Dr. Rita D'Aoust named a fellow by AANP

Rita D’Aoust, PhD, ANP-BC, CNE, associate dean of Academic Affairs and Interprofessional Initiatives for the USF College of Nursing, has been named a fellow of the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners (FAANP).

The designation recognizes