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 who are focused on the mission of educating nurse-midwives and nurse practitioners to deliver quality healthcare to underserved and rural populations.
April Haneline, Frontier Nursing University (FNU) Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (PMHNP) student, has worked in nearly every setting as a nurse. Two years ago, she decided to advance her career by pursuing her Master’s of Science in Nursing (MSN) in FNU’s Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP) program. Shortly after starting at FNU, Haneline moved back home to rural Murray, Ky., and decided to switch programs after recognizing the lack of mental health providers, especially for queer people in Western Kentucky.
“I chose Frontier for its reputation and for its focus on underserved, rural communities,” Haneline said. “It fits where I’m from and where I want to be.”
“I chose Frontier for its reputation and for its focus on underserved, rural communities.”
– April Haneline, PMHNP Student
Currently, Haneline is working to wrap up her clinical experience. Haneline has worked with the same preceptor in three different settings – community mental-health, a therapist-led practice, and now a private practice.
“It has been very educational to see the different settings, but also to see how the different settings have affected my preceptor’s practice,” Haneline said.
It was important to Haneline to find a preceptor in an open environment who would be welcoming, supportive and affirming who was also willing to teach. She found just that in Dr. JJ Cansler, an FNU alumni and Regional Clinical Faculty.
After graduation, Haneline plans to continue practicing with Dr. Cansler at Cansler Health and hopes to help grow the new practice, serve the queer community, and work with the local university to provide for the mental health needs they may have.
“I’m so happy doing what I’m doing,” Haneline said.
Beyond making a difference in her community within a private practice, Haneline also decided to answer the call for more diverse representation in her community by running for city council.
Haneline hopes that with her progressive way of thinking, she may be able to help push some progessive initiatives forward within her community and be the voice for those who don’t always feel a sense of belonging within the community. She also hopes, if elected, to address mental health and health prognosis issues that are within the community and to address equity within her hometown.
“Health, equity and belonging, those are my reasons for running for city council,” Haneline said. “I never felt like I belonged here and I know that there are countless other people that are from here that don’t feel like they belong here and feel like they have to go somewhere else.”
Haneline is active in diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) work at FNU and will use that not only in her practice, but also as a person running for local office and getting more involved in other local organizations that fit her personal mission and goals.
“Those experiences absolutely have allowed me to be like, ‘okay April, you do have a voice and you can use it here’,” Haneline said. “If I didn’t have that FNU work with the Office of DEI, I don’t think I would have been nearly as primed and ready to step forward into this role in the community and to be doing this.”
Despite FNU being a leading distance-education institution, there are many ways our students can get involved like April.
“I encourage people, no matter where they are at, to get involved as much as they can, even though it’s an online institution,” Haneline said.
Thank you, April, for living out FNU’s mission by providing equitable care to those living in a rural community and serving the marginalized people.
If you are interested in pursuing your Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) or a Post-Graduate Certificate (PGC) in psychiatric-mental health at a top ranked online university, visit our website to learn more about our PMHNP program.