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Experts Interviewed on NPSchools.com
AlexAnn Westlake is the executive director of Our Community Birth Center in Lane County, Oregon and a certified nurse-midwife. She has experience in several full-scope nurse-midwifery practice settings including Shenandoah Women’s Healthcare in Harrisonburg, Virginia and PeaceHealth Nurse Midwifery Birth Center in Springfield, Oregon.
Ms. Westlake earned degrees in registered nursing (BSN) and nursing-midwifery (MN) at Oregon Health Sciences University. She also holds a bachelor’s in Spanish language and literature from the University of Oregon.
Dr. Alycia Bischof is the central clinical site coordinator for the University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing. She is dedicated to mentoring the next generation of nurse practitioners and works hard to help them develop their clinical skills and business acumen.
Dr. Bischof is passionate about cultivating relationships between preceptors and students to ensure they get the best possible clinical opportunities. She teaches documentation and coding skills to students and faculty alike. Her most recent publications include “Understanding the 2021 Evaluation and Management Coding Guidelines,” published in The Nurse Practitioner, and “Post COVID-19 Reimbursement Parity for Nurse Practitioners,” published in Online Journal of Issues in Nursing.
Dr. Ann Bagchi is a nurse practitioner and associate professor at Rutgers University School of Nursing. Her research is centered on exploring the stigma of living with HIV. She has successfully implemented a statewide People Living With Stigma Index and will create multidisciplinary teams to complete needs assessments relating to telehealth technologies among underserved populations across New Jersey.
Dr. Bagchi holds a master’s of science and PhD in sociology from the University of Wisconsin–Madison and a doctor of nursing practice in family practice nursing from Rutgers University.
Dr. Ann Lawrence O’Sullivan is the Dr. Hildegarde Reynolds Endowed Term Professor of Primary Care Nursing at the University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing, where she has also served as the director of both the Family Nurse Practitioner Program and the Pediatric Nurse Practitioner Program.
A clinician-educator since 1987, Dr. O’Sullivan has worked for over a decade to develop policies that expand full practice authority for advanced practice registered nurses. She is recognized as a leading proponent of the movement and has written and lectured extensively on the need to remove scope of practice restrictions and increase professional collaborations between physicians and advanced practice registered nurses. In 2016, Dr. O’Sullivan served as chair of the Pennsylvania State Board of Nursing’s advanced practice registered nurses committee, which is monitoring full practice authority legislation introduced in the Pennsylvania House and Senate.
Dr. Anne Mason is the associate dean of academic affairs for graduate programs at Washington State University (WSU) College of Nursing, where she is also a DNP program director. A board-certified psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner (PMHNP), she uses telehealth to treat adolescents in partial hospitalization for eating disorders.
Dr. Mason’s interests are focused on enhancing clinical education for nurse practitioners and NP workforce development. She is a major contributor to the Telehealth Toolkit for Nurse Practitioner Education at C-Tier. Notably, Dr. Mason is actively engaged in the development of academic-practice partnerships that will serve rural and underserved populations in Washington.
Dr. Annie Abraham is a clinical assistant professor at the Baylor University Louise Herrington School of Nursing. She earned her MSN from the University of Texas at Arlington and her DNP from Texas Christian University.
Prior to her role at Baylor, she served as an associate clinical professor at Texas Woman’s University and as adjunct FNP clinical faculty at the University of Texas at Arlington. Dr. Abraham has been practicing as a family nurse practitioner for 15 years in the DFW area and is an active member of the American Association of Nurse Practitioners, Texas Nurse Practitioners, and North Texas Nurse Practitioners. In 2000, she received the “Nurse of the Year Award” from the Baylor Center for Pain Management.
Dr. Ateev Mehrotra is a professor of healthcare policy and medicine at Harvard Medical School and a hospitalist at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. He earned his MD from the University of California, San Francisco and his MS in epidemiology from Harvard University.
Much of Dr. Mehrotra’s research is focused on delivery innovations such as retail clinics and their impact on quality, costs, and access to healthcare.
Dr. Barbara Peterson is a clinical associate professor with the University of Minnesota School of Nursing, the specialty coordinator of the psychiatric-mental health doctor of nursing practice (PMHDNP) program, and the director of inclusivity, diversity, and equity for the School of Nursing. Her research focuses on mental health in children and adolescents, the effects of trauma and nightmares, and mental health of immigrant and refugee families.
In her 23-year career as a child and adolescent psychiatric mental health clinical nurse specialist, Dr. Peterson has practiced in multiple psychiatric care settings, mostly serving at-risk, highly vulnerable children and families. While serving as co-investigator on two Health Resources Administration (HRSA) Advance Nursing Education grants, she developed a curriculum for interprofessional education that focuses on underserved urban and rural populations.
Dr. Peterson continues to serve the profession of psychiatric mental health nursing through leadership roles in the International Society of Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurses (ISPN), the American Psychiatric Nurses Association (APNA), and the Global Alliance for Behavioral Health and Social Justice.
Dr. Beth Ammerman, FNP-BC is a clinical assistant professor at the University of Michigan’s School of Nursing (UMSN) in the health behavior and biological sciences department. She earned both her MSN and her DNP from Michigan State University. Her scholarship focuses on translating clinical research and addressing policy issues that pertain to the health and well-being of primary care patients.
Dr. Ammerman’s teaching role includes teaching graduate nursing students both in the classroom and in the clinical setting. As a classroom instructor, she leads the role transition course, guiding RNs to APRN roles. In addition, she has the opportunity to evaluate graduate students in their precepted clinical sites as well as directly precept students in her family practice office.
Dr. Billie Vance is a clinical associate professor and the director of MSN/DNP Program at West Virginia University. She also participates in the faculty-practice plan as an advanced practice nurse and cares for patients with substance use disorder. Dr. Vance earned both her MSN and her PhD from West Virginia University.
Dr. Vance’s research interests include the care of veterans and patients with substance use disorder, and methods of improving education for nurse practitioner students.
She has co-authored research published in the Journal of Advanced Nursing, the Journal of Clinical Nursing, Nurse Educator, Nurse Forum, and Policy, Politics, and Nursing Practice. Dr. Vance was awarded the WVU PhD Nursing Alumni Award for Leadership in 2021.
Dr. Bobby Bellflower is a professor and the director of the doctor of nursing practice (DNP) program at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center (UTHSC) College of Nursing. She is also a neonatal nurse practitioner and practices in the NICU at Regional One Health in Memphis, Tennessee.
Dr. Bellflower’s areas of interest include pain in the newborn and evidence-based practice and continuous quality improvement.
Currently, Dr. Bellflower is the chair of the National Association of Neonatal Nurse Practitioners (NANNP), focusing on the support and education of NNPs. She is a fellow in the American Association of Nurse Practitioners (AANP) and has received the Daisy Award from her faculty colleagues. She is on the National Task Force Criteria for Evaluating Nurse Practitioner Programs and the Conference Planning Committee for the National Organization of Nurse Practitioner Faculties. Dr. Bellflower has over 100 national, regional, and local presentations and numerous publications.
Dr. Brian Widmar is an associate professor and director of the adult-gerontology acute care NP program, and assistant dean for academics, advanced nursing practice at Vanderbilt University School of Nursing.
A certified acute care nurse practitioner with a clinical background in cardiothoracic critical care, his expertise is in the care management of patients with advanced heart failure, cardiothoracic transplantation, and mechanical circulatory support device therapy. He is a member of the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses (AACN), the American Association of Nurse Practitioners (AANP), and is a Board Member-at-Large for the National Organization of Nurse Practitioner Faculties (NONPF).
Dr. Widmar’s research interests include quality of life, patient and family-centered care, and self-care education in cardiothoracic transplant and ventricular assist device patient populations. Dr. Widmar earned his MSN from the University of Alabama at Birmingham and his PhD in nursing science from Vanderbilt University.
Dr. Cammie Rausch is a nurse practitioner at the Rocky Mountain Regional VA in Denver, CO. She currently serves chronically ill veterans in their home through a program called Home Based Primary Care. She is also an instructor at the California State University Shiley Haynes Institute for Palliative Care.
Dr. Rausch received her BSN from Washington State University, and both her MSN and DNP from the University of South Alabama with a subspecialty in palliative care. She has 20 years of experience practicing in nursing, with 17 years of hospice and palliative care experience.
Catherine Kaufman is a clinical assistant professor of nursing and FNP track coordinator at the Indiana University Northwest School of Nursing in Gary, Indiana.
