Monica's Psych Nursing Story

Monica LeveretteThis month, we hear from Army Reserve Nurse Monica Leverette:

"I am going on my 20th year as a reservist and want to continue to serve my country and fellow soldiers who seek medical attention for mental health."

My story begins in Baghdad, Iraq. As a member of the United States Army Reserve Nurse Corp., I was deployed to Iraq from 2010-2011. Our mission was Detainee Operations.

There was a total of 73 soldiers who deployed with me. Our mission was to provide medical care to the detainees and to all the soldiers on the Forward Operating Base (FOB). My Commander at the time was given the task of initiating a Behavioral Health Advocate Team. The duties of this team were to identify and assess any soldier who was exhibiting any type of stress or mental health behaviors. As one of the leaders, I volunteered for this team. We had several young soldiers on this deployment and me, being a mother, wanted to ensure the younger soldiers that I was there for them in the absence of their mothers or sisters or whoever was their mentor. We received training from a Senior Officer who was an expert in Mental Health. This group met on a monthly basis and gave a report to the Commander and the Chaplain of any soldiers whom we identified as possibly needing follow up care with the Behavioral Health Unit that was on the FOB. Members of this group did assist several soldiers who were having some mental health issues.

When I returned home, I wanted to continue learning about mental health and applied for a job with Baker College as a clinical instructor for 4th year nursing students in their mental health rotation. I truly enjoy working with this population of people. Because I want to make a difference in the lives of people with mental health issues/disorders, I enrolled in graduate school to pursue a degree as a Family Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (FMHNP). I am in my 3rd year now with graduation right around the corner (December, 2014). My goal is to work at one of the Veteran Administration (VA) Hospitals providing care for my fellow comrades. I am going on my 20th year as a reservist and want to continue to serve my country and fellow soldiers who seek medical attention for mental health.

Since submitting her story, Monica has graduated with her Doctorate of Nursing Practice (DNP) with two concentrations. She is now a Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner and Adult-Geriatric Primary. She is looking forward to taking her boards and defending her Clinical Scholarly Project in the future.

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