My seminal contribution to clinical nursing scholarship is ensuring that mental health care is an integral component of health care for vulnerable populations.
From my earliest days as a nurse I was aware of the division of body and mind in modern medicine. The integrated care for body and mind is a thread that runs through each step of my professional journey. My expertise in psychiatric advanced nursing practice and family therapy supports working with patients that have both physical and emotional/behavioral issues. With my awareness and sensitivity as a provider I recognized that women with breast cancer often experience unrecognized and therefore untreated emotional distress associated with survivorship. To give voice to the ‘silent sufferers’, my doctoral work focused on the phenomenon of couple distress associated with their breast cancer journey. I realized that women are often alone in their suffering as they seek to find a new normal, while also trying to cope with their spouses’ own struggles with the illness. Similarly, children, adolescents and young adults who suffer with behavioral and mental health issues often lack appropriate access to care. Reducing the lack of timely assessment and missed opportunities to treat those who suffer is a driving force for me as a provider and educator.
My educational philosophy is based on integrating psychiatric services into mainstream health care. To support this aim, I educate students in communication with, collaboration with, and integration of, the patient and family in clinical practice.
In my role as Program Director of the Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner Program in the School of Nursing, I secured a $1.3 million federally funded grant to boost the work force of mental health providers who can work with youth at risk. This grant also enhanced and expanded the Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner curriculum. This included novel clinical placements to secure experiences consistent with integrative and family centered care of populations at risk for psychiatric illnesses. I am committed to building a workforce of psychiatric providers in order to increase access to desperately needed mental health care services. I focus on creating a curriculum that supports students in developing an integrated philosophy of practice.
I believe my efforts in the “trenches” with students are important to highlight the trends in health care that I have always promoted and to encourage students to become advocates for those who are suffering. Accordingly, I place value on both an active and responsive mentorship style. Within this frame of mentorship, I have been successful in extending the reach of mental health services to the community. Students have responded positively to my efforts and report unanticipated personal growth and increased confidence in delivering mental health services to populations at risk.
Barbara R. Sprung DNP, RN, NPP, PMHNP-BC, PMHCNS-BC, Certified Family Therapist
BS, Nursing, State University of New York Binghamton, Decker School of Nursing, 1979
MS, City University of New York, Hunter Bellevue School of Nursing, 1985
Certificate, Long Island Institute of Psychoanalysis, Family Therapist, 1991
DNP, Stony Brook University School of Nursing, 2009
Psychiatric Mental Health Nursing
Primary Teaching Areas:
Advanced Theory and Clinical Practice in Psychiatric Mental Health Nursing I
Advanced Theory and Clinical Practice in Psychiatric Mental Health Nursing II
Advanced Theory and Clinical Practice in Psychiatric Mental Health Nursing III
Advanced Theory and Clinical Practice in Psychiatric Mental Health Nursing IV
Independent Study: Exploring the Psychiatric-Mental Health Risks for Youth in Our Society
Families: Theories and Interventions for Advanced Nursing Practice
Patient and Family Centered Care: Partners in Healthcare
Research and Academic Interests:
Integration of mental health care into medical care, collaboration in health care, interprofessional education, building behavioral workforce for youth at risk, partnership with community stakeholders promoting mental health care to vulnerable populations, regional gaps in care
Principal Investigator. Behavioral Health Workforce Education and Training for Professionals and Paraprofessionals G02HP27967. Health Resources and Services Administration. $1,300,000, 2014-2017
Consultant: Susan G. Komen for the Cure with Nassau/Suffolk Law Services, Inc. $2,100, 2011-2012
Principal Investigator. Identification and Response to Couple Distress following Diagnosis of Breast Cancer. Qualitative study for DNP program. 2008-2012
Sprung, B. R., Janotha, B. L., & Steckel, A. J. (2011) the lived experience of breast cancer patients and couple distress. Journal of the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners, 23(11), 619-627.
Sprung, B. R, Glodstein, S., Merius, H. Bridging the Gap: Fostering Partnerships to Enhance Mental Health of Youth at Risk. Stony Brook University Distinguished Alumni Conference. 2016. New York. (Poster presentation)
Sprung, B. R, Glodstein, S., Merius, H. Bridging the Gap: Fostering Partnerships to Enhance Mental Health of Youth at Risk. Collaborative Family Healthcare Conference. 2016. North Carolina. (Poster presentation)
Sprung, B.R., Janotha, B., Steckel, A. Silent Suffering: The Lived Experience of Breast Cancer Patients and Couple Distress. Eastern Nursing Research Society 24th Annual Conference. 2012. Yale-New Haven, Connecticut. (Podium presentation)
Sprung, B.R., Janotha, B., Steckel, A. Silent Suffering: The Lived Experience of Breast Cancer Patients and Couple Distress. Collaborative Family Healthcare Association. 2011. Philadelphia. (Poster presentation)
Sprung, B. R. Perils of Writing and Re-writing. Stony Brook University. 2012. New York. (Podium presentation)
Sprung, B. R. Couple Distress and Breast Cancer Patients. Nurse Practitioner Association of Long Island. 2010. New York. (Podium presentation)
Major Accomplishments / Honors:
Faculty award for Outstanding Teaching and Service (graduate students) 2012
Sigma Theta Tau: Kappa Gamma Chapter award for Clinical Excellence 2010
Patricia K McGee Nursing Faculty Scholarship, $30,000, 2008-2009
Member, Stony Brook University Alumni Association, 2009-Present, nominating committee
Member, SOCLIP/Alumni Association of Long Island Institute of Psychoanalysis, 1991
Member, Hunter-Bellevue School of Nursing Alumni Association, 1985
Member, New York Organization of Nurse Executives and Leaders, 2015
Member, Eastern Nursing Research Society, 2010-2012
Member, Oncology Nursing Society, 2011
Member, Nurse Practitioner Association, 2008
Member, American Academy of Nurse Practitioners, 2005-Present
Member, Sigma Theta Tau, 2000-Present
Member, International Society of Psychiatric Mental Health Nurses, 1999-2002, Present
Member, Collaborative Family Health Care Association, 1991-Present