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NP Student Spotlight: Meet Ailish Lynch

Cover Stories NP Students

NP Student Spotlight: Meet Ailish Lynch


During the pandemic, NP students have pressed on to complete their coursework and clinical rotations. Select students stood out to faculty and staff at their universities for their excellent contributions to their communities, schools, fellowships, and projects. This week, Ailish Lynch from Vanderbilt is our first student highlight. Ailish, RN is in her second year in the Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner program in Vanderbilt in Nashville, Tennessee.

Why did you choose to go to NP school? “I chose to attend NP school as I love the patient-centered approach to healthcare that nursing offers as well as the strong emphasis on health promotion and disease prevention. I am grateful to attend a program that focuses on psychotherapy skills along with pharmacology and neuroscience. Additionally, I have always loved solving complex problems and want to be able to utilize the problem-solving skills I have learned throughout my education to help guide patient care decisions in the future. I very feel honored to be a part of the most trusted profession!”

Tell us about your community service, extracurricular, research, or practice/fellowship: “With respect to community service, I have had the privilege of volunteering with Vanderbilt’s Shade Tree Clinic since August of 2019. Shade Tree Clinic is a medical and nursing student-run clinic which provides free care to uninsured individuals throughout Middle Tennessee. Last year, I volunteered regularly throughout the year as a clinic social worker, where my main role was to connect patients with appropriate food, dental, mental health, and housing resources in the community. This year, I am currently the nursing director for the clinic, where I have helped to recruit nursing students for long-year volunteer positions at the clinic, onboarded Family Nurse Practitioner students to serve as clinical students for patient care, and sub directed clinic shifts on a regular basis to help manage patient and volunteer clinic flow!”

What are your future practice goals? “I am still in the process of discerning my practice goals as a PMHNP, but I hope to work with underserved and insured individuals in various settings in the future. I also hope to have strong focus on nutritional interventions and psychotherapy along with psychopharmacology. I currently have a lot of interest in working with women with postpartum depression or substance abuse as well as uninsured or underserved individuals who frequently utilize emergency settings for their mental health care. Regardless, I hope to help drive down costs and utilization of emergency psychiatric treatment for patients and healthcare organizations in the future!”

Congratulations to Ailish in her fantastic accomplishments and contributions to her community this year as an NP student!

Elizabeth Francis, BSN, RN

Emergency Department registered nurse and doctoral student at Duke University, specializing in Psychiatric Mental Health and Addictions.

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