Jonas III/Blaustein Scholar Alumni

Arlen Cooper, DNP

University of Southern Mississippi

Arlen Cooper Jonas/Blaustein Scholar (2012-2014)Arlen Cooper received her Baccalaureate of Science in Nursing (BSN) from Alcorn State University, and her Master’s of Science in Nursing (MSN) from the University of Southern Mississippi (USM) in community health nursing with an emphasis in nursing education. She also completed her Doctorate of Nursing Practice degree (DNP) at University of Southern Mississippi. Dr. Cooper is a Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (PMHNP) employed by Delta Community Mental Health Services (DCMHS) located in the Mississippi Delta. She has been a Registered Nurse (RN) since 1984 and a PMHNP since 2005.

In Dr. Cooper’s current role as PMHNP in the Delta region, she has witnessed the results of current health policy i.e., cuts in government funding of mental health care which has had a direct impact on health care and outcomes in a region of disparity and cultural differences. Obesity is a significant problem in the state of Mississippi. Dr. Cooper has an interest in weight management of patients on psychotropic medications in this delta region. She has treated several patients on psychotropic medications with co-morbid illnesses, i.e. diabetes and hypertension. Her research will investigate how psychiatric nurses or psychiatric nurse practitioners manage the weight of patients prescribed 1st or 2nd generation antipsychotics in the Mississippi Delta. Dr. Cooper's aspiration is to implement research evidenced based policy to impact healthier outcomes in the state of Mississippi.