an intellectual leader in nursing, a highly regarded researcher, and a dedicated mentor, Linda Moneyham has made extraordinary contributions to the nursing profession in Alabama, nationally, and internationally.

Frances Dobynes Ford

Frances Ford has dedicated her life to enhancing and transforming healthcare in Alabama’s Black Belt region. She is a devoted public servant whose nursing training and experiences are foundational to her healthcare advocacy.

Ms. Ford is Executive Director of Sowing Seeds of Hope, a faith-based organization that strives to improve access to quality healthcare for persons living in the Black Belt. She also serves as the Healthcare Coordinator for the Perry County Commission. She works with Perry County elected officials, community leaders, and residents to identify barriers to effective healthcare and to develop and implement solutions to meet healthcare needs. Ms. Ford championed eliminating a state regulation limiting where dialysis centers may be located. She was instrumental in establishing a dialysis center in Perry County. Among other accomplishments, she insures that free healthcare screenings are offered to every child in Perry County, hosts quarterly health fairs in partnership with the Perry County Health Department, and offers monthly diabetic education and support in Perry County through a partnership with Samford University’s McWhorter School of Pharmacy.

Because of her work as a healthcare advocate, she has received multiple awards, including the Courage to Care Award and the Living Legacy Award from Samford University’s Ida V. Moffett School of Nursing. In 2016, she was inducted into the Alabama Healthcare Hall of Fame.

Described as a registered nurse with a missionary’s heart, Frances Ford exemplifies the transformative impact of nurses in the communities in which they live and work.

John G. Beard

John G. Beard has demonstrated a lifetime commitment to healthcare in Alabama, particularly palliative and hospice care. For over 40 years, he has been affiliated with Alacare Home Health and Hospice, where he is chairman and president.

Although not a nurse, he has contributed greatly to the profession of nursing in Alabama through his support of nursing practice and nursing education. Among his many contributions, Mr. Beard is a member of the board of the Alabama Nurses Foundation, which promotes recognition of the nursing profession.

He is a valued partner with nursing education programs throughout Alabama. Mr. Beard was instrumental in forming The University of Alabama Capstone College of Nursing’s Board of Visitors, and has served on that board in multiple capacities. He is a member of the Auburn School of Nursing’s Community Advisory Board, and he is the chair of the school’s Capital Campaign Committee. He also serves on the Community Advisory Board for the Center for Palliative and Supportive Care at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. Through Alacare, Mr. Beard provided funding to support a first ever Nursing Simulation Laboratory at Jacksonville State University. He partners with the Ida V. Moffett School of Nursing at Samford University to provide scholarships for nursing students to attend its Faith Community Nurses Foundations Course.

John Beard has received multiple honors, including the Alabama State Nurses Association’s
D. O. McCluskey Award, all of which demonstrate his tireless efforts on the behalf of nursing and nursing education in Alabama.

UA and UAH introduce state’s first joint Nursing Science Ph.D. program

The University of Alabama (UA) Capstone College of Nursing and The University of Alabama in Huntsville’s (UAH) College of Nursing are pleased to announce a new Nursing Science Ph.D. program. The program will be the first online Nursing Science Ph.D. program in the state of Alabama, and classes will begin summer 2019.

“This joint online program will provide a very flexible and student-friendly option for nurses who want to move into teaching, research, or senior administrative positions. Most nurses who return to graduate school carry a challenging load of responsibilities, including working as a nurse, caring for their families, and going to school. It’s not surprising that online programs are the preferred method for many graduate-level nursing students,” says Dean Suzanne Prevost from UA Capstone College of Nursing.

The program will have the support and resources of UA and UAH, which both have outstanding nursing education programs, high-impact research, and comprehensive student support services. Both Colleges of Nursing received distinction as Centers of Excellence in Nursing Education by the National League for Nursing during the past year. The joint program will increase both institutions’ graduate-level programming and enrollment, while contributing to healthcare delivery and research productivity for the state of Alabama and the nation.

The flexibility of online learning will appeal to nurses throughout the country, who will be prepared upon graduation to educate the next generation of nurses and conduct research that targets rural and medically underserved populations. Graduates will also enjoy an employment advantage in the midst of the national shortage of nursing faculty and nurse researchers.

In addition to nursing research and theory courses, the program will cover a range of topics, such as ethical and legal issues, healthcare policy, epidemiology, statistics, genomics, teaching strategies, informatics, and healthcare technology.

“The UAH College of Nursing is very excited to be partnering with the UA Capstone College of Nursing to deliver a much-needed, high-quality online nursing science Ph.D. program,” says Dr. Marsha Howell Adams, dean of the UAH College of Nursing. “Only 23 percent of the 125 nursing Ph.D. programs in the U.S. are fully online. This program will meet the preferences and needs of a target population focused on an asynchronous delivery model.”

