Frontier Nursing University (FNU) alumna Marli Parobek, MS, APRN, FNP-C, PMHNP-C, noticed a growing need for better mental healthcare in her community and rose to meet the challenge.
Marli graduated from FNU in June 2018 as part of the first class of the Psychiatric-Mental Health NP post-graduate certificate.
A resident of her hometown, Yakima, Wa., Marli has been a nurse practitioner for 14 years. She is currently head of the inpatient psychiatric unit at Astria Toppenish Hospital, where her focus is mainly on voluntary and involuntary inpatient psychiatry, medical withdrawal and detox.
Yakima is a town in rural eastern Washington, a largely agricultural community. Much of the population is made up of minority races and, as is common in rural, blue-collar communities, struggles with poverty and substance abuse are prevalent.
Marli and the Astria psychiatric unit received federal and state grants to implement their psychiatric and detox programs, allowing them to offer a service that had previously not existed in eastern Washington.
The voluntary detox program for alcohol and opiate addicts is 3-5 days of 24/7 nursing care in the hospital. Marli prescribes detox medications and performs psychiatric evaluations for these patients until they are discharged to outpatient detox programs.
Marli’s unit also offers an involuntary inpatient suboxone program for psychiatric conditions such as schizophrenia and severe bipolar disorder. The program offers secure, lock-down units and is staffed with chemical dependency therapists and social workers who offer individual and group therapy.
On Thursdays, Marli also does outpatient work with teens and other patients on the nearby Yakama Indian Reservation.
Marli chose to pursue the PMHNP degree to take her career to the next level. “I was a family nurse-practitioner for twelve years and I enjoyed it, but I started to feel too comfortable and wasn’t being challenged,” she said. “I also saw a lot of mental illness and felt ill-prepared to address the issue correctly with only an FNP degree.”
One of Marli’s biggest takeaways from her time in the PMHNP program was the importance of evidence-based practice as really the only way to offer proper care. “Now I know what I didn’t know!” she said.
The personalized support she received at FNU really impressed Marli, and now she is enrolled in the Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) program. “I love how FNU really wants their students to succeed,” she said. “Now the addition of a doctorate degree will set me apart personally and professionally.”
We are proud of Marli for continuing to challenge herself to increase the quality and scope of care she offers. Thank you for representing FNU well!