She was born and raised in Northwest Indiana. She received her BSN from IU Northwest and MSN-FNP from Purdue University. She is a member of CAPNI and AANP, and has served on APC Committees at various local hospitals. Over a 25-plus year nursing career, Professor Kaufman has worked in primary care/family practice settings, pediatrics, and emergency medicine sites in rural and urban Northwest Indiana.
Cathy Klein is a lawyer, educator, and nurse practitioner. She’s a graduate of the University of Denver College of Law, University of Colorado Master’s Nursing Program, and Florida International University School of Education.
Klein started one of the nation’s first advanced nurse practitioner programs that prepared RNs to practice as pediatric NPs, and she later taught RNs to practice as advanced adult nurse practitioners. Klein was also legal issue editor for a leading professional nursing journal for 25 years. As an attorney, Klein was named Mediator of the Year for Jefferson County in Colorado, and listed in The Wall Street Journal as a Businessman of the Year.
Dr. Cene’ Livingston is interim chair of advanced practice programs, associate professor, and lead faculty at Oklahoma City University Kramer School of Nursing. She earned her BSN from the University of Central Oklahoma, her MSN from the University of Phoenix, and her DNP from Oklahoma City University. She also holds a post-master’s FNP certificate from Saint Louis University, and a post-master’s PMHNP certificate from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville.
Dr. Livingston is dual-certified as a family nurse practitioner (FNP) and a psychiatric-mental health nurse practitioner (PMHNP) and teaches both tracks within the DNP program at Oklahoma City University. She is an active member of multiple nursing, advanced practice nursing, and civic organizations.
Constance Dahlin is a palliative care consultant, educator, and palliative nurse practitioner. She is a consultant to the Center to Advance Palliative Care (CAPC) in community-based care and education, and co-director of the Palliative Care APRN Externship.
Dahlin is co-editor of the Oxford University Press Advanced Practice Palliative Nursing and edited the second and third editions of the National Consensus Project’s Clinical Practice Guidelines for Palliative Care. She authored the 2021 Palliative Nursing: Scope and Standards of Practice, Competencies for the Palliative and Hospice APRN, and the Competencies for the Palliative and Hospice RN, as well as the 2017 Hospice and Palliative APRN Professional Practice Guide.
Dahlin was one of 30 individuals named as a Visionary in Hospice and Palliative Medicine by the American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine (AAHPM) for their 30th Anniversary in 2018. She is a fellow of the American Academy of Nursing and a fellow of Hospice and Palliative Nursing.
Dr. Curry Bordelon III is an associate professor of nursing and interim assistant dean for graduate clinical education at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. He earned his MBA from the University of New Orleans, his MSN from Emory University, and his DNP from the University of Alabama at Birmingham.
Dr. Bordelon is dual-certified as a neonatal and pediatric acute care nurse practitioner and has extensive leadership experience as a nurse practitioner manager for three neonatal intensive care units. Dr. Bordelon is also the incoming vice president of the American Association of Men in Nursing (AAMN).
Dr. Cynthia Weston is the president of the Texas Nurse Practitioners Association, the associate dean for clinical and outreach affairs, and an associate professor at Texas A&M University College of Nursing. She is also a registered nurse, family nurse practitioner, and critical care clinical nurse specialist.
She obtained her DNP degree from the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio and her post-master’s family nurse practitioner degree from the Texas Tech Health Science Center University. Her research interests include increasing access to health care, health promotion, disease prevention and wellness, cancer prevention and screenings, and improving health outcomes for vulnerable populations.
Dr. Debra Bakerjian is a clinical professor at the Betty Irene Moore School of Nursing at the University of California, Davis. Her research is primarily focused on two areas: patient safety and quality improvement practices in long-term care; and interprofessional education and collaborative practice in primary care.
A key area of interest for her is the role of nurse practitioners and physician assistants as members of an interprofessional team. Her doctoral study on the utilization of nurse practitioners in nursing homes (in comparison with physicians) received the 2006 Dissertation of the Year Award at UC San Francisco. Bakerjian is a fellow in the American Academy of Nursing, the American Association of Nurse Practitioners, and the Gerontological Society of America.
Dr. Deena Kelly Costa is an assistant professor at the University of Michigan School of Nursing (UMSN), where she teaches primarily in the master’s in health systems, nursing leadership, and effectiveness science program. She received both her MS and her PhD from the University of Pennsylvania.
A trained health services researcher with clinical expertise in adult critical care nursing, Dr. Costa’s work care has been published in leading journals such as JAMA, Chest, and Critical Care Medicine. Her prior research, published in Chest, documented the benefits of having NPs in the critical care setting. Given her expertise and research experience, Dr. Costa advised Governor Gretchen Whitmer’s office to advise on staffing and scope of practice regulations that were ultimately incorporated into Executive Order 2020-30 during the spring surge of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Dr. Elda Ramirez is a clinical instructor in the Acute and Continuing Care Department at the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston. She holds a master’s of science in Nursing from the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston and a bachelor’s of science in nursing from the University of Texas-Houston Health Science Center.
In addition to teaching, Dr. Ramirez maintains a clinical practice through a contract with Emergency Consultants, Incorporated providing emergency services. She is one of the founders of the American Academy of Emergency Nurse Practitioners.
Dr. Elena Geiger-Simpson is a board-certified psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner (PMHNP-BC) and clinical assistant professor with the University of Minnesota School of Nursing. She earned her DNP from the University of Minnesota. Prior to joining the faculty at the University of Minnesota, Dr. Geiger-Simpson served as a clinical instructor in psychiatric-mental health for the BSN students at Minnesota State University, Mankato.
In her role at the University of Minnesota, Dr. Geiger-Simpson mentors, advises, and precepts DNP students. She also holds a certificate in integrative therapies and healing practices. Notably, she has presented on a wide variety of topics related to psychiatry and mental health at nursing symposiums and conferences. In 2021, she was nominated for a DAISY Exceptional Mentor Award.
Dr. Elizabeth Kuzma, FNP-BC is a clinical assistant professor at the University of Michigan’s School of Nursing (UMSN) in the health behavior and biological sciences department, where she is also a family nurse practitioner program lead. She earned her MSN from Michigan State University and her DNP from Wayne State University.
Dr. Kuzma sees public policy advocacy at all levels as the broadest form of patient advocacy for health promotion and disease prevention. She is a former American Association for Nurse Practitioners (AANP) State Representative for Michigan and a former member of the AANP National Research Committee. She also is a member of the AANP Nominations Council and the UMSN’s Faculty Practice Advisory Committee. She was awarded the AANP State Award for Excellence in 2012.
Eloise Theisen is an adult-gerontology nurse practitioner in Northern California, and she’s also the president-elect of the American Cannabis Nurses Association (ACNA), an organization dedicated to expanding the knowledge base of endo-cannabinoid therapeutics among nurses.
In her nursing practice, she’s seen close to 6,000 patients in the last six years. Her average patient is 76 years old and female, and many of them come to her for relief from pain, anxiety, depression, and sleep disorders.
Dr. Erica May is an Emergency Nurse Practitioner in Middle Tennessee and an Instructor of Nursing in the Emergency Nurse Practitioner Program at Vanderbilt University School of Nursing. Dr. May is a graduate of Vanderbilt herself, having obtained both her MSN and DNP from the institution.
Certified as a Family, Acute Care, and Emergency Nurse Practitioner, Dr. May sees patients across the life span in a community emergency department, providing care to patients and their families.
Having seen the devastating effects of the opioid crisis, Dr. May is keenly interested in alternatives to opioid pain management in the emergency department. A love of the outdoors also drives her interest in wilderness and austere medicine. She is a member of the Wilderness Medical Society and volunteers with the Tennessee Scenic Rivers Association to teach safety and rescue skills to recreational boaters.
Erin Hallinan is the clinical lead of advanced practice in clinical care at Saint Vincent’s Medical Center at Hartford Healthcare, where she practices as an APRN intensivist and nurse practitioner in the Critical Care Department. She is board-certified as both a family nurse practitioner (FNP) and an adult-gerontology acute care nurse practitioner (AGACNP) and holds certifications in both critical care (CCRN) and progressive care (PCCN).
Hallinan was appointed to the most recent ACNPC-AG Practice Analysis Task Force by the AACN Certification Corporation, where she helped identify the responsibilities of an adult-gerontology ACNP, as well as the task and knowledge areas that would comprise the new ACNPC-AG Test Plan.
