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Director, Council on Nursing Research

Director, Council on Nursing Research

Brandy Smith, DNP, APRN, FNP-BC

Dr. Brandy Smith is an Assistant Professor of Nursing at Delta State University Robert E. Smith School of Nursing. She began her nursing career in 1998 as an ADN working at Greenwood-Leflore Hospital on the telemetry and medsurg/ICU step down units, served as a charge nurse in those same units, and also worked in the Endoscopy Unit. In 2001 she began local travel nursing for PrimeCare working in the ICU and ER, and worked prn in home health, followed by full-time employment in Home Health for Continue Care. She has also worked as a Family Nurse Practitioner in long term care and episodically in a local clinic. Dr. Smith assisted in opening the first rural health clinic in a long term care facility in the state! In doing so, she was able to focus on patients across the lifespan.

Dr. Smith earned a BSN, MSN with a focus as a Family Nurse Practitioner, and DNP from Delta State University.

Dr. Smith is actively involved in MNA, where she currently serves as District 32 Treasurer, formerly serving her district in various officer positions including President, and delegate.

Director, Council on Nursing Education

Director, Council on Nursing Education

Deloris Slade, DNP, FNP-BC


Dr. Deloris Slade has more than 10 years of experience in primary and urgent care practice, serving primarily uninsured and under-insured patients.  She also serves as Graduate Adjunct Faculty at the University of Southern Mississippi.

Dr. Deloris Slade has served MNA for more than 15 years.  Her initial participation was as a district member and Second Vice-President of District VII before joining the Provider Unit.  Eventually becoming Co-Chair, she improved her knowledge of ANCC standards and requirements, ensuring accredited offerings. During the time she served as the Director for Council on Education, educational offerings to registered nurses and advanced practice registered nurses around the state were increased from two per year, to an average of two per month. She continues to serve on the Provider Unit as Co-Chair.  

Dr. Slade completed both her BSN and MSN at the University of Southern Mississippi and her DNP from the University of Mississippi Medical Center.



Gayle Harrell, MSN, FNP,


Gayle Harrell is a Family Nurse Practitioner and a Certified Wound Care specialist. She received her MSN/Family Nurse Practitioner from UMMC and a subsequent Wound Management Certification Course at the Washington University School of Nursing in Seattle.

She has practiced in the field of Wound Care for over 17 years and additionally serves as a consultant to other wound clinics, nursing homes, and attorneys. In 2011, she opened a wound care clinic in Kosciusko where she serves as provider.

Gayle has served MNA in numerous ways: State and national delegate, Board Treasurer and President. She has managed two financially successful wound care clinics, owns and operates her own business, currently serves on the board of a multi-million dollar health care business and has served on non-profit organization finance committees.

Director Council on Organizational Affairs

Director Council on Organizational Affairs

Sandra “Sandi” Arnold, MSN, RN


Sandra “Sandi” Arnold serves as the Director of Clinical Education at Hattiesburg Clinic in Hattiesburg, MS. During her nursing career of 35 years, she has been employed at Rush Hospital in Meridian, MS; St. David’s Community Hospital in Austin, TX; and at Hattiesburg Clinic in Hattiesburg, MS. She has nursing experience in the areas of general surgery, neurosurgery, neurology, endocrinology, hematology, oncology, dialysis, family medicine, leadership and education. She started her nursing career with an ADN from Meridian Community College and then received a BSN and later an MSN in education from William Carey University.

Sandi’s professional affiliations include MNA, Sigma Theta Tau – Upsilon Theta Chapter, National League for Nursing, the Nursing Advisory Council for William Carey University and Pearl River Community College and the National Association of Drug Diversion Investigators (NADDI).

Sandi has also served as MNA Director of the Council on Nursing Practice and MNA Secretary.

Director, Council on Health Affairs

Director, Council on Health Affairs

Kristen Long, DNP


Dr. Kristen Long serves as Senior Director of Nursing and Interim Chief Nursing Executive at North Mississippi Medical Center in Tupelo, MS. During her nursing career of 16 years, she has previous experience in neurosurgery, orthopedic surgery, general surgery, intensive care nursing, intermediate care nursing, nursing supervisor, nurse manager, and administration.

