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.
The schedule of a healthcare professional can be challenging to navigate. Yet, Mara-Joanne Derinor manages to work as a psychiatric-mental health nurse practitioner (PMHNP) while pursuing her Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP), authoring books and more.
Derinor, a resident of Kissimmee, Florida, completed her Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) in the PMHNP FNU program last year and is a member of DNP Class 48, on track to earn her Doctor of Nursing Practice this year.
Through her work as a PMHNP, Derinor evaluates and assesses patients for mental health conditions, prescribes medications, provides education about mental health, and provides therapy and counseling. She works with an underserved population, and many of her patients do not speak English or are bilingual.
“I provide culturally competent care for my community,” she said.
Pursuing a DNP at FNU
Derinor was motivated to pursue her DNP in an effort to improve clinical education. She feels that too often nursing students are not given adequate encouragement in their education.
“I want to be the change that I want to see,” she said. “I remember when my very own nursing professor told me I would not pass my NCLEX. That was very discouraging. I passed my NCLEX on the first try. I want to encourage and motivate future clinical students. I also want to make new discoveries in clinical research.”
Derinor is working on her DNP Quality Initiative which is focused on improving clinical workflow and patient satisfaction.
“I hope to improve quality care and patient satisfaction,” Derinor said.
So far, Derinor said her favorite course in the online DNP program has been the Nurse as Educator course (PC711).
“This is the most interesting course because it was informative and provided opportunities for students to improve their skills as a nurse educator,” she said. “My professor was very supportive of me as a learner. This class allowed me to be creative and explore ways to improve my skills as a nurse educator.”
Derinor said she initially decided to study at FNU after researching universities and online programs. She was impressed by FNU’s reputation. Since then, she said she has enjoyed a welcoming and engaging experience fostered by FNU faculty and peers.
“One of the best decisions ever,” she said.
Outside of her work and studies, Derinor is an author, motivational speaker, dancer, and director.
She has published four books, including three children’s books and one book of poetry, and has participated in poetry competitions nationwide. In her free time, she enjoys cooking, traveling, and going to the beach.
“I started a book reading program in 2020 where I partner with schools, after school programs, and summer programs to read to the children and educate the children about mental health and the writing process,” said Derinor.
Thank you, Mara-Joanne, for choosing FNU in your path to improve clinical education and provide mental health care for underserved populations.
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