Dr. Erin Pérez is the president of Texas Nurse Practitioners, the largest state NP organization in the United States. She is an adult geriatric NP who sub-specializes in palliative and hospice care. She also serves as chair of the Texas Palliative Care Interdisciplinary Advisory Council—the first nurse and NP to Chair a Texas Advisory Council.
Dr. Pérez is recognized as a pioneer and trailblazer for the nursing profession and high-risk populations. Her grassroots advocacy, invited testimony, and policy work, have helped enact many meaningful changes for nurses and their patients in Texas. She continues to bring transformational leadership to state, national, and international forums on healthcare, APRNs, and broader healthcare policy. In 2021, Dr. Pérez became the first NP elected to municipal office in Texas and the first Latina to serve on the Live Oak City Council. She is currently one of five nurses in an elected office in Texas.
Gilbert M. Comola, MSN, ANP, is a nurse practitioner in the Department of Urology at Vanderbilt University Medical Center (VUMC), where he is also the fellowship director of the urologic advanced practice provider fellowship. He earned his MSN from Goldfarb School of Nursing at Barnes Jewish College, and completed his urology fellowship at Washington University School of Medicine.
Comola’s current clinical practice is housed within the division of reconstructive urology and pelvic health at VUMC. His clinical interests include men’s health, erectile dysfunction, Peyronie’s disease, and pelvic floor reconstructive surgery. Comola helped lead the design of the urologic NP fellowship program at VUMC.
Dr. Gordon Gillespie has been a registered nurse for over 25 years, working in emergency departments, public health, and academic settings.
His work has been cited by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, the U.S. Government Accountability Office, the American Nurses Association, and practitioners and researchers across six continents. He has chaired the national workplace violence conference, guest edited two interprofessional journal issues on workplace violence, co-chaired the Registered Nurses’ Association of Ontario’s second edition of the Best Practice Guideline “Preventing and Managing Bullying and Violence in the Workplace,” and served as an international director of the Emergency Nurses Association.
Dr. Heather Shlosser is the associate dean of the graduate school of nursing at Simmons University. Prior to her role at Simmons, Dr. Shlosser was an associate professor and program director at Frontier Nursing University (FNU). She played a key role in the development of the psychiatric-mental health nurse practitioner (PMHNP) program at FNU.
In addition to her leadership and academic appointments at Simmons, Dean Shlosser continues to work as a certified FNP and PMHNP in full-spectrum clinical practice. Among her professional areas of focus are the integration of behavioral health programs within primary care and mindfulness therapy.
Dr. Shlosser holds a BSN from Our Lady of the Elms, an MSN (family nurse practitioner) from Frontier Nursing University, and a DNP (psychiatric-mental health nurse practitioner) from the University of Virginia.
Dr. Humberto Reinoso is an assistant professor and the nurse practitioner coordinator at Georgia Baptist College of Nursing of Mercer University. He received his MSN and his PhD in nursing from Barry University in Miami, Florida.
Prior to joining the faculty at Mercer University, Dr. Reinoso served as an adjunct faculty member at the University of Miami and at Barry University, where he taught undergraduate and graduate nursing students. He holds dual certification from the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) as a Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP) and Emergency Nurse Practitioner (ENP).
Dr. Ivy Alexander is a professor and director of the adult-gerontology primary care nurse practitioner track at the University of Connecticut School of Nursing. Her clinical, scholarly, and research interests are in primary care for underserved populations, including veterans and their families, and midlife women’s healthcare, especially menopause-related symptom management and osteoporosis prevention, identification, and management.
With over 30 years of clinical and academic experience, she has extensive expertise in both clinical and didactic education. She has served as director for multiple HRSA-funded programs supporting the education and training of primary care nurse practitioners to care for underserved populations.
Janessa Broussard is an assistant professor in the hiv care and prevention concentration for the master of science program at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) School of Nursing. She earned her master of science in nursing (MSN) as an adult geriatric primary care nurse practitioner with an HIV focus from UCSF. She is a certified American Academy of HIV Medicine Specialist (AAHIVS).
Before joining the faculty at UCSF, Broussard served in several roles at the San Francisco AIDS Foundation, including senior director of clinical services and vice president of medical affairs. She is currently completing her PhD in nursing with a focus in HIV prevention and management at UCSF.
Janet Vaughan is an Associate Professor at the University of Rochester School of Nursing, and the Senior Nurse Practitioner in the Anesthesia Pain Service at the University of Rochester Medical Center, where she is also the Director of Clinical Operations for Anesthesia Research.
Vaughan earned her master’s as a family medicine nurse practitioner from the University of Rochester School of Nursing. She has extensive experience in clinical research and in providing ongoing clinical care for patients with malignant and non-malignant pain conditions.
Jeannie Pauline Yockey-Fine is the general counsel and vice president for policy, regulatory affairs, and administration at NC-SARA, where she provides advice, risk analysis, and counsel to the organization.
With a background in analyzing regulations and licensure issues, Yockey-Fine has worked with prestigious law firms and served as licensure manager at the Florida Department of Education’s Commission for Independent Education. She shares her expertise through presentations, workshops, and co-authored papers. She holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism and a JD from the University of Kansas
Dr. Jennifer Adamski is a clinical assistant professor and director of the adult-gerontology acute care nurse practitioner program at Emory University’s Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing, and a critical care ACNP for Cleveland Clinic’s Critical Care Flight Team. She also serves as a director on the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses (AACN) board of directors, as well as on the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses Certification Corporation board of directors.
Dr. Adamski is an independent consultant for APRN model development and serves as an APRN expert witness for trauma and critical care. Her academic work focuses on trauma prevention and system development, rapid response teams, and critical care/trauma advances in hemorrhagic shock. She earned her MSN from the University of Pittsburgh and her DNP from the University of South Alabama. In addition, Dr. Adamski is a Fellow of the American College of Critical Care Medicine.
Dr. Jennifer Clifton is a family nurse practitioner and has been a faculty member at the University of Utah College of Nursing (CON) since 2005. In addition, she serves as a primary care provider in Utah’s Juvenile Justice Services (JJS) clinics, and at the Summit County Health Department. She is also the CON director of primary care and the interim associate dean of faculty practice.
Dr. Clifton speaks nationally regarding various topics concerning juvenile correctional healthcare and serves on the NCCHC Juvenile Health Committee. She also serves on the NCCHC Board of Representatives as a liaison with the American Association of Nurse Practitioners (AANP). She completed the Duke-Johnson & Johnson Nurse Leader fellowship in 2016 and was inducted as a fellow into the American Association of Nurse Practitioners in 2020.
Dr. Jennifer Rodgers is the vice president of advanced practice for the University of Colorado Hospital and the University of Colorado School of Medicine. She has been instrumental in formalizing the advancement opportunities fo advanced practice providers (APPs) and has led the development of a systemwide Surgical APP Post-Graduate Fellowship.
Dr. Rodgers is a voting member of the Medical Board at the University of Colorado. She leads over 700 APPs and nearly 50 APP leads. She oversees and supports APP workforce, recruitment, hiring, development of new APP models of care, strategic and operational oversight, promotion, mentoring, professional advancement, and student placement.
Dr. Rodgers received her DNP from the University of Alabama. She is board certified as an acute care nurse practitioner (ACNP-BC), 21 with years of experience as a pulmonary nurse practitioner, caring for adult patients from critical care to hospice.
She also serves on the National Advanced Practice Advisory Council and is a fellow of the American Association of Nurse Practitioners (FAANP). Dr. Rodgers was awarded the AANP State Award for Clinical Excellence and the University of Colorado Hospital Medical Staff Leadership Award.
Dr. Jennifer Sonney is the President of the National Association of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners (NAPNAP). She is also an associate professor and the Elizabeth C. Giblin endowed professor at the University of Washington School of Nursing. Dr. Sonney’s research program focuses on improving immediate and long-term health outcomes of children with asthma by reducing symptom burden through novel technology solutions, innovative interventions, and cutting-edge clinical practice transformations.
Dr. Sonney is passionate about preparing the next generation of pediatric advanced practice nurses; she delights in drawing upon her years of primary care to bring pediatrics alive in the classroom. She is exceptionally honored to serve on the NAPNAP board and support the profession she loves.
Jennifer Walker is a cardiac NP specializing in cardiac electrophysiology at the University of North Carolina (UNC). She works in the Department of Cardiology and Electrophysiology and manages patients with atrial fibrillation, pacemakers, defibrillators, complex arrhythmias, and cardiac diseases. Part of her time is dedicated to research; her current grant-funded projects focus on improving the quality of life for patients with AFib through virtual educational support groups and optimizing AFib outcomes through community outreach.
