2018 API Program Planning Committee

A heartfelt thank you to the members of the 2018 API (Advanced Practice Institute) Program Planning Committee for their dedication and expertise. We recognize their selfless efforts and the many hours spent selecting abstracts and crafting this year’s comprehensive API educational program.

Kimberly DiMaria is a nurse practitioner in the pediatric ICU at Children’s Hospital Colorado, Denver. She has been a bedside pediatric ICU nurse for more than seven years. She says, “I was incredibly impressed by the knowledge and experience of my fellow committee members, as well as the high-quality abstracts submitted. It was exciting to read the submissions addressing new areas of research. I enjoyed seeing how the role of APRN varies between institutions, different subspecialties and patient populations.”


Rhonda Fleischman, clinical education specialist in the cardiac care unit at Aultman Hospital in Canton, Ohio, is celebrating 26 years as a CCRN. She says serving as a committee member is an honor. “A perspective that many of us identified for this year was the need to address APRN role impact and best practices on how to mentor nurses as they transition to advanced practice, both clinically and professionally,” she adds. “It was amazing to learn about the contributions nurses are making every day to impact patient care.”


Nicole Fontenot serves as a clinical nurse specialist at the Center for Nursing Research, Education and Practice at Houston Methodist Hospital. As a nurse leader, she brings insight to the learning needs of APRNs. “It was incredible to see such a diverse group of talented advanced practice nurses come together, go through the process as a team and create an agenda that I believe will be enriching and enjoyable for the attendees,” she says.


Lisa Harrison, committee chair, is a nurse practitioner in the medical ICU at the University of Virginia Health System, Charlottesville. “Reading all the quality abstracts and giving them a fair evaluation takes time. It is so rewarding and encouraging to see all the good work AACN members are doing,” she tells us. “The amount of knowledge and understanding we are expected to have can be overwhelming, but I am pleased to be surrounded by dedicated nurses who continue to learn and develop professionally.”


Lauren Morata is a clinical nurse specialist and research coordinator in trauma support services at Lakeland Regional Hospital, Florida. As a millennial, she hopes she represents her peers well by choosing topics to help them early in their career development and that address their needs. “Planning this was difficult and choosing just the right abstracts is hard,” she says. “But the experience was so gratifying, knowing we put together the best program possible.”


Barbara Nickel, the clinical nurse specialist in the critical care unit at CHI Health St. Francis, Grand Island, Nebraska, has more than 30 years of experience as a bedside nurse and educator. “I practice in a rural setting and represent a generalist view on the committee. It was wonderful to collaborate with colleagues from across the country,” she says. “Despite our different practice settings and resources, we face many of the same challenges. It validated my respect for the pioneering spirit of advanced practice nurses.”


Joya Pickett serves as clinical nurse specialist for the ICUs in the Swedish Medical Center system, Seattle. Over the years, she has found it inspirational to attend NTI and share the joy of her colleagues. “They leave with new ideas to bring practice changes to their institutions,” she tells us. “As a nurse researcher, I’m passionate about helping nurses interpret and incorporate research into their clinical practice. This perspective is what I aimed to bring to the API planning committee.”


Mini Willphine, a critical care nurse since 1991, has practiced in four countries. She is currently an advanced practice nurse in the cardiovascular ICU at Jersey City Medical Center and Newark Beth Israel Medical Center, New Jersey. “It was a great experience to work with so many genius nurse leaders,” she says. “We appreciate each other’s roles better, and we can spread and share this understanding to promote harmony and cohesion in our respective clinical areas.”