Caley Wekenmann, BSN, RN, Schomburg Fellow


About Caley

  • Hometown: North Tonawanda, NY
  • Favorite Self-Care Activities: Getting lost in a good book, starting the day with yoga, hiking with my dogs, and cooking
  • Undergraduate Education: Bachelor of Arts, Psychology, Buffalo State College; Bachelor of Nursing, Niagara University
  • Current Program: DNP, Psychiatric Mental Health


I chose UB for a few reasons. First, I wanted to get a DNP as opposed to a Master’s degree. The DNP allows for more extensive training, clinical and academic. That was really important to me because I want to be the best practitioner possible and I would also really like to teach someday. Second, UB SON has a great reputation in the community.

Areas of Interest

My main interest is trauma-informed care. I am really passionate about spreading awareness about how trauma affects physical and mental health, and how we as health professionals need to address it. I learned about this in some of my courses, and one of my clinical placements allowed me to work really closely with clients who have been exposed to trauma and that experience further expanded my interest. It was a very rewarding experience.

Professional Goals

I want to become the most competent psychiatric nurse practitioner possible to best help my patients. Mental illness is highly stigmatized in our society, and unfortunately that sometimes carries over into health care. I feel privileged to be able to help these patients and be able to listen to their stories. Opening up to a stranger can make a client feel vulnerable. I believe that I owe my clients the opportunity to see a practitioner that is passionate, empathetic and educated on the most up-to-date evidence-based practice.

Health Care Impact

Currently very few nurses go into the mental health specialty. I hope that I am able to show nurses how rewarding it is to work with this population and inspire passion for trauma informed care. Most importantly, I hope that I am able to inspire a partnership of hope and healing in the clients that I work with.


The Schomburg Fellowship allows me the opportunity to pursue a DNP. Without these funds, I would not have been able to afford furthering my education in nursing. I come from a family that is not able to afford the cost of college. I have two bachelor’s degrees that I paid for on my own, and paying for a doctorate on my own was not going to be possible. Without this fellowship, this degree would not be possible for me.