As a nurse educator, Walker serves as a clinical faculty member in the MSN Division at the UNC School of Nursing. Additional notable accomplishments include helping to build the AFib Transitions Clinic program at UNC, which has been shown to significantly reduce hospital admissions. It won the 2021 UNC Quality and Safety Award.
At the national level, Walker has given several presentations on cardiac electrophysiology for the Heart Rhythm Society (HRS), Preventive Cardiovascular Nurses Association (PCNA), and American College of Cardiology (ACC). She also is scheduled to speak at the 2022 American Academy of Nurse Practitioners (AANP) conference.
Dr. Jennifer Wilbeck is a Professor of Nursing at Vanderbilt University School of Nursing, where she is also the Emergency NP Academic Director. She has over 20 years of experience in emergency healthcare, including pre-hospital, emergency department, critical care access, and trauma care.
At Vanderbilt, Dr. Wilbeck’s leadership of the nation’s first dual NP academic program for ENP preparation continues to serve as a model for ENP educational programs. She has also led the development of national practice standards and the creation of a national ENP specialty certification board examination.
Dr. Wilbeck was the founding Board Chair for the first national specialty professional organization for ENP practice, the American Academy of Emergency Nurse Practitioners AAENP), where she now serves as Executive Director.
A nationally-recognized anti-human trafficking advocate, Dr. Jessica Peck is a clinical professor at Baylor University’s Louise Herrington School of Nursing and holds credentials as a pediatric nurse practitioner, nurse educator, and clinical nurse leader. She has extensive clinical and teaching experience in Texas.
Elected as President of the National Association of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners (NAPNAP) in 2020, she has led an organization of 9,000 nurse practitioners during the biggest global health crisis of the 21st century. Rather than let physical distancing isolate her organization, she and her team have pivoted their annual conference to virtual spaces, made child health equity a priority, and created the TeamPeds Talks podcast, which provides continuing education credit for nurses and uplifting stories for all.
Dr. Joanne Spetz directs the Philip R. Lee Institute for Health Policy Studies (IHPS) at the University of California San Francisco, a 50-year-old research unit dedicated to supporting, guiding, and informing policymakers, communities, and clinicians in their decision-making. She is also the Brenda and Jeffrey L. Kang Presidential Chair in Health Care Financing at IHPS.
Her expertise centers on the economics of the healthcare workforce, the organization of healthcare services, and healthcare quality. She is currently directing a federally funded UCSF Health Workforce Research Center on Long-Term Care, which provides evidence to address individuals’ needs across the lifespan with patient-centered care. She is an internationally renowned scholar in nursing workforce studies researching nurse supply and demand. She holds a master’s and a doctorate in economics from Stanford University.
Dr. John Silver is an RN, healthcare policy expert, and educator. He holds an MSN with a focus on health policy and ethics and a PhD in comparative studies to search for solutions to problems within the US healthcare system. In 2020, Dr. Silver co-founded the advocacy group Nurses Transforming Healthcare to create a patient-focused system with safe staffing levels.
Dr. Silver writes and speaks internationally about the U.S. healthcare system and transforming ethics in healthcare and advocates for full practice authority of NPs.
Dr. Julie Koklys is an assistant professor at Lewis University’s College of Nursing and Health Sciences, where she is also the Chair of the Department of Nursing. She received her MS in family health nursing and nursing education from the University of South Florida and her DNP from Lewis University.
Her DNP research was titled “Nurse Practitioner Perceived Readiness for Full Practice Authority.” Dr. Koklys currently serves as the Government Relations Chair for the Illinois Society for Advanced Practice Nursing (ISAPN).
Dr. Karen A. Kalmakis is an associate professor at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst College of Nursing, where she is also the director of the doctor of nursing practice (DNP) program. She earned her MPH, her MSN, and her PhD from the University of Massachusetts-Amherst.
A certified family nurse practitioner with special interests in health outcomes of trauma and informed care, Dr. Kalmakis has received federal and foundation funding to support her research foci and disseminated her findings widely through peer-reviewed publications and at national and international conferences.
Dr. Karen Jefferson is the Director of Midwifery Practice and Education for the American College of Nurse-Midwives, the professional association for Certified Nurse-Midwives and Certified Midwives. She is adjunct faculty at Thomas Jefferson University, where she was formerly the Program Coordinator for the Doctorate in Midwifery program.
For 17 years, she co-owned a private midwifery practice in New York City, attending births at home. A State University of New York-Downstate graduate, Dr. Jefferson is a former member of the board of directors of the ACNM and the past president of the New York State Association of Licensed Midwives. Her advocacy work helped pass two major midwifery bills in NY, and she is now working to support licensure for Certified Midwives in all 50 states. Her scholarly focus is on strengthening midwifery associations as well as changing public policy surrounding licensure and regulation of midwives in the U.S.
Dr. Karen Theoktisto is a recently retired pediatric nurse practitioner with over 40 years of pediatric nursing experience. She earned her BSN/MSN from the University of Florida and was a graduate of the University of Florida’s first DNP class. Her research-based master’s thesis studied the benefits of school nurses and helped unlock funding for a nurse in every school in Florida’s Alachua County.
Dr. Theoktisto has been working with children since her teens when she volunteered as a candy striper. After earning her nursing diploma, she spent 14 years in neonatal and pediatric intensive care units. As an APRN, Dr. Theoktisto worked for eight years in private practice before transitioning to the University of Florida College of Medicine’s Eastside Community Practice, where she served for 12 years as a primary care PNP and clinical preceptor for nurses and medical residents.
Kate Hanselman has over a decade of experience working in mental health as a nurse, a first responder in New York, and a health professions educator. She has worked with adults and seniors who deal with family conflict, transgender issues, grief, sexual orientation issues, trauma, PTSD, anxiety, depression, anger issues, dysfunctional relationships, ADHD, behavioral issues, women’s issues, and more.
Hanselman earned an MSN from the University of Pennsylvania and a master’s in science from King’s College London.
Dr. Kathryn Holliday is a Certified Pediatric Nurse Practitioner (CPNP) and an assistant professor for the College of Nursing at SUNY Upstate Medical University, where she is also the Director of the Pediatric Nurse Practitioner Program. She earned her doctor of nursing practice degree (DNP) from SUNY Buffalo in 2019 and her MS from the SUNY Health Science Center at Syracuse in 2014.
Prior to joining the faculty at SUNY Upstate, Dr. Holliday taught at Pomeroy College of Nursing at Crouse Hospital from 2012 to 2019. She has worked in the PICU and pediatric urgent care setting as a registered nurse and has also worked as a PNP in primary care and pediatric urgent care settings. The focus of her DNP capstone was research into the use of pediatric simulation in nursing education, a topic that was presented at the Nursing Education Research Conference in March 2020.
Dr. Kim Litwack is the Dean of the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee’s School of Nursing, where she has been a tenured Professor since 2004. Prior to this, she was an Associate Professor at Grand Valley State University in Grand Rapids, Michigan (2000-2004), the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque (1992-2000), and Rush University (1984-1992).
Dr. Litwack received her MSN in medical-surgical nursing from Case Western Reserve University and her PhD in educational administration from Kent State University. Her nursing background has been in the areas of critical care, perianesthesia care, and, more recently, ambulatory care and pain management.
Dr. Litwack has won several awards for her contributions to nursing and nursing education, including the DAISY Foundation’s Award for Extraordinary Faculty in 2015.
Dr. Kristin Bott is an assistant professor and director of the adult-gerontology acute care nurse practitioner track at the University of Connecticut School of Nursing. She has been practicing in the acute care practice setting for over 17 years and has served in varying roles and capacities both in the clinical practice setting and in the university.
Dr. Bott began as a staff nurse in the ICU and worked in MICU, CTICU, and Progressive Cardiac units. She graduated with her acute care nurse practitioner degree from the University of Connecticut in 2011.
Post-graduation, Dr. Bott’s clinical role was in electrophysiology, and she soon became the manager of the electrophysiology department at her institution. She has also served as the technical director of electrophysiology in the hospital setting. Dr. Bott remains active in clinical practice in the hospital setting and also serves as an advisory council and board member of the Connecticut Chapter of the American College of Cardiology.
Dr. Kristy Oden is Department Chair and Director of the Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) program at the University of North Alabama. She received her BSN from the University of North Alabama, and her MSN and DNP from the University of Alabama at Huntsville. Within the MSN program at the University of North Alabama, Dr. Oden has taught courses in advanced research, nursing theory, and advanced pathophysiology.
