James Porter, BSN, RN, in May of 2015, assumed a registered nurse position on the medical-surgical oncology floor at the Birmingham Veteran’s Affairs Medical Center in Birmingham, Alabama, where he gained experience in various areas of patient care including neurological, orthopedic, surgical, cardiac, oncology, and mental health. It was during these clinical experiences that he discovered his passion for serving not only the physiological but psychosocial needs of the patients for whom he provided nursing care. His professional and personal experiences have fostered within him a deep commitment to serving disparate and underserved health populations. It has also prompted his interest in advanced study to better serve these communities, particularly the mental health population.
In December of 2012, James earned a long-term certificate in Licensed Practical Nursing from Bevill State Community College. In 2014, he returned to school, matriculating into the registered nursing career mobility program at Wallace State Community College. In 2016, Mr. Porter was chosen to be a student in the Summer 2017 cohort of the University of Alabama in Birmingham School of Nursing Primary Mental Health Nurse Practitioner program. After graduation, he plans to participate in research and to provide evidence based interventions that will improve identification and treatment of mental illness in minority adolescents and young adults, with a special focus on the veteran population.