For more information or admission requirements, please contact Vickie Samuel ( or Charles Davis (

CCN selected as NLN Center of Excellence

The University of Alabama Capstone College of Nursing has been chosen as a National League of Nursing Center of Excellence for the 2018-2022 designation period. This designation, announced by NLN on July 24, was given to only 16 nursing programs nationwide.

“Centers of Excellence help raise the bar for all nursing programs by role modeling visionary leadership and environments of inclusive excellence that nurture the next generation of a strong and diverse nursing workforce to advance the health of the nation and the global community,” said NLN CEO Beverly Malone, PhD, RN, FAAN.

CCN is specifically recognized for Advancing the Science of Nursing Education.  The criteria for this designation is based upon research, innovation in curriculum design, enhanced student learning and faculty contributions to the science of nursing education.

“Receiving this designation is a high honor for CCN, as it supports our University and College strategic plans to develop key areas of science and research expertise,” said Dr. Suzanne Prevost, Dean of CCN.

CCN will be formally recognized as a NLN Center of Excellence during the Honors Convocation at the 2018 NLN Education Summit, on September 14 in Chicago. The annual summit draws a capacity crowd of nurse faculty, deans, administrators, and professionals from nursing and allied health organizations across the country.

NLN is the premier organization for nurse faculty and leaders in nursing education, offering professional development, networking opportunities, testing services, nursing research grants, and public policy initiatives to its 40,000 individual and 1,200 institutional members. NLN members represent nursing education programs across the spectrum of higher education, health care organizations, and agencies.

The University of Alabama Capstone College of Nursing prepares graduates for the professional practice of nursing. The college is a national innovator in clinical simulation in nursing education, utilizing simulators and telehealth technology in teaching, research and health care delivery.

Two CCN Faculty Members Secure over $1.8 Million in Grant Funding

Drs. Alice March and Robin Lawson have been awarded over $1.8 million in grant funding for 2018-2019, all benefiting students in Capstone College of Nursing’s graduate programs.

Dr. Alice March has had two U.S. Health Resources and Services Administration’s grant proposals funded. The Scholarships for Disadvantaged Students (SDS) proposal was funded for $600,000 for the coming year, and the Nurse Faculty Loan Program proposal was funded for $526,001. Dr. March received approval for expanded application of the Nurse Faculty Loan Program this year; now these funds will be available to Doctor of Nursing Practice students, as well as Nursing EdD students.

CCN has dubbed its SDS Program “BAMA Tide to Success for MSN Students.” Scholarship money from the program is intended to support eligible master’s level nursing students during completion of the degree, enabling them to provide primary care to rural and underserved populations. CCN’s goals for program outcomes are to increase enrollment of disadvantaged and minority students, increase retention rates for those students, and, ultimately, prepare about 70 primary care nurses for positions in medically underserved and rural communities. The BAMA Tide to Success funding is available in $600,000 increments each academic year to be distributed among scholarship recipients. To qualify for this graduate scholarship, students must be from an underrepresented group including men in nursing, minority racial or ethnic groups, or from disadvantaged backgrounds, either now or in the past. This means that persons who attended a high school with a high rate of free/reduced lunches or had a low graduation rate may qualify. Some amount of financial need should be demonstrated on the FAFSA form, which is required for consideration.

The UA NFLP Supporting Doctorate of Education and Doctor of Nursing Practice project will increase the nursing faculty workforce in Alabama and the US by providing loans to manage the costs of tuition, books, fees, and related expenses for students in the EdD or the DNP programs at UA. The Capstone College of Nursing and College of Education administer a collaborative doctoral program, the EdD in Instructional Leadership for Nurse Educators to prepare nurses for the faculty role. The CCN will offer DNP students two elective courses to prepare them to function as academic nurse educators. Funds will be made available for 56 EdD and 15 DNP students, with each student receiving $4,375.00 per semester for two semesters and $3,250.00 for one semester of the academic year, totaling $12,000.

Read more about Dr. March’s grants here.

Dr. Robin Lawson, Senior Associate Dean of Academic Programs, received notice that her Advanced Nursing Education Workforce proposal submitted to HRSA was approved for funding of $650,896 for 2018-2019 as part of a 2-year award totaling approximately $1,309,988. The purpose of this project, BAMA-Care, is to prepare primary care nurse practitioner (NP) students to practice in rural and underserved settings through targeted academic and clinical training via an enhanced academic-practice partnership (APP) and supplemental ANEW funding. Through ANEW funding, the University of Alabama Capstone College of Nursing will enhance its current APP with Whatley Health Services, Inc. (WHSI), one of the largest Federally Qualified Health Centers in West Alabama, with 16 locations in rural and/or underserved areas. BAMA-Care students enrolled in the MSN Nurse Practitioner Program and Primary Care for Rural Populations will complete longitudinal, immersive clinical experiences with rural and/or underserved populations with preceptors at WHSI practice sites.

Read more about BAMA-Care here.

The University of Alabama Capstone College of Nursing prepares graduates for the professional practice of nursing. The college is a national innovator in clinical simulation in nursing education, utilizing simulators and telehealth technology in teaching, research and health care delivery.