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Sarret Seng, a psychiatric-mental health nurse and University of Kentucky College of Nursing PhD student, is being honored with the APNA Award for Excellence in Practice – RN for her work to positively impact patient care in the work setting. Seng is a practicing psychiatric-mental health nurse, a University of Kentucky College of Nursing PhD student, and a Graduate Research Assistant for the Behavioral Health Wellness Environments for Living and Learning (BH WELL) program. Receiving this award is a milestone in Seng’s career as she works to integrate the practice and academic sides of psychiatric and mental health nursing.

The prestigious award was given to Sarret for her involvement in several projects to enhance engagement in smoking cessation among patients. Dr. Okoli, Professor and Director of BH WELL expounds,

“The APNA Award for excellence in practice recognizes the exceptional dedication of a clinical nurse in caring for vulnerable populations. Sarret is truly deserving of this award for her exemplary service to patients and their families in her role as a psychiatric-mental health nurse at Eastern State Hospital, a State psychiatric facility. In addition to her clinical practice, she continues to be an example to her peers through her educational attainments in the PhD program at the University of Kentucky College of Nursing. Moreover, her burgeoning scholarly endeavors and committed service as the president-elect of the APNA Kentucky chapter further demonstrate her dedication to advancing the profession. We are proud that one of our BHWELL team members is being recognized at the national level for maintaining excellence in her clinical practice, scholarly contributions, and service to psychiatric-mental health nursing!”

The APNA Award for Excellence in Practice – RN will be presented during the Awards Ceremonies on October 19, 2022 as part of the APNA Annual Conference entitled Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurses Activating Our Voices: Who We Are, What We Do, What We Need occurring October 19-22, 2022 in Long Beach, CA. According to the APNA, the Annual Awards recognize APNA members who demonstrate excellence in psychiatric-mental health nursing practice, education, research, leadership, and community efforts.

According to Sarret Seng, this award is a "humbling recognition of the passion I have for improving health outcomes among people living with mental and behavioral health challenges, and motivates me to continue my work as both a psychiatric-mental health nurse clinician and researcher” She wishes to thank her mentor, Dr. Okoli, and the BHWELL team for the opportunity to delve into meaningful interventions for this vulnerable population. These opportunities are especially valuable to me because they provide me with the skills and knowledge needed to further my work." Expectations after being recognized for such an award can be daunting. However, Sarret is excited for the future. “There is still so much to be done to help our patients living with mental and behavioral health challenges. However, it is exciting to be surrounded by such a motivating team that supports me while I pursue a career that will allow me to engage in research to help our patients.”

APNA was founded in 1986 and is now one of the primary professional organizations committed to psychiatric-mental health nursing. The organization promotes practice, wellness, prevention, and care of individuals living with mental health and substance use disorders. Their members include psychiatric-mental health clinicians, advance practice providers, educators, administrators, and leaders.

Learn more about APNA

The BH WELL program was founded by Dr. Chizimuzo Okoli in 2014 to promote behavioral health and wellness among individuals facing behavioral health challenges. The BH WELL team consists of experts in behavioral health integration and change. The BH WELL program also serves as a resource for evidence-based behavioral health practice, programs, and education. Find us @ukbhwell on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.