Decker alumnus chosen Student Nurse Practitioner of the Year
Earlier this month, Binghamton University Decker School of Nursing alumnus Daniel Babcock received the Nurse Practitioner Association (NPA) of New York State’s Region 2 Student Nurse Practitioner of the Year Award for 2019.
Babcock grew up in rural Delaware County and entered the military after high school, where his passion for serving others began. He earned an associate degree in nursing in 1995, a bachelor’s degree in nursing in 2017, and a master’s degree in nursing from the Decker School in May, but he never stopped serving his community along the way.
Today, he is a primary care family nurse practitioner with Lourdes/Ascension Health in Binghamton and recently entered Lourdes’ Nurse Practitioner Fellowship program. But his first career included working for 19 years as a firefighter and paramedic for the City of Binghamton Fire Department, where he achieved the rank of lieutenant before retiring. Rather than relax and enjoy a quiet retirement, Babcock enrolled at Decker as a 49-year-old graduate student with the goal to provide healthcare to rural communities as a family nurse practitioner.
He was among the first group of students in the Decker School to participate in a federally funded program aimed at increasing the number of nurse practitioners practicing in rural areas. The Health Resources and Services Administration Advanced Nursing Education Workforce (HRSA ANEW) program provides tuition assistance, advanced technology and clinical tools to students who are from rural areas and intend to continue practicing in those areas once they are credentialed.
In 2017, Decker received a $1.2 million grant to launch the program, and in July 2019 it was awarded an additional $2.8 million to continue for four more years. Decker has already welcomed a new cohort of HRSA ANEW scholars.
“Dan’s desire to help the poor, rural and vulnerable populations was influenced by his early life experiences and military service,” said Frances Munroe, clinical associate professor of nursing at the Decker School and clinical faculty liaison for the HRSA ANEW Scholars program. “He regularly serves on mission trips to Guatemala, where he provides care for orphans.”
Babcock received the award Oct. 18 at the NPA’s 35th Annual Conference in Verona, N.Y. He became a student member of the NPA in March 2018 and was an active participant in the group’s Capitol Lobby Day in Albany, N.Y., earlier in 2019. He is also a member of the American Association of Nurse Practitioners and the Emergency Nurses Association.