» Go to news main

Master of Nursing grad passionate about working in mental health and addictions

Posted by Ryan Donato on June 21, 2024 in School of Nursing, Students, Alumni & Friends, News
Stephanie Williams will be returning to Dal in the fall for the new MN Mental Health and Addictions program.
Stephanie Williams will be returning to Dal in the fall for the new MN Mental Health and Addictions program.

Stephanie Williams is the first person in her immediate family to attend university. After graduating from Dal in 2020 with a BScN, Williams accepted a position at the Garron Centre for Child and Adolescent Mental Health while also working in withdrawal management in Lunenberg and Dartmouth.

Williams desired to advance her career and decided to apply to Dal's MN program. She chose Dal because of her great undergraduate experience, and because the program was very flexible and allowed her to manage her time as a student, a mother, and a growing professional.

“I never thought I would go back to school to get a Master degree but quickly realized knowledge is power, and if I wanted to push for change and advocate for equity, having an advanced understanding and skill set through a Master degree would be essential.”

Pushing for positive change

Williams’ experience at Dal was highlighted by the connections she made with various classmates and mentors, including many wonderful and supportive faculty members who provided many opportunities to learn and grow.

“My passion has always been in mental health and addictions nursing and working in this field was my goal when I applied to nursing school. My outlook has always been optimistic on most things in life and I am always looking to make things better.”

Before starting at Dal, Williams had never considered herself an academic or an advocate but now she is constantly pushing for positive change in healthcare and mental health and addictions nursing. Williams credits her peers and faculty members at Dal with helping to inspire that growth.

“By completing my MN though Dalhousie, I was able to enhance my theoretical understanding and leadership skills, enabling me to design and implement innovative interventions and become a leader among my colleagues.”

Returing to Dal in the fall

Williams is currently working as an RN in pediatric emergency mental health and addictions. In this role she plays a vital part in assessing youth, providing immediate crisis intervention, and stabilizing children and adolescents experiencing acute mental health or substance use crises.

In addition to this role, Williams also serves on the Mental Health and Addictions Strategic Planning Steering Committee for the IWK, the committee that supports the development of a strategic plan for pediatric mental health and addictions care. This position allows Williams to represent her diverse service perspective, engage with stakeholders, set priorities, discuss resource allocation, and monitor implementation.

As for what’s next, Williams belief that nursing plays a significant role in improving and developing the future of healthcare has inspired her to enter the MN Mental Health and Addictions program in September.

“I believe mental health and addictions nurses have a unique biopsychosocial lens, allowing for a truly holistic approach and comprehensive understanding of patient needs. I feel the MN professional program has equipped me with essential skills to work towards future goals.

"Dalhousie will be a leader with this new MN Mental Health and Addictions program, and I am beyond excited to be a part of it.”