At the heart of Frontier Nursing University is a talented and diverse community of students, alumni, faculty, staff, Couriers and preceptors. Spotlight blogs feature members of our FNU community that are focused on the mission of educating nurse-midwives and nurse practitioners to deliver quality health care to underserved and rural populations.
Frontier Nursing University (FNU) alumni Stacey Eason, ARPN, CNM, PMHNP-BC, earned her Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) in Nurse-Midwifery in 2019. During her clinicals as a CNM student, she recognized the lack of care options for perinatal mental health. That’s when she decided to return to FNU to earn her Post-Graduate Certificate in the Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (PMHNP) program, which she received earlier this year.
Now, Eason uses both of these certifications from FNU in her career. A resident of Wichita, Kansas, Eason currently serves as both a CNM and a PMHNP at South Central Kansas Medical Center in Arkansas City, Kansas. She has been in this role since January.
“Family medicine providers have really done the best they can to care for the mental health needs of this community,” she said. “Many of the providers have expressed gratitude to have a psych-specialized provider available to care for the patients in this community.”
As a CNM, Eason works with two fellow FNU graduates, Tarena Sisk and Jamie Harrington. Much of Eason’s midwifery practice has been focused on perinatal mood and anxiety disorders.
Eason said her experience in midwifery has been beneficial when it comes to providing psychiatric care.
“As midwives, we see people at their most vulnerable place, and lift them into one of their greatest accomplishments,” she said. “Caring for people in dark mental health spaces is similar. They come to me at their most vulnerable, and as we work together, they are able to experience accomplishments they didn’t think possible.”
“As midwives, we see people at their most vulnerable place, and lift them into one of their greatest accomplishments…Providing compassionate, non-judgmental care allows people to feel safe in seeking care for both mental health needs and substance use needs.”
– Stacey Eason, ARPN, CNM, PMHNP-BC, FNU Alumnus
Eason’s patient population is largely rural and lower-income, with a prevalence of substance abuse in the community.
“Providing compassionate, non-judgmental care allows people to feel safe in seeking care for both mental health needs and substance use needs,” she said.
Eason was initially inspired to earn her MSN from FNU because a co-worker was attending the university. She said though she had the option to earn her MSN locally, FNU appealed to her because of the emphasis on out-of-hospital births in the program.
“I decided then, that if I ever made it to the point of being able to pursue my midwifery dreams, it would be with FNU,” she said. “It was the only school I applied to, and I was originally waitlisted. What a relief, with just four short weeks before Frontier Bound, to be offered a seat in class 163!”
Though Eason initially was only interested in becoming a CNM, she said she was inspired to pursue a degree in psych upon recognizing the need for mental health services among women during her Community-Based Nurse-Midwifery Education Program clinicals.
“Way back in that first nursing program I attended, I swore I’d never do psych nursing,” she said. “And here I am, living in that rare place where I am passionate and fulfilled by my career.”
Thank you, Stacey, for using your knowledge as both a CNM and a PMHNP to provide compassionate care for underserved patients in your community. We are proud that you chose to study at FNU on two occasions throughout your journey.
Eason has seven children and four grandchildren. She enjoys playing Dungeons & Dragons and listening to audiobooks. She particularly seeks out authors of color, in particular, women and nonbinary authors. She describes herself as actively anti-racist and a strong advocate for LGBTQIA+ and BIPOC rights and for reductions in health disparities.