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Association of Advanced Practice Psychiatric Nurses
Advancing your practice, your career, and our community.

Member Profile: Laurel Tronsen, Student Member

Laurel Tronson is in her first year in the DNP program at the University of Washington. She recently joined AAPPN as a Student Member. She shares why she wanted to be a PMHNP and an AAPPN member.

What attracted you to AAPPN?

Joining AAPPN as a student has helped me to identify a larger local support group. Attending the AAPPN-sponsored social mixer in my student daze really helped to solidify why I’m heading down this path. To see such passion, knowledge and the true pioneers of our profession fueled me at just the right time.

Did you always plan on a career in nursing?

At 15 years old I had the idea that I wanted to be a nurse, and ever since then I’ve stayed committed to learning and expanding my knowledge in the field. As a senior in high school, I chose to forgo some of my classes to attend running start at Shoreline Community College (SCC). I studied hard and was rewarded for my efforts when I was accepted into SCC’s nursing school.

When did you decide to become a Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner?

My career ambitions didn’t start out with becoming a PMHNP or even a psychiatric nurse. Through my clinicals in an inpatient psychiatric unit at Harborview Medical Center, my eyes opened to the fascinating and often challenging work as a psychiatric nurse.

Can you share some experiences you’ve had as a student?

During school I worked at Harborview Medical Center which further deepened my interest in psychiatry as a nurse tech then transitioning to a RN. Starting off on night shift was not ideal, but through my sleepless nights I grew as a nurse and had time to focus and learn about psychiatric medications. I also learned from other amazing nurses. It’s with great honor I can say I received a Daisy award for nursing excellence. I pursued my BSN online so that I could increase my knowledge and ability to be an effective nurse. I saw firsthand the benefits of medications and excellent clinical care and felt that I could use my expertise to benefit patients in other settings.

I know that as a PMHNP I will have more opportunities to work in my community. Now, nine years later, I’m committed to becoming a PMHNP to further help those in need of psychiatric treatment.