Over the years, Dr. Oden has made several local presentations and has represented the College of Nursing and the university through podium and poster presentations at the international level. Additionally, she has authored and co-authored articles for publication in peer-reviewed nursing journals. Dr. Oden continues to maintain an active family nurse practitioner (FNP) certification through local practice and volunteering.
Leah Foster Smith is the director of advanced practitioners at a large nephrology practice in North Carolina. She oversees the country’s largest group of advanced practice providers (APPs) and practices as a board-certified nephrology NP. She earned her BSN and MSN from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte.
Smith is president-elect of the American Nephrology Nurses Association (ANNA), the Greater Charlotte Chapter. She also serves on the ANNA National Program Committee and the Health Policy Workgroup. Smith speaks at many local and national nephrology conferences, including those hosted by ANNA, the National Kidney Foundation (NKF), and the Renal Physician Association (RPA). She is on the Council of Advanced Practitioners for the NKF and the Clinical Practice Committee for the RPA.
Dr. Leanne H. Fowler is the program director of nurse practitioner programs at LSU Health New Orleans School of Nursing, where she is also an associate professor of clinical nursing and the program coordinator of the adult-gerontology acute care nurse practitioner (AGACNP) concentration. She received her BSN from Southern University and A&M College, her MSN/MBA from the University of Phoenix, and her DNP from the University of South Alabama.
Dr. Fowler has over 20 years of nursing experience and more than 12 years in academic nursing education. Her clinical expertise is focused on acute and critically ill adults within hospital settings. Dr. Fowler is an active member of several professional nursing and medical organizations, and health-related or faith-based community organizations. She has formerly served or currently serves in various leadership roles at the state and national levels.
Dr. Fowler is recognized internationally as an Institute for Healthcare Improvement Fellow (2020) for leadership in quality improvement, nationally recognized in the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses’ 2017 Circle of Excellence for contributions to the development of critical care nurses, and recognized as a Governor John Bel Edwards-appointed member of the Covid-19 Health Equity Task Force for Louisiana.
Dr. Leslie L. Davis is an associate professor in the School of Nursing at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She also maintains a part-time nurse practitioner practice with the Division of Cardiology at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, with a focus on adults with hypertension, heart failure, and acute coronary syndromes.
In addition to contributing to over 30 peer-reviewed articles, Dr. Davis also served as the editor for the 2004 book Cardiovascular Nursing Secrets and two special cardiovascular editions of The Journal for Nurse Practitioners (2013, 2019). She is a fellow of the American Association of Nurse Practitioners, the American College of Cardiology, the American Heart Association, and the Preventive Cardiovascular Nurses Association.
Lisa Kottschade is an associate professor of oncology, a nurse practitioner in the Melanoma and Cutaneous Oncology Clinic, and holds associate status at Mayo Clinic. Kottschade is also the chief operations officer for the Midwest Melanoma Partnership and chair for the Alliance in Clinical Trials of Oncology Nursing committee. She obtained her BSN from Winona State University and her MSN from St. Louis University.
Kottschade has published extensively on both melanoma and side effect management and is currently leading the Immunotherapy Toxicity Working Group at Mayo Clinic. She is also Secretary of the Board for the Advanced Practitioner Society For Hematology and Oncology (APSHO).
Dr. Lisa M. Onesko is the director of the DNP program and an associate professor at Kent State University’s College of Nursing. She currently teaches classes in adult-gerontology primary care, organizational systems, quality improvement in healthcare systems, and applications to evidence-based practice.
Dr. Onesko has also previously served as the director of NP programs and the director of the adult-gerontology program at Kent State. A nurse practitioner since 2002, she works for an internal medicine practice at the Cleveland Clinic. Notably, in 2012 and 2015, Dr. Onesko won the Barbara Donaho Distinguished Leadership in Learning Award.
Dr. Lynne M. Dunphy is professor emerita for the Christine E. Lynn College of Nursing at Florida Atlantic University (FAU). She is also director of nurse practitioner education for VisualDX, an AI-powered diagnostic support tool for clinicians.
Dr. Dunphy previously served as full professor and assistant dean of graduate programs at FAU. She was also a Robert Wood Johnson Executive Nurse Fellow from 2009 to 2012 and in 2012, was the founding nurse lead of the Rhode Island Action Coalition (RIAC), established to advance the Institute of Medicine’s Future of Nursing report published in 2011. Dr. Dunphy is the author of the widely-used textbook, Primary Care: The Art and Science of Advanced Practice Nursing, now going into its fifth edition.
Dr. Midge Bowers is an associate professor and lead faculty for the cardiovascular specialty at Duke University School of Nursing. She holds a secondary appointment in the Department of Medicine as an NP and is a faculty consultant at the School of Medicine.
Dr. Bower’s clinical focus is on patients with heart failure, and her scholarly work is focused on a DNP-led model of care for patients with heart failure. As an associate in the American College of Cardiology (ACC) and a certified health simulation educator, she is the only NP on the leadership team of the ACC simulation council.
Dr. Bowers is actively involved in the American Association of Nurse Practitioners (AANP) as a fellow and the chair of the Cardiology Special Practice Group. She also serves as director-at-large on the board of the Gerontological Advanced Practice Nurses Association and is a fellow in the American Academy of Nursing.
Dr. Margaret Zoellers is an associate professor and the rural health family nurse practitioner (FNP) program coordinator at Eastern Kentucky University’s School of Nursing. She earned both her MSN and DNP from Eastern Kentucky University.
Dr. Zoellers is a practicing APRN with over 24 years of advanced nursing practice experience, primarily in family practice but also in women’s health, internal medicine, urgent care, and university student health. Prior to earning her MSN, she spent five years in registered nursing practice, with experience in medical/surgical, home health, and emergency care.
Dr. Marne Juestel is a clinical assistant professor of nursing at the Indiana University Northwest School of Nursing in Gary, Indiana. She received her BSN from Valparaiso University, and her DNP from Rush University.
Over a 25-year nursing career, Dr. Juestel has practiced as an emergency medicine NP and as a family NP, working in both rural and non-rural settings. Prior to joining the faculty at IU Northwest, Dr. Juestel served as an assistant professor at Purdue University Northwest. She currently splits her time between academic and clinical settings.
Dr. Mary Chesney is a Clinical Professor and the Katherine R. & C. Walton Lillehei Chair for Nursing Leadership at the University of Minnesota School of Nursing. She practiced as a certified pediatric nurse practitioner in primary care for more than 30 years. Her teaching, clinical, and scholarship expertise includes advocacy for optimal child/youth health, US health policy, advanced practice registered nurse utilization, and health system quality improvement.
Dr. Chesney’s leadership experience includes serving as Health Policy Chair (2010-2013) and President (2014-2015) of the National Association of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners. She has provided legislative testimony and served numerous Minnesota legislative and executive branch appointments on health reform.
Dr. Chesney co-founded the MN APRN Coalition and led the Coalition’s successful 2014 campaign at the Capitol to bring full practice authority to Minnesota’s APRNs. She is a fellow of the American Academy of Nursing (2014) and the American Association of Nurse Practitioners (2016).
Dr. Mary Ellen Roberts is an associate professor in the College of Nursing at Seton Hall University. As an adult nurse practitioner and acute care nurse practitioner, she also maintains a practice with Atlantic Health System. She is known for her expertise in cardiovascular care, specializing in women and heart disease, hypertension, lipids, and acute coronary syndrome.
Dr. Roberts is past president of the AANP Board of Directors and co-author of the seminal AANP white paper on the Doctor of Nursing Practice. Her enduring interest is the advancement of the nurse practitioner role in today’s healthcare environment, encouraging and teaching nurse practitioners role development, advancement, and the importance of staying politically active.
Dr. Mary Lou Affronti is a clinical professor at Duke University School of Nursing (DUSON). She earned both her DNP and her MSN at DUSON and a master’s degree in health science in clinical research from the Duke University School of Medicine. She is also a primary investigator and adult nurse practitioner at the Preston Robert Tisch Brain Tumor Center in the Duke Cancer Institute.
Dr. Affronti has been a part of Duke’s oncology clinical and research community for over three-and-a-half decades and has been associated with DUSON since 1989 in various roles, including clinical associate, guest lecturer, preceptor, and clinical instructor. She was instrumental in developing the oncology curriculum for DUSON nurse practitioner students. She also serves as the director for the oncology specialty and adult gerontology nurse practitioner-primary care (AGNP-PC) Program.
