University of Mobile’s New Family Nurse Practitioner Program Graduates First Class

Kathy Dean News

MOBILE, Ala. – One group of University of Mobile students made history recently when they became the first to graduate from the university’s new Master of Science in Nursing – Family Nurse Practitioner program.

The 16 new family nurse practitioners received diplomas during fall semester 2018 commencement on Dec. 15. At a dinner celebration the night before, several earned awards and all were honored for their accomplishments.

“Not only is this an historic moment in the life of University of Mobile, but also for our community, as these advanced practice nurses enter the workforce using the knowledge and skills they gained to improve patient care,” said Rita Croom, dean of the College of Health Professions and assistant vice president for academic partnerships.

The Christian university has added a number of new healthcare degree programs in the past two years, including the Doctor of Nursing Practice. A centerpiece of the expanded healthcare programs is the new state-of-the-art Center for Excellence in Healthcare Practice that provides students with innovative technology and patient simulation labs to enhance learning.

“I am personally honored and humbled to be included in the first graduating class in the Family Nurse Practitioner Program at University of Mobile,” said Deanna Montieth. “Completing this degree has been an answer to prayer. I know with God’s blessing and help, I will be successful and will be forever grateful for this opportunity, and will use my advanced nursing skills to make a difference in this community.”

Montieth received the Highest G.P.A. award. Rhonda Foles was named Outstanding Leader and Ashley Acosta was named Outstanding Clinician.

Africa Todd said she has a sense of gratitude and joy upon completing the program.

“During this process I have grown so much as a student, a mother, a friend and a Christian. Words cannot begin to express the gratitude and joy that I have. I am so blessed, and I thank God every day for the growth and opportunity He has given me. I want this degree to bring Him glory and honor,” Todd said.

Sallyanna Sylveria had just completed a Bachelor of Science in Nursing at UM and was ready to start her career as a registered nurse when the university was enrolling the first MSN – FNP class.

“It was obvious the good Lord above had different plans for my life, as things quickly aligned and fell into place,” she said. “As a single mom of two, this program is giving my children a brighter future, as well as giving me an opportunity to live out my dream.”

Charisse Johnson-Smith said the program brought her more than a degree.

“This experience may have started out to provide a better life for my family, but along the way, the assignment became greater. I am a living witness. Trust God, and anything is possible,” Johnson-Smith said.

The inaugural class of family nurse practitioners includes: Ashley Acosta of Mobile; Cameka Evans of Mobile; Rhonda Foles of Saucier, MS; Ashley Hughes of Prichard, AL;  Chastity Huguley of Mobile; Stacey Lanham of Bay Minette, AL: John Loper of Lincoln, AL; Deanna Montieth of Dauphin Island, AL; Nakia Rankin of Mobile; Sallyanna Silveria of St. Stephens, AL; Charisse Smith of Mobile; Africa Todd of Phenix City, AL; Tiffany Waugh of Eastaboga, AL; Sarah West of Mobile; Anganatte Williams of Mobile; and Amelia Williamson of Mobile.

For more about the College of Health Professions and degree programs, visit umobile.edu/healthcare or call Enrollment Services at 251.442.2222.


 About University of Mobile

University of Mobile is a Christ-centered liberal arts and sciences institution with a vision of higher education for a higher purpose, founded to honor God by equipping students for their future professions through rigorous academic preparation and spiritual transformation. Core values are: Christ-Centered, Academically-Focused, Student-Devoted and Distinctively-Driven. The university offers on-campus and online bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degree programs in over 90 areas of study. Founded in 1961, University of Mobile is affiliated with the Alabama Baptist State Convention and is located 10 miles north of Mobile, Alabama on a campus of over 880 acres.

For more information about University of Mobile, visit the website at www.umobile.edu or call Enrollment Services at 1.800.WIN.RAMS or 251.442.2222.

About the Author
Kathy Dean

Kathy Dean

Kathy is an award-winning media relations director and former journalist whose expertise has enabled the University of Mobile to gain national and regional attention. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism from Auburn University and worked as a journalist for 12 years, including 10 years at the Mobile Press-Register, earning regional and national awards for coverage of education, deadline reporting and feature writing. She joined the University of Mobile staff in 1993, earning awards for writing and public relations including the Baptist Communicators Association grand prize for feature writing in 2015 and 2012. She is a charter member of Providence United Methodist Church, serves on the board of the John Will Scholarship Foundation, and is a member of the Public Relations Council of Alabama, Baptist Communicators Association, and Society of Professional Journalists. Kathy lives in Daphne with her husband, Chuck, who earned his M.B.A. from the University of Mobile. They have two children and two grandchildren.