faculty profile

Jessica Walker   DNP, APRN, PMHNP-BC

Assistant Professor

Bio

Dr. Jessica Walker teaches in the Master of Science in Nursing (including the Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner, Lifespan specialty), Doctor of Nursing Practice, and PreSpecialty programs. She is also the Vanderbilt Program in Interprofessional Learning 1 Nursing Course Director. She previously taught psychiatric-mental health nursing in a Bachelor of Science in Nursing program.

Dr. Walker's current clinical work involves providing outpatient psychiatric consultations for individuals experiencing homelessness. Her psychiatric-mental health nurse practitioner clinical experience also includes adult consultation-liaison psychiatry and homeless health services. She has been involved with contact tracing. Her nursing career started in inpatient and emergency psychiatry with a board certification in psychiatric-mental health nursing. She is also passionate about community service.

Education

  • DNP, Vanderbilt University
  • MSN, Vanderbilt University
  • BSN, Belmont University

Current Research/Scholarly Interests

  • Health care for individuals experiencing homelessness and mental illness

Academic Interests

  • Mental health and psychiatry
  • Community and population health
  • Interprofessional collaboration in health care
  • Scholarly projects

Representative Publications

Journals

Henry-Okafor, Q., Walker, J., Pfieffer, M. L., & Ott, M. (2022). Management of mental health disorders in patients with human immunodeficiency virus. The Journal for Nurse Practitioners, 18(5), 510-515. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.nurpra.2022.01.010

Jones, P., Walker, J., Kleinpell, R., George, A., & Norman, L. (2021). Showcasing nursing leadership and contributions to a university's COVID-19 student contact tracing process. Nursing Administration Quarterly, 45(4), 346-352. https://doi.org/10.1097/NAQ.0000000000000492

Walker, J. N., Vanderhoef, D., Adams, S. M., & Fleisch, S. B. (2021). The impact of an educational intervention on nursing staff attitudes toward patients experiencing homelessness and mental illness. Journal of the American Psychiatric Nurses Association. https://doi.org/10.1177/10783903211011669

Facer, B. D., Bingham, B., Fleisch, S. B., Walker, J. N., Ahmad, M., & Osmundson, E. C. (2020). Radiation therapy adherence among patients experiencing homelessness. International Journal of Radiation Oncology, Biology, Physics, 109(4), 1019-1027. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijrobp.2020.10.032

Fleisch, S. B., & Walker, J. N. (2020). Surreptitious opioid misuse in the general hospital via rectal administration: A case report. Psychosomatics, 61(4), 405-407. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.psym.2019.12.001

Representative Presentations

Walker, J., & Adams, S. (2020). Nursing staff attitudes toward medically hospitalized patients who are homeless and have mental illness [Poster]. American Psychiatric Nurses Association Annual Conference, Virtual.

Trump, S., Fleisch, S. B., & Walker, J. (2019). Impact of obtaining permanent housing for homeless persons on hospital utilization in an academic medical center [Poster]. Annual International Street Medicine Symposium, Pittsburgh, PA, United States.

Row, A., & Walker, J. (2018). Complex behavioral services in vulnerable and homeless populations [Podium]. American Case Management Association Annual Case Management and Transitions of Care Conference: Kentucky/Tennessee Chapter, Nashville, TN, United States.

Trump, S., Fleisch, S. B., & Walker, J. (2018). Impact of a brief didactic intervention on medical student attitudes toward homelessness [Poster]. Annual International Street Medicine Symposium, Rotterdam, The Netherlands.

Jackson, A., Walker, J., Nygren, D., & Constant, J. (2018). Do opioid overdoses put you out of your comfort zone? Learn how to safely administer naloxone [Podium]. Annual International Street Medicine Symposium, Rotterdam, The Netherlands.

Walker, J., Vanderhoef, D., Adams, S., & Fleisch, S. B. (2018). Attitudes of nursing staff toward patients who are homeless and have mental illness in a hospital [Poster]. American Association of Nurse Practitioners National Conference, Denver, CO, United States.

Leblanc, L., Walker, J., & Fleisch, S. B. (2017). Obtaining disability benefits in homeless persons: Impact on hospital utilization in an academic medical center [Poster]. Annual International Street Medicine Symposium, Allentown, PA, United States.

Constant, J., Johnson, M., Poellet, L., & Walker, J. (2017). Psychosis, neurosis, or alcoholic hallucinosis? Identification and treatment of psychotic disorders on the street [Podium]. Annual International Street Medicine Symposium, Allentown, PA, United States.

Poellet, L., Walker, J., LeBlanc, L., & Fleisch, S. B. (2016). Conditional suicidality: Evaluating the ultimate threat on the street [Podium]. Annual International Street Medicine Symposium, Geneva, Switzerland.

Walker, J., Poellet, L., LeBlanc, L., & Fleisch, S. B. (2016). The street as a detox unit: Seizing the opportunity to assess and treat substance withdrawal in the homeless population [Podium]. Annual International Street Medicine Symposium, Geneva, Switzerland.

Walker, J., & Woodard, J. (2015). Sensory rooms: Decreasing stressors and symptoms by stimulating senses [Podium]. American Psychiatric Nurses Association Annual Conference, Orlando, FL, United States.

Walker, J. (2015). Sensory rooms: Stimulating the senses to reduce stress [Poster]. American Nurses Credentialing Center National Magnet Conference, Atlanta, GA, United States.

Clinical Practice

  • Vanderbilt University Medical Center

Reviewer

  • Journal of the American Psychiatric Nurses Association

Professional Organizations

  • American Psychiatric Nurses Association, Practice Council Chair
  • Sigma: Iota and Omicron Phi Chapters, Iota Chapter Secretary
  • National Alliance on Mental Illness, Vanderbilt
  • American Association of Nurse Practitioners
  • American Nurses Association/Tennessee Nurses Association
  • Street Medicine Institute

Honors/Awards

  • 50 Outstanding Alumni, Belmont University School of Nursing, 2022
  • Catherine Hanley Class of 1912 Rising Star Alumni Award, Vanderbilt University School of Nursing, 2020
  • Early Career Professional Scholarship, Beck Institute, 2019
  • Founder's Medal for First Honors in Nursing, Vanderbilt University, 2016
  • Board of Directors Student Scholarship, American Psychiatric Nurses Association, 2015
  • Rosamond Gabrielson Staff Nurse of the Year: Vanderbilt Psychiatric Hospital, Vanderbilt University Medical Center, 2014
  • Behavioral Health Nurse of the Year, March of Dimes, 2013
  • The Outstanding Preceptor Award of the Psychiatric Health Nurse Residency, Vanderbilt University Medical Center, 2012
  • The Kathleen B. Horrell Scholarship Award, Belmont University, 2010