Dr. Affronti received the Southern Nursing Research Society Clinical Research Award in 2018 and was inducted into Fellows of the American Academy of Nursing (FAAN) in 2020. As a well-published, expert neuro-oncology NP and primary investigator, she conducts research in therapeutic and supportive care trials.
Dr. Mary Franklin is an Assistant Professor at Case Western Reserve University’s Frances Payne Bolton School of Nursing, where she is also Director of the Nurse-Midwifery Program. She received her BSN, MSN, and DNP from Case Western Reserve University. Dr. Franklin’s teaching responsibilities include maternity and newborn nursing, informatics, and well-woman gynecology courses.
Dr. Franklin has received the Most Outstanding Nurse Midwife Award from the Northeast Ohio Chapter of the American College of Nurse-Midwives; the Ohio Exemplary Midwife Award from the Ohio Chapters of the ACNM; and the Clinical Star Award from the ACNM. She became a Fellow of the ACNM in 2021.
Dr. Maura Abbott is an assistant professor of nursing and oncology program director at Columbia University School of Nursing. She is also a nurse practitioner in the Columbia University Medical Center Department of Hematology and Oncology.
Dr. Abbott earned her MSN and her PhD in nursing from Yale University, where she also served as an instructor in the graduate pediatric nurse practitioner (PNP) and family nurse practitioner (FNP) programs before joining the faculty at Columbia University.
Dr. Maureen Cooney is a Pain Management Nurse Practitioner at Westchester Medical Center, an Adjunct Associate Professor in the Family Nurse Practitioner Program at Pace University, and President of the American Society for Pain Management Nursing (ASPMN).
Dr. Cooney earned her BS and MS in nursing from Pace University, and her DNP from Case Western Reserve. She has extensive experience in acute pain management, critical care, and nursing education.
Dr. Mavis Schorn is a professor, senior associate dean for academics, and a nurse-midwife in faculty practice at Vanderbilt University School of Nursing. She is responsible for curricular and faculty oversight and evaluation, identifying and implementing academic strategic direction, and serving as the academic representative to the university and to external stakeholders.
Dr. Schorn’s current research and scholarly interests include the third stage of labor, teaching methods, and advanced practice nursing policy. She is a fellow in the American College of Nurse-Midwives (ACNM), the American Academy of Nursing (AAN), and the National Academies of Practice (NAP).
Dr. Megan Pratt is an associate professor at the University of Nevada, Reno Orvis School of Nursing, where she is also program director of the family nurse practitioner and adult-gerontology primary care nurse practitioner programs. She earned her master’s degree as a family nurse practitioner from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas; her post-master’s certificate as a nurse educator from the University of Nevada, Reno; and her doctorate of nursing practice from Frontier Nursing University.
Dr. Pratt maintains a clinical practice providing cardiovascular care and risk reduction to Nevada first responders. She is also an active volunteer with Nevada Donor Network. Dr. Pratt was named a Gerontological Advanced Practice Nurse Association (GAPNA) Rising Star for her work developing and presenting on the APRN Gerontological Specialist Certification Exam Review Course and her induction into the second class of GAPNA Leadership Institute Fellows.
Dr. Michael E. Zychowicz is a clinical professor of nursing at Duke University School of Nursing (DUSON). Since 2009, when he joined the DUSON faculty, he has held several leadership positions within the school. He is currently co-director for the Duke-Durham VA post-graduate primary care NP residency. He also leads the graduate-level veterans’ health specialty and the orthopedic np specialty program that was developed with generous extramural funding through the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA).
Dr. Zychowicz’s scholarly interests include advancing orthopedic practice and education and post-graduate training programs for NPs. He has a clinical interest in occupational back injuries and the impact of health beliefs on return to work time. He has been developing and exploring the use of virtual reality to teach distance-based students psychomotor skills allowing them to practice skills while away from a traditional nursing lab.
Dr. Zychowicz is the editor of the books Orthopedic Nursing Secrets and Introduction to Orthopedic Nursing, and has published several journal articles and book chapters on various orthopedic topics. He received the American Association of Nurse Practitioners (AANP) Award for Excellence in 2007, and was also selected for the Outstanding Orthopedic Nurse Award by the National Association of Orthopedic Nurses (NAON).
Molly Lillis Cahill is an adult nurse practitioner and certified nephrology nurse. She earned her MSN from the University of Missouri-Kansas City. After completing her nursing degree, she has remained passionate and involved in nephrology nursing and has served as a preceptor for many BSN and NP students.
Cahill is a member of the American Nephrology Nurses Association (ANNA), the American Nurses Association (ANA), the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners (AANP), the American College of Nurse Practitioners (ACNP), the National Kidney Foundation Heritage Club (NKF HC), and the NKF Council for Nephrology Nurses. Cahill won the Nephrology Nursing Journal’s Education Writing Award for an article she co-authored in 2021.
Dr. Patricia Speck is a professor and coordinator of the advanced forensic nursing program at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. She received her master of nursing in primary care and her doctor of nursing science in public health nursing from the University of Tennessee Health Science Center (UTHSC) College of Nursing in Memphis.
As a board-certified family nurse practitioner, forensic nursing expert, academic, and researcher, Dr. Speck develops policy, evaluates programs, and builds nursing workforce capacity through publication, education, and violence prevention initiatives. She co-developed the first Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) in Forensic Nursing at the UTHSC in Memphis (2002), supported by HRSA funding (2004-07). She consults both nationally and internationally with governments, universities, institutions, and NGOs. Her research currently focuses on trauma-informed care and the health outcomes following violence.
Dr. Speck was founding member of the International Association of Forensic Nurses (1992), the Academy of Forensic Nurses (2018), the Forensic Nursing Certification Board (2018), and the Nursing Section at the American Academy of Forensic Sciences (2021). She served as president of the International Association of Forensic Nurses (2003-2004), and the recipient of Achievement, Distinguished Fellow, and Ann W. Burgess Research Awards. She is also a fellow of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences (2008), a distinguished fellow of the Academy of Forensic Nursing (2018), and a fellow of the American Academy of Nurses (2002). Dr. Speck received the Lifetime Professional Impact Award from End Violence Against Women International in 2017.
Rachel Adney is a pediatric nurse practitioner in the Division of Pediatric Pulmonology at Stanford Medicine Children’s Health. She received her MSN from Vanderbilt University School of Nursing in 2001, and completed her pediatric pulmonary nurse practitioner fellowship in 2013.
Adney developed significant asthma in her twenties, and chose to specialize in pediatric pulmonology to combine her experience in general pediatrics with her personal experience in helping patients.
After serving in the Marine Corps for seven years, Roger Rivera earned his BSN and MSN degrees from the Inter-American University of Puerto Rico, followed by a certificate in psychiatric mental health from the University of Cincinnati. In 2017, he began moonlighting in an outpatient clinic for psychiatry in effort to become more professionally well-rounded and ended up finding his passion in mental healthcare.
As a PMHNP, he helps patients with conditions such as bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, substance use disorders, depression, PTSD, and anxiety disorders. He also holds a nurse educator certificate from the University of Florida.
Dr. Ruth Kleinpell is the Independence Foundation Professor of Nursing Education at Vanderbilt University School of Nursing, where she also serves as Associate Dean for Clinical Scholarship. Her current research and scholarly interests include the roles and scope of practice of nurse practitioners in acute care settings, outcomes of advanced practice nursing care, and promoting patient and family-centered care research.
Dr. Kleinpell is a board member of the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) and the Tennessee Nurses Association Political Action Campaign (TNA-PAC). She is also on the editorial boards of Critical Care Medicine, the Journal of the American Association of Nurse Practitioners, and the American Journal of Critical Care. Notably, Dr. Kleinpell won both the Society of Critical Care Medicine’s Distinguished Service Award and the ANCC’s Certified Nurse of the Year Award in 2019.
Dr. Scot Pettey is the interim associate dean of clinical affairs and chair of the Department of Nurse Anesthesia at the Providence Sacred Heart Medical Center Gonzaga University. He’s also the director of the nurse anesthesia program. He has been a CRNA since 2009 and at Gonzaga/Providence since 2014. He earned both his doctor of nurse anesthesia practice (DNAP) and master’s of science in nurse anesthesia (MSNA) degrees from Virginia Commonwealth University.
The courses Dr. Pettey teaches include basic principles of anesthesia, advanced principles of anesthesia, and chemistry and physics of anesthesia. He also oversees student clinical practicums and conducts and publishes research. His most recent work was published in the American Association of Nurse Anesthesiology Journal.
