My Curriculum Vitae

Objectives, Education, and Psychiatric-Mental Health Interests

Objectives

I am a highly motivated doctorally prepared advanced practice provider with a certification in the treatment of substance use disorders (CARN-AP). I am currently practicing in the behavioral health/substance use disorder field. I use my skills, talents, and experience in behavioral health to improve health outcomes for clients, and further the mission of the organization. I plan to advocate for positive change in the behavioral healthcare industry, and advance legislation that positively impacts those with whom I work.

Education

Graduate:

Rutgers University, Newark, NJ

Doctor of Nursing in Psychiatric – Mental Health

Date of graduation: May, 2018

Doctoral project: “Barriers to and facilitators of initiation and retention in behavioral health services in Cape May County, New Jersey”

Faculty Advisor: Dr. Barbara Caldwell

Mentor: Dr. Robyn Begley

Member of Sigma Theta Tau - Alpha Tau Chapter

GPA: 3.78


Undergraduate:

Rutgers University, Camden, NJ

Bachelor of Science in Nursing

Date of graduation: May 2014

GPA: 3.5


Atlantic Cape Community College, Mays Landing, NJ

Associates in Applied Science in Nursing

Date of Graduation: May 2008

Member of Phi Theta Kappa Honors Society

Student Nurses Association, Vice-President

Graduate project: Lower Township Community Health Fair

GPA: 3.7

Psychiatric-Mental Health Interests

  • The role of psychosocial and biological characteristics in the engagement and retention in behavioral health care

  • The implementation of effective interventions to combat addiction and co-occurring disorders

  • The role of community support services in preventing all-cause hospital readmission for persons diagnosed with a behavioral health disorder

  • The effectiveness of current practices on clients with behavioral health disorders

  • Most effective strategies for integrated primary care practices

  • Advocating for policy change that will positively impact the state of the American behavioral health system

 

Experience

Program assistant and policy and procedure author

  • Reviewed all local, state, and federal policies and guidelines and authored a complete policy and procedure manual

  • Worked with state officials to ensure compliance with regulations

  • Initiated professional relationships with pharmacies, laboratories, medical supply companies, and organizational leadership to meet the needs of the clients served

  • Reallocated existing office space to accommodate program needs

  • Authored job descriptions for available staff positions

  • Reviewed applicants and participated in the hiring process of new staff

Psychiatric home care nurse

  • Engaged leadership to discuss the gap in services for psychiatric home care clients

  • Advocated for a psychiatric home care nursing position within the home care setting

  • Reviewed federal Medicare guidelines related to psychiatric nursing services

  • Provided staff orientation related to the unique role of the psychiatric nurse on the home care team

  • Authored a psychiatric nursing intake assessment to be completed on all clients eligible for psychiatric home care services

  • Initiated therapeutic relationships with home care clients

  • Assessed home care clients for psychiatric needs and formulated psychiatric home care treatment plans with the clients to meet identified needs

  • Regularly engaged clients in the home care setting for psychiatric nursing interventions including disease process education, medication education, enhancing coping skills, minimizing body image disturbances, acceptance of active disease processes, fostering positive self-esteem, end of life education, moving through the stages of change (as described by Prochaska and DiClemente) through the use of motivational interviewing

  • Initiated professional relationships with providers

  • Advocated for clients with providers to consider prescribing or changing existing medication regimens

Community psychiatric nurse

  • Engaged leadership to discuss needs for psychiatric nursing services in the community setting

  • Shaped the role of the psychiatric nurse within the multidisciplinary team for two distinct programs [Residential Intensive Support Team (RIST) and Supportive Housing – Conditional Extension Pending Placement (SH-CEPP)]

  • Provided staff orientation related to the role of the community psychiatric nurse

  • Authored a psychiatric nursing intake assessment to be completed on all clients participating in program services

  • Initiated therapeutic relationships with clients in their homes

  • Assessed clients for psychiatric needs and worked with clients to formulate treatment plans to meet identified needs

  • Accompanied clients to psychiatric, medical, and specialty appointments

  • Advocated for client’s medical and psychiatric needs

  • Supported clients through medical procedures and treatments for various diseases including cancer, Hepatitis, and HIV

  • Served as a birthing coach for a client

  • Assisted with removing psychosocial barriers to engaging and remaining in psychiatric and medical treatment

  • Assisted clients with connecting to available community resources to assist in enhancing self-esteem, fostering independence, and increasing self-sufficiency

  • Supervised two Bachelor’s level community health nurses from Stockton University over the span of 3 semesters

Substance use disorder nurse

  • Performed initial head to toe assessments of clients being admitted to the facility (including obtaining CLIA waived drug screenings, breathalyzer administration, and drawing relevant lab work)

