Ashley Helmbrecht is the recipient of the Nurses Educational Funds Miriam M. Powell Scholarship which is dedicated to clinical nursing leadership and scholarship. Ashley completed her undergraduate degree from the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center in Oklahoma City and became a life-long neonatal nurse. After a few years of working she left Oklahoma City to work as a traveling NICU Nurse. This is where she fell in love with the concept of evidence based practice application after seeing the many different treatment modalities in several state of the art NICU’s across the United States. This was her inspiration to continue moving forward in nursing and pursue an advanced practice degree. From here she completed her graduate degree from Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee and began working as a Neonatal Nurse Practitioner back in Oklahoma City’s Children’s Hospital.
After recognizing inconsistencies of management in the drug withdrawal infant that appeared to prolong their length of stay, Ashley found support in the literature to help form and charter a multi-disciplinary team to better address the needs of these defenseless patients and their families. Ashley is beginning her second year of the Doctor of Nursing Practice program at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center. Ashley’s focus is on improving care provided to Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome infants by standardizing care through protocols and improving the education and communication to both the bedside nurses and parents. She is also involved as a leader in a large Antibiotic Stewardship QI project in her unit, volunteers with the new graduate nursing education department, and her personal favorite committee is making homemade bereavement cards to send to parents grieving the loss of a child.
Her intent as a DNP is to facilitate translation of evidence into practice through interdisciplinary care teams with a focus on improving the care provided to some of the most vulnerable patients, who will in turn become our future and our legacy. As a DNP she hopes to be a role model and continue to empower NICU nurses, encourage and inspire her fellow NNPs, and to use her leadership to create positive change in healthcare.