Kati Wijdenes, a psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner student pursuing her Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) degree online through the University of Arizona College of Nursing, is one of only 10 graduate students nationwide to be awarded the 2015 American Psychiatric Nurses Association (APNA) Board of Directors Student Scholarship.
Each year, this scholarship is awarded to 10 graduate and 10 undergraduate students whose achievements exemplify their commitment to psychiatric mental health nursing. The program is designed to encourage professional growth of these future leaders and to cultivate talent within the psychiatric mental health nursing workforce.
“Kati is a bright, motivated graduate student with unlimited leadership potential as a psychiatric mental health, advanced practice nurse,” said Dr. Pamela Lusk, clinical associate professor at the UA College of Nursing. “Through her work as an emergency department nurse, Kati has interfaced with all age groups among the diverse populations here in Arizona and has seen the needs of families at their most vulnerable times, which has shaped her professional goals.”
Wijdenes, who lives in Mesa, Ariz., is also a recipient of the Armed Forces Health Professions Scholarship from the U.S. Air Force. She is commissioned as a second lieutenant in the Medical Service Corps and will serve as an active-duty member of the Air Force for at least three years upon completion of her degree this December.
“The military is just starting to recognize the importance of treating the psychological effects of being in a war zone and being a service member,” said Wijdenes, whose family has a strong tradition of military service. “There are a lot of opportunities for research and to serve and treat military personnel who are coming back from war zones and reintegrating into society and life with their families. I have the opportunity to shape how that care is given.”
The APNA is a national organization dedicated to the specialty practice of psychiatric mental health nursing and wellness promotion, prevention of mental health problems and the care and treatment of persons with psychiatric disorders. Each scholarship recipient will receive registration, travel and hotel accommodations to the APNA 29th Annual Conference this October, as well as one year of complimentary APNA membership.
Faculty at the University of Arizona College of Nursing envision, engage and innovate in education, research and practice to help people of all ages optimize health in the context of major life transitions, illnesses, injuries, symptoms and disabilities. Established in 1957, the college ranks among the top nursing programs in the United States. For more information: www.nursing.arizona.edu