  • Safely administered medications per established detoxification protocols for alcohol, opiates, and benzodiazepines

  • Made decisions regarding treatment plans relating to direct care of patients under my supervision

  • Completed Clinical Institute for Withdrawal from Alcohol (CIWA) and Clinical Opiate Withdrawal Scale (COWS) assessment scales in order to measure effectiveness of treatment interventions

  • Participated in treatment plan meetings in order to coordinate care with other departments involved in client’s care

  • Utilized therapeutic communication to establish a rapport with the client

  • Advocated for clients under my care to ensure that their medical and biopsychosocial needs were being met while receiving treatment in the facility

Other Experience - Nurse Practitioner Internship

  • Served in the capacity of nurse practitioner intern for a partial care program that provided group and individual psychotherapy services in addition to psychiatric provider services for 135 clients

  • Completed psychiatric intake assessments and medication management appointments for clients

  • Initiated individual and group psychotherapy sessions for clients with multiple levels of functioning

  • Organized a lab fair at which clients could receive labwork to foster wellness and to assess for metabolic syndrome or abnormalities related to their medication regimen

 

Publications

Austin, C. (2017, November). Advice for Surviving the DNP Program – The Humoristic Perspective. Outcomes, 3(11).              Retrieved from http://dnpconferenceaudio.s3.amazonaws.com/OUTCOMES_V03N11_Nov2017.pdf 

 

Professional Presentations

"Addiction: Understanding and Treating the Beast"

Geisinger Advanced Practice Nursing Conference

Danville, PA
Presented October 25, 2019

"Assessment of and Interventions for Suicidal Patients in the Ambulatory Setting"

AtlantiCare Advanced Practice Provider Nursing Conference

Pomona, NJ
Presented November 25, 2019

"Assessment and Management of the Suicidal Patient in the Outpatient Setting"

Rutgers University School of Social Work Interprofessional Day of Learning - Mays Landing, NJ

Mays Landing, NJ
Presented March 6, 2020

"Assessment of and Interventions for Suicidal Patients in the Ambulatory Setting"

Forum of Nurses in Advanced Practice (FNAP) of the New Jersey State Nurses Association (NJSNA) Education Day

Virtual Conference
Presented November 12, 2020

 

Community Service

Walk co-chair

Work with the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention to organize a community walk that raised over $125,000 in 2021 for suicide prevention and awareness

Shelter nurse

Volunteered as an emergency shelter nurse for the Lower Township Rescue Squad on four occasions – two hurricanes and two emergency snow storms

Volunteer Coordinator

Assist the Lower Township Rescue Squad in securing volunteers for the collection and distribution of food and holiday food baskets for their community food pantry

 

Additional Education, Certifications, and Skills

Additional education and certifications

Board certified in advanced practice substance use disorder treatment - October 2020 - present

Board certified Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner - July 2018 - current

Certification in Pediatric Nursing – November 2010 – current

Completion of ASAM’s “Addressing Addiction Issues Among Veterans” webinar

Completion of “Ambulatory Withdrawal Management for Medical Personnel” webinar

AANP Buprenorphine Waiver Training (24 hours) – completed 5/9/17

        *successful completion of this waiver course permits the licensed nurse practitioner to sit for the Buprenorphine waiver exam

American Heart Association – BLS for Healthcare Providers

Annual Non-Violent Crisis Prevention Intervention training

Chronic Disease Symptom Management Program (CDSMP) certified

Completion of “Sugar Shack” Diabetes management training


Computer skills

  • Microsoft Word

  • Microsoft Outlook

  • Microsoft Powerpoint

  • Avatar and Powerchart electronic medical records

 

Honors, Awards, and Professional Organization Affiliation

Honors and awards

  • Commendation from the mayor for volunteer work at an emergency shelter during a blizzard in 2010

  • Mayoral recognition for volunteer work at an emergency shelter during Hurricane Sandy – December, 2012

  • Customer Service Award for January – June 2014 – AtlantiCare Behavioral Health

  • Stanley S. Bergen Medal of Excellence recipient - May 2018 - Rutgers University

  • Customer Service Award for 2018 - AtlantiCare Behavioral Health

  • Lori S. Herndon Award 2020 (AtlantiCare Nurses Week iCARE Excellence Award)

Professional organization affiliation

  • American Psychiatric Nurses Association – current member

  • American Nurses Association – current member

  • New Jersey State Nurses Association – current member

  • Forum of Nurses in Advanced Practice of the New Jersey State Nurses Association - current member

  • International Nurses Society on Addiction - current member

  • Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society of Nursing - Alpha Tau Chapter - current member

  • American Society of Addiction Medicine - current member

  • American Association for the Advancement of Science - current member