PHOTO: Samantha Weaver

Samantha Weaver

Samantha Weaver is the recipient of the Lucy C. Perry National Education Fund (NEF) Scholarship. Ms. Weaver attained her Bachelor of Science degree in Nursing from the University of Alabama in 2000 where she also completed the Veteran’s Affairs Valor Nursing Internship in mental health. She attained her Master of Science degree in Nursing from The University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) in 2012 where she also completed a year-long traineeship with the UAB Pediatric Pulmonary Center (PPC). Her PPC team were poster winners in the 2012 UAB Simpson-Ramsay Neurodevelopment Symposium, “The Role of Insurance Status in the Perception of Family-Centered Care in Children with Special Health Care Needs,” predicated on data from the 2009-2010 National Survey of Children with Special Health Care Needs.

Ms. Weaver holds a Neuroscience Nursing Certification (CNRN) from the American Board of Neuroscience Nursing (ABNN). Since 2012 she has built a successful practice managing pediatric epilepsy, headache, and neuromuscular disease with a focus on multidisciplinary coordination and family-centered education. She has been involved as co-PI or coordinator for several on-site pharmaceutical trials and the development of orphan-drug protocols targeting neurologic diseases such as Niemann-Pick type C, Batten’s disease, and Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy. She received the Children’s of Alabama's highest Clinical Nursing Excellence award in both 2020 and 2021.

Since 2013, Ms. Weaver has served as an Adjunct Instructor for the UAB School of Nursing pre-licensure program and as a clinical mentor for UAB nurse practitioner students. She has lectured locally, nationally, and internationally on pediatric epilepsy and migraine. Early scholarly interests included the correlation of chronic migraine and mental health with Adverse Childhood Event (ACE) scoring, leading to a standardized placement of pediatric safety and depression screening in her practice. She is a co-author of the 2021 “Brain MRI White Matter Hyperintensities in Cyclic Vomiting Syndrome with or without Migraine” and 2019 “Pediatric Migraine Action Plan (PedMAP),” encouraging community awareness and school support for children suffering from chronic headache and migraine.

A strong interest in student and community engagement culminated in her pursuit of a Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) degree at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. Ms. Weaver is soon to graduate in 2022. Her DNP scholarly project recognizes the decline in mental health among nursing staff amidst the COVID-19 pandemic and is titled “Modulating Stress Among Hospital Staff in a Rural Health Setting Utilizing the Community Resiliency Model.”

In addition to her academic and professional accomplishments, Ms. Weaver has served on her state chapter board of the National Association of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners (NAPNAP) for the last two years. She also serves on several hospital, academic, and national committees for Children’s of Alabama, UAB, and the Association of Child Neurology Nurses (ACNN). Her current volunteer work includes GED tutoring for homeless men and women. She recently spearheaded a children’s summer book drive for a local Birmingham family shelter.

Ms. Weaver’s DNP program has provided a foundation in evidenced-based practice, interpretation of research, and leadership that continues to influence her clinical care, student mentorship, and professional development today. Her scope of interest in community and public health has widened. She is currently building a portfolio to pursue an Advanced Clinical Genomics Certification from the International Society of Nurses in Genetics (ISONG) and hopes to mentor others on the importance of this new phase of medicine and practice. She extends sincere thanks to the NEF and the Perry W Miller and Lucy Compton Miller Scholarship Fund for their financial support which will be essential in completing her scholarly work and degree.

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