LPSF Scholars Profile: Emma Oswald
Emma Oswald, DNP, PMHNP-BC, RN received a Lois Price Spratlen Foundation Scholarship in 2016. We caught up with Emma to find out how she is doing and what receiving a Foundation scholarship has meant to her.
Emma graduated from Seattle University’s Masters of Science in Nursing -APNI (Advance Practice Nursing Immersion) program in 2017 and Seattle University’s Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) program in 2018. “We leaned on each other a lot,” Emma said of her cohort. “We still keep in touch. I had a wonderful experience at Seattle U., and I’m really grateful for that.”
At The Everett Clinic, where she has practiced since 2017, Emma focuses on Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, working with children, adolescents, and young adults with ADHD, disruptive behaviors, mood disorders, anxiety, OCD, PTSD, autism spectrum disorders, and depression. Other areas of interest for her are transgender care and performance and sports psychology.
“From my early psychology courses in undergrad, and again through my DNP research project on Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs), I learned about the impact of being a supportive figure in a child’s life and how this can mitigate the effects of childhood adversity - whether it’s a teacher, a coach, school nurse, a grandparent or another adult in that child’s life – that person can act as a buffer against high stress, instability, and trauma. Someone who allows a child to feel heard, to validate their feelings, and to be there for them. I always keep that with me in my work- we know (from research) that simply having the presence of a nurturing, stable, safe adult – who is consistent, supportive, and predictable, can make a huge impact for a child.”
Transitioning from student to practitioner is challenging, so she relies upon the wisdom of her mentors. “I try to remember, as Dr. [Janiece] DeSocio said to us in class—and I always quote her on this— that even ‘listening is an intervention’, and sometimes that’s all someone needs- the power of being present for another person.”
Being recognized by the Lois Price Spratlen Foundation with a scholarship meant more to Emma than just financial assistance.
“What I think is different about the Lois Price Spratlen Foundation is that this foundation has always felt like more of a family. From the [donor event] barbecues to the Galas, you are able to connect with seasoned PMHNPs who can provide guidance and support to you as a new career nurse practitioner. I try to remember that being a scholarship recipient means that people believe in you and that you have professional support to fall back on.
“It’s so huge, what [Lois] believed in and what she stood for. I think that new grads often feel isolated, and are not really involved in their professional organizations. They don’t know that they have resources they can call upon from other established practitioners. This is why the LPSF is meaningful for me because it is a group of experienced mental health nurses, nurse practitioners, and nurse leaders, who have supported my career development and can provide a community of engagement, education, and support beyond my years in school.”