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11 earn Doctor of Nursing Practice degrees from WSSU

WSSU's Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) 2017-18 graduates (top row, from left): Darren T. Absher, Rebecca Akhama, Freda Clark Cowan, Katrina Davis, and Ishmael Hayfron. Second row (from left): Adebimpe A. Olofintuyi, Yvonne Verla Tah, Kelechi C. Uwakwe, and Sherrika L. Walton. (Not pictured: Rhonda Lavern Ross Robinson and Ronda Wright)

Meet the Winston-Salem State University (WSSU) Division of Nursing’s newest doctors.

These 11 nurse scholars have earned their Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) and will receive their hoods during the 2018 Commencement Ceremony on May 18.

Of the graduates, five were born outside the United States, and nine earned a previous nursing degree from WSSU. Each graduate's final project focused on areas of healthcare disparities, a focus of WSSU's School of Health Sciences and the university’s strategic plan.

  • Darren T. Absher, of Lewisville, received his BSN from WSSU in 1994. He also holds a bachelor’s in biology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and a master's in nursing from Old Dominion University. Final project: “Evaluating Interprofessional Integration of a Nurse Practitioner in a Community Health Clinic for Hispanic/Latino Patients.” 
  • Rebecca Akhama, a native of Kenya, received her BSN from WSSU in 2014. She currently lives in Holly Springs. Final project: “Effectiveness of using a live tailored telephone intervention in improving blood pressure control for African American Adult.”
  • Freda Clark Cowan, a native of Lenoir, earned her bachelor’s degree from Western Carolina University and her master’s degree from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. Final project: “Perceived Health Related Quality of Life in Heart Failure Patients Waiting for Advanced Medical Therapies.”
  • Katrina Davis, a native of Winston-Salem, earned her BSN from WSSU in 2007. Final project: "A Text Messaging Intervention to Improve Self-Management of African-American Males with Heart Failure.”
  • Ishmael Hayfron, a native of Ghana, earned his BSN from WSSU in 2014 (RN-BSN). Final project: “Effectiveness of Text Messaging on Physical Activity & Hemoglobin A1c of Black Men with Type 2 Diabetes."
  • Adebimpe A. Olofintuyi, a native of Nigeria, also earned her BSN from WSSU. She lives in Greensboro. Final project: “Examining a Text Message Intervention to Promote Physical Activity in African-American College Students.”
  • Rhonda Lavern Ross Robinson, a native of Shelby, will become a triple Ram. She earned her BSN from WSSU in 2006 (RN-BSN) and her master’s in 2016 (Family Nurse Practitioner). Final project: "Examining the Health Behaviors and Perception of Cardiovascular Disease Risk in Black College Students.'
  • Kelechi C. Uwakwe, a native of Nigeria, earned his BSN from WSSU in 2011 (RN-BSN). He lives in Wake Forest. Final project: “Depression Screening and Management Protocol for Rural Adult Women in a Nurse Practitioner Owned and Managed Primary Care Clinic.”
  • Yvonne Verla Tah is a native of Cameroon. She earned her BSN from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. She lives in Harrisburg. Final project: “Effectiveness of Evidence-based Discharge Planning at Preventing 30-day Readmission in Stroke Patients.”
  • Sherrika L. Walton, a native of Charlotte, earned her BSN from WSSU in 2014 (RN-BSN). Final project: “Evaluating Centering Group Prenatal Care in Rural Women with Low Socioeconomic Status to Promote Access to Care and Improve Pregnancy Outcomes.”
  • Ronda Wright, earned her Master of Science in Nursing from WSSU. Final project: "A Study Examining the Relationship between Perceived Stress, Blood Pressure and Mindfulness in a HBCU Health Education Course."

The DNP program, one of two doctoral programs at WSSU, launched in 2013. It prepares nurses to become clinical leaders in healthcare and academic settings and to implement evidence-based healthcare practice.

WSSU offers one of the largest and most comprehensive nursing programs in North Carolina. For more information, please visit the Division of Nursing website.

Note: This is one of a series of articles highlighting WSSU's Class of 2018. 

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