Dr. Sean Clarke is the executive vice dean and a professor at NYU Rory Meyers College of Nursing. His research interests include workforce issues, occupational safety for nurses, quality of services in acute care settings, and political factors in healthcare service provision and the nursing profession. As a nurse academic and health services researcher, Dr. Clarke is best known for his research on nurse staffing issues and nurses’ working conditions.
Dr. Shelley Carter is the family nurse practitioner (FNP) graduate program director at Missouri State University School of Nursing, where she also serves as a clinical assistant professor. She earned her BSN, FNP, and DNP from Missouri State University.
Dr. Carter’s doctoral research project focused on screening and psychotherapy for depression-chronic Illness comorbidities in a free primary care clinic. Today, in addition to teaching classes on family practice and the applications of advanced human pathophysiology, she maintains research and clinical interests in serving vulnerable populations.
Dr. Sheryl Mitchell is Assistant Dean for Graduate Studies and Associate Professor at the University of South Carolina College of Nursing. A South Carolina native, she earned her bachelor of science in nursing, her bachelor of science in biology and psychology, and her doctor of nursing practice all from the University of South Carolina.
Dr. Mitchell teaches in the graduate nursing program at the University of South Carolina and has served as project chair for DNP students. Her research interests include vulnerable populations, graduate nursing education, simulation, policy, and breast cancer survivorship.
Dr. Mitchell currently serves as Vice-Chair of the South Carolina Nurses Association’s APRN Chapter, and as Treasurer for the Coalition for Access to Health Care. She has previously served on the South Carolina Nurses Association Board of Directors as President, President-Elect, and the Commission Chair on Public Policy and Legislation. She also is a Fellow of the American Association of Nurse Practitioners.
Dr. Sophia L. Thomas is president of the American Association of Nurse Practitioners (AANP). A family and pediatric nurse practitioner (NP) at the DePaul Community Health Center in Kenner (New Orleans), Louisiana, Dr. Thomas’ clinical practice has focused on providing care to medically underserved families.
Dr. Thomas is active within several professional organizations, including the Louisiana Association of Nurse Practitioners (LANP). She has served in elected and appointed leadership and committee positions, including as president of LANP and previously in AANP as Region 6 Director. She was inducted as a Fellow in both the AANP in 2012 and the National Academy of Practice in Nursing in 2013.
In addition to her advocacy efforts, Dr. Thomas impacts NP education through publications and presentations on multiple clinical topics. As AANP president and spokesperson, her multimedia reach includes print, radio, and television. She also speaks extensively throughout the U.S. and internationally, advocating for NP scope of practice legislation and for improving patient access to quality, affordable healthcare.
Dr. Stacia M. Hays is a clinical associate professor at Baylor University and a PNP who maintains an active clinical practice. She is a certified nurse educator and Fellow in the American Association of Nurse Practitioners. She has been a DNP program director and coordinator for pediatric acute and chronic care NP programs.
As a PNP for more than 18 years, Dr. Hays focuses on vulnerable and high-risk populations, including those with chronic illnesses and child victims of human trafficking. She was National Chair of the Best Practices and Protocols Workgroup for the Alliance for Children in Trafficking and presents nationally on human trafficking, chronic illness, and resiliency. She is a recognized advocate for NPs and has received national and international advocacy awards.
Internationally, she has worked with South America to develop the role of the NP and build a national accreditation process. Dr. Hays is the current treasurer of the National Association of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners (NAPNAP).
Dr. Stacy Harris is an assistant professor of nursing at the University of Central Arkansas (UCA). She obtained her BSN and MSN from the University of Missouri at Kansas City and her DNP from the University of Central Arkansas. She has been a registered nurse since 1992, with experience in the critical care field.
Dr. Harris serves as the graduate program coordinator for the School of Nursing at UCA. In addition, she is the nurse practitioner program director. Dr. Harris has teaching responsibilities in the graduate program, primarily focusing on nurse practitioner clinical courses and advanced health assessment. She is an adult nurse practitioner with over 20 years of experience, mainly focused in cardiovascular disease and internal medicine.
Dr. Susan Wegelt Heinz, CNM is the owner and director of the Corvallis Birth & Wellness Center in Corvallis, Oregon. She is a certified nurse-midwife and nurse practitioner with over 30 years of midwifery experience in both hospital and birth center settings. She established the Corvallis Birth & Women’s Health Center with the mission to “create a place for support, listening and relationship building, where women and families are empowered and where choices are respected—a place where safety for those served is the highest priority.”
Dr. Heinz earned her doctorate in nursing practice (DNP) from Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU).
Sylvana A. Brickley is a dermatology certified nurse practitioner (DCNP). She earned her bachelor of science in nursing (BSN) and master of science in nursing (MSN) at Simmons University in Boston, Massachusetts, and then completed the two-year University of Rochester Medical Center (URMC) postgraduate dermatology training program in 2019.
Brickley is currently serving a two-year term as a director on the Dermatology Nurses’ Association (DNA) Board of Directors and is an editorial board member for the Journal of the Dermatology Nurses’ Association (JDNA). She presented at the DNA’s Annual Convention, is a peer reviewer for the JDNA, and has published several articles in peer-reviewed dermatology journals. Brickley is passionate about improving patient access to dermatological care and promoting high-quality educational opportunities for NPs who practice dermatology.
Dr. Tearsanee Davis is the director of clinical and advanced practice operations for the Center for Telehealth at the University of Mississippi Medical Center (UMMC), and an assistant professor at UMMC School of Nursing. Dr. Davis served as adjunct faculty in the DNP program at Alcorn State University. She also is co-chair of the Health Informatics and Telehealth Specialty Interest Group (SIG), a member of the Practice Committee, and a Fellow of the American Association of Nurse Practitioners (AANP).
A board-certified family nurse practitioner (FNP) with over 20 years of nursing experience, Dr. Davis received her DNP from the University of Alabama at Birmingham and her MSN from Alcorn State University.
Dr. Davis is responsible for all day-to-day telehealth clinical operations at UMMC, including services such as remote patient monitoring (RPM) for chronic disease management, tele-mental health, corporate telehealth, and specialty telehealth. During her eight-year tenure, she’s helped establish UMMC as a pioneer in telehealth, with over 200 sites of service and a wide spectrum of medical specialties. UMMC is one of two National Centers of Excellence in Telehealth as designated by the Health Services Resource Administration (HRSA).
Teri Reyburn-Orne is the Interim Associate Director of Chronic Pain Services, Lead Advanced Practice Provider (APP) for non-anesthesia APPs, Instructor, and Acute Pain Nurse Practitioner at the University of Colorado, School of Medicine, Section of Pediatric Anesthesia. As such, she provides acute and chronic pain management for patients at Children’s Hospital Colorado.
Reyburn-Orne is currently serving as the President-Elect of the American Society for Pain Management Nursing (ASPMN). She earned her BSN and MSN from the University of California, San Francisco, and her post-master’s certificate at Wright State University. She is dual-boarded as both an Acute and Primary Care Pediatric Nurse Practitioner. She has extensive experience in both acute and chronic pediatric pain management.
Dr. Tonya Nicholson is the department chair of midwifery and women’s health at Frontier Nursing University (FNU). She is a past FNU program director and the former chair of the Directors of Midwifery Education for the ACNM (American College of Nurse-Midwives).
Dr. Nicholson’s areas of interest include communication, civility, and precepting. In addition to her academic appointment, teaching, and speaking, Dr. Nicholson is a practicing nurse-midwife in her hometown of Dublin, Georgia.
Dr. Nicholson holds an MSN from Case Western Reserve University and a DNP from FNU, where she received her midwifery training and has spent 15 years instructing with a focus on clinical practice and prenatal health. In addition to the nurse nurse-midwifery and women’s health care nurse practitioner specialty-tracks that Dr. Nicholson oversees, FNU currently offers two other specializations: family nurse practitioner and psychiatric-mental health nurse practitioner. FNU also offers a doctor of nursing practice (DNP).
Dr. Tosha Harris is a neonatal nurse practitioner whose current clinical practice occurs in level IV NICUs throughout the country. She earned her BSN from the University of Louisiana Monroe, her MSN from Northwestern State University, and her DNP from the University of Tennessee Health Science Center (UTHSC).
Since being selected for the second cohort of the National Association of Neonatal Nurses (NANN)/Synova Associates Emerging Leader Fellowship in 2018, Dr. Harris has presented at NANN annual conferences as both a podium and poster presenter, been a conference symposium planning committee member, served as volunteer faculty for the UTHSC College of Nursing, and performed as a manuscript reviewer for Advances of Neonatal Care. In addition, she is currently serving as editor of the NANN E-News bi-monthly newsletter and serves on the National Association of Neonatal Nurse Practitioners Council.
