Psychiatric Nurse Spotlight: Ashley Lewis, MSN, CPNP, PMHNP-BC
Ashley Lewis provides psychiatric care for children and adults (ages 0-65). Her practice addresses mental health conditions including anxiety, depression, bipolar disorder, postpartum depression/anxiety/psychosis, ADHD and other concerns. She is mindful of the special considerations for those experiencing addiction and/or an eating disorder.
Ashley includes brief supportive therapy in addition to psychiatric evaluations and medication management services in order to provide a well-rounded, compassionate, and evidenced-based approach to delivering care.
Why did you become a psychiatric nurse practitioner?
So many reasons! I believe that mental health drives physical health and mental wellness needs to be at the forefront of any conversation with patients; unfortunately, mental health is often not addressed and if it is, not to the same degree of importance or validity as physical ailments. This must change if we want to provide the best care for our patients and one reason that I chose to specialize as a psychiatric nurse practitioner.
Some of my favorite nursing roles have been as a pediatric nurse, a neonatal intensive care nurse, and most recently as a pediatric nurse practitioner fellow specializing in early childhood development and behavioral health. Through these experiences of working with young families, I developed a strong interest in perinatal and infant mental health. In my practice, I witnessed the alarming rates of mental and behavioral health problems among children and their families, and I wanted to be able to de-stigmatize their concerns and address them through additional training as a psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner.
What is your favorite motto to share with patients?
“Silenzio Bruno!” (for my pediatric patients) In the Disney movie Luca, Bruno is the negative voice inside your head that holds you back.
“You are imperfect, you are wired for struggle, but you are worthy of love and belonging” – Brenee Brown
What do your credentials stand for and what does it mean?
Okay, so good questions. This can be very confusing since nurses can gain specialized training in many different areas. First, the MSN indicates that I have my master’s degree (Master of Science in
Nursing). The CPNP stands for Certified Pediatric Nurse Practitioner which I obtained as part of my MSN. In my master’s program, I chose to specialize in pediatrics and all of my clinical training was with this population. The PMHNP credentials stands for Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner which was additional training and coursework. Last, the PMH-C (Perinatal Mental Health) is a certification that I’ve received training and experience in perinatal mood and anxiety disorders.
For Fun: Describe your favorite coffee mug.
When my first son was an infant, I received a coffee mug as part of a play kit with that reads “The days are long but the years are short” and it’s such a good reminder that the difficult, long, and sleepless nights are only temporary… very similar to moments of struggle throughout life.
If you or a loved one is in need of support, Low Country Counseling offers specialized therapy for Individuals, Moms, Couples, Children, and Teens. Contact us for any questions you need answered or to schedule an appointment. Help is available. You are not alone!
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