Her focus as a Senior Director of Nursing and Interim Chief Nursing Executive is to provide leadership that results in the most favorable environment for patients and staff. She is also passionate about mentoring new nursing leaders and serves as a preceptor for MSN students.

Dr. Long graduated with her ADN from Itawamba Community College, then received her BSN from the University of North Alabama, later received a Master of Science in Nursing from the University of Mississippi Medical Center, and a Doctorate of Nursing Practice from Samford University.

Dr. Long currently serves as the chair of multiple NMMC committees and has served as a delegate for the MNA House of Delegates.



Carl Mangum, PhD, PMHNP-BC, NHDP-BC


Dr. Carl Mangum is an Associate Professor, Director of the Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner Track, and Emergency Preparedness and Response Specialist at the University of Mississippi Medical Center School of Nursing. Dr. Mangum has taught nursing for 21 years at UMMC following his work at Mississippi State Hospital.

He is also a Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner and Team Commander of Delta-1 Disaster Medical Assistance Team for the U.S. Department of Human Services. Dr. Mangum has been an active member of MNA for many years, and previously served as Vice-President of MNA from 2007 to 2011 and 2019 to 2021, and Treasurer from 2017 to 2019.

He has also served on the Professional Advisory Board and the Board of Directors for the Epilepsy Foundation of Mississippi.



Beverly Oliver, MBA, MSN, FNP-BC, CHFN


Beverly Oliver has 25 years of nursing experience and 15 years as a Family Nurse Practitioner. She received a Bachelor’s Degree in Nursing from Mississippi College in 1981. In 2005, she graduated from Mississippi University for Women with honors with a Master’s Degree in Nursing.

Beverly was the first Nurse Practitioner (NP) St. Dominic Hospital hired. She worked with the Cardiovascular Surgeons and initiated many innovative changes to improve Healthgrades and Core Measures. A Chronic Care Clinic was opened for the care of Heart Failure and Coumadin patients, which was the first NP run clinic within St. Dominic Hospital system. Afterwards, her career led her to work in a Homeless clinic located in the inner city of Jackson.



Alena Groves, DNP, APRN, FNP-C, ONP-C


Dr. Alena Groves has served as a registered nurse for 20 years. Her experience in the field is vast including such areas as intensive care, emergency room, radiology, renal, cardiology, orthopedics, internal medicine, education, and administration within both the hospital and outpatient setting.

She is passionate about educating new and experienced nurse practitioners as Assistant Professor of the graduate nursing program, Mississippi University for Women, where she also earned her Doctorate of Nursing Practice.

Her focus as an educator is in improving provider knowledge and practice in regards to technology, informatics and policies that affect and govern practice. She is a strong advocate for strengthening the role of nurses in Mississippi, and for doing her part in guiding competent, confident, and active nurses for our association and our state.

She is a certified family nurse practitioner and orthopaedic nurse practitioner currently employed at Columbus Orthopaedic Clinic in Columbus, MS. She has served as a nurse practitioner for 5 years, providing care to patients across the lifespan in both specialty and family practice.

Dr. Groves has served as President of MNA District 18 and has actively recruited members and speakers to offer continuing education for MNA members.

She has presented on local, regional, and the national level regarding osteoporosis fracture prevention and musculoskeletal injuries in primary care, and well as published outcomes of role expansion and increasing patient access through the development of an employee-family clinic, which she still manages.

Director, Council on Nursing Practice

Director, Council on Nursing Practice

Paige Nabors, DNP, RN, FNP-C


Dr. Paige Nabors serves full time as a Family Nurse Practitioner in 7 long-term care settings across north Mississippi providing care to rehab, long-term, and hospice residents. Additionally, she is a nurse practitioner for cardiovascular services at North Mississippi Medical Center in Tupelo, MS, and Kindred hospice services. Dr. Nabors is an experienced nurse and has previous nursing experience in the areas of medical, surgical, cardiac, vascular, and corrections. She has served in leadership and education as a clinical nurse educator and nurse manager.

Dr. Nabors started her career with an ADN from Itawamba Community College, then received her BSN from the Mississippi University for Women, and later an MSN from The University of Alabama, Post Master’s FNP Certificate from the University of Southern Mississippi, and graduated with her DNP from Samford University.