Dr. Van Gip-Duran is a clinical assistant professor at the University of Utah College of Nursing. She is also a nurse practitioner at the Urban Indian Center of Salt Lake City and her college’s Neurology Cognitive Disorders Clinic. She earned both her BSN and DNP from the University of Utah.
Dr. Gip-Duran has worked full-time in the operating room as an RN and part-time in a juvenile justice services setting as an NP. She also participated in a humanitarian effort as part of a medical team providing healthcare in rural Timo, Haiti. She is an active member of the Utah Nurse Practitioners and the American Association of Nurse Practitioners (AANP).
Vicky Byrd, MSN is the chief executive officer of the Montana Nurses Association (MNA) and has been a registered nurse since 1989. She started her career as a certified pediatric nurse and, in 2002, moved forward with her professional development and became a certified oncology nurse.
Byrd practiced as an oncology nurse until 2014, then transitioned to her nurse leadership role as CEO for MNA. At the national level, she leads the MNA members with their affiliation with the American Nurses Association, American Association of Nurse Practitioners, and American Federation of Teachers-Nurses and Health Professionals. In April 2019, she obtained her master of science in nursing, with a program study in nursing leadership and management.
Meet the Team
Seth RestainoCo-Founder, Sechel Ventures Seth Restaino has devoted the past 20 years of his professional career to building websites for prospective undergraduate and graduate students interested in pursuing healthcare careers. Seth runs production and engineering for Sechel Ventures, which he co-owns with Barry.
Barry FranklinCo-Founder, Sechel Ventures
Before co-founding Sechel Ventures Partners LLC, Barry Franklin was a VP at a Silicon Valley software company. He is an investor and advisor for DataSimply and Impellia. Barry believes that education and lifelong learning are paramount. Barry met his wife at Carnegie Mellon University and they have two beautiful daughters. He also volunteers for various committees at his kids’ high school.
Jocelyn BloreWriter, Editor, Chief Content Strategist
Jocelyn Blore is the chief content officer of Sechel Ventures and the co-author of the Women Breaking Barriers series. She has interviewed dozens of nurse practitioners and professors on state practice authority laws and other professional advocacy issues in the community. She graduated summa cum laude from UC Berkeley and traveled the world for five years. She’s interested in how culture shapes the idea of human progress and healthcare systems within societies—one of the many themes she writes about in her blog, Blore’s Razor (Instagram: @bloresrazor). She has served as managing editor for several healthcare websites since 2015.
Becca Brewer, MEdWriter
Becca Brewer is building a better future on a thriving earth by healing herself into wholeness, divesting from separation, and walking the path of the loving heart. Previously to her journey as an adventurer for a just, meaningful, and regenerative world, Becca was a formally trained sexuality educator with a master of education.
Bree Nicolello is an urban planner and freelance writer based in Seattle, WA. She has worked on land use and housing policy issues throughout the Pacific Northwest. She previously led Run Oregon Run, a nonprofit dedicated to helping Oregonians run for office and apply to boards and commissions. When not writing, she is lovingly tending to her cast iron pans.
Celeste Williams, MSN, APRN, FNP-BCWriter & Contributing Expert
Celeste Williams is a family nurse practitioner and alumna of Southern Nazarene University and the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences. Celeste is passionate about healthcare policy, especially its effects on rural and other underserved communities. She believes more nurses belong in all levels of government and places where decisions are made. She is active in her community through her professional organizations, local political organizations, Rotary, and her church. She lives in NW Arkansas with her husband, four children, two cats, a dog, chickens, ducks, turkeys, peacocks, and a bearded dragon.
Cevia Yellin is a freelance writer based in Eugene, Oregon. She studied English and French literature as an undergraduate. After serving two years as an AmeriCorps volunteer, she earned her master of arts in teaching English to speakers of other languages. Cevia’s travels and experiences working with students of diverse linguistic and cultural backgrounds have contributed to her interest in the forces that shape identity. She grew up on the edge of Philadelphia, where her mom still lives in her childhood home.
While a partner in a San Francisco marketing and design firm, for over 20 years, Douglas Mark wrote online and print content for the world’s biggest brands, including United Airlines, Union Bank, Ziff Davis, Sebastiani and AT&T. Since his first magazine article appeared in MacUser in 1995, he’s also written on finance and graduate business education in addition to mobile online devices, apps, and technology. Doug graduated in the top one percent of his class with a business administration degree from the University of Illinois and studied computer science at Stanford University.
Farheen Gani is a freelance writer, marketer, and researcher. She writes about technology, education, and marketing. Her work has appeared on websites such as Tech in Asia and Foundr, as well as top SaaS blogs such as Zapier and InVision. You can connect with her on LinkedIn and Twitter (@FarheenGani).
Kenneth Parker is a feature writer, poet, and musician living in the Pacific Northwest. His writing on remote work, education, and technology has been published by BustedCubicle.com, MedicalTechnologySchools.com, and other websites. His poetry, short fiction, and album reviews have appeared in Scifaikuest, Nanoism, and No Clean Singing. His background includes time spent as an associate editor, proofreader, private grammar instructor, freelance content editor, medical claims agent, and SEO consultant. He is a graduate of the University of Oregon, where he studied literature and worked as a composition tutor.
Among her many diverse writing endeavors, Kimmy Gustafson has also lent her expertise to NPSchools.com since 2020, providing insightful and engaging content about the significant role of education in shaping our future generations of nurse practitioners. Many of her pieces include interviewing experts on timely topics such as healthcare workplace violence and moral distress.
Kimmy has been a freelance writer for more than a decade, writing hundreds of articles on a wide variety of topics such as startups, nonprofits, healthcare, kiteboarding, the outdoors, and higher education. She is passionate about seeing the world and has traveled to over 27 countries. She holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Oregon. When not working, she can be found outdoors, parenting, kiteboarding, or cooking.
Matt Zbrog is a writer and researcher from Southern California, and he believes nurse practitioners (NP) are an indispensable component of America’s current and future healthcare workforce. Since 2018, he’s written extensively about the work and advocacy of NPs, with a particular focus on the rapid growth of specialization programs, residencies, fellowships, and professional organizations. As part of an ongoing series on state practice authority, he’s worked with NP leaders, educators, and advocates from across the country to elevate policy discussions that empower NPs. His articles have featured interviews with the leadership of the American Association of Nurse Practitioners (AANP), the National Association of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners (NAPNAP), and many other professional nursing associations.
Melissa DeCapua, DNPWriter Dr. Melissa DeCapua is a nurse practitioner working at Microsoft on organizational behavior and culture change. She began her career in psychiatry and fine arts, and these skills fuel her passion for user experience (UX): building programs, conducting qualitative research, and designing services. By night, she continues to advocate for nurses through lobbying efforts, blogging, and volunteering. For more about Melissa, check out her website and follow her on LinkedIn.
Nina Chamlou is an avid writer and multimedia content creator from Portland, OR. She writes about aviation, travel, business, technology, healthcare, and education. You can find her floating around the Pacific Northwest in diners and coffee shops, studying the locale from behind her MacBook.
Rachel Drummond, MEdWriter
On NPschools.com, Rachel Drummond has leveraged her extensive background in education and mindfulness to provide valuable insights to nursing professionals since 2020. She explores how mindfulness and movement can be incorporated into the demanding routines of nurses, emphasizing the importance of mental and physical well-being for increased resilience and effectiveness in the challenging field of nursing.
Rachel is a writer, educator, and coach from Oregon. She has a master’s degree in education (MEd) and has over 15 years of experience teaching English, public speaking, and mindfulness to international audiences in the United States, Japan, and Spain. She writes about the mind-body benefits of contemplative movement practices like yoga on her blog, inviting people to prioritize their unique version of well-being and empowering everyone to live healthier and more balanced lives.
Sara Navratil is a freelance writer and a Certified Canfield Success Principles Trainer. She’s the owner of Sara Liza Life, a company dedicated to helping people rewrite their lives. She enjoys researching and writing about healthcare-related topics, including information on online NP programs. When not working she likes to read, bake, and spend time with her family.
Sophia Khawly, MSNWriter
Sophia Khawly is a traveling nurse practitioner from Miami, Florida. She has been a nurse for 14 years and has worked in nine different states. She likes to travel in her spare time and has visited over 40 countries.
Being a traveling nurse practitioner allows her to combine her love of learning, travel, and serving others. Learn more about Sophia at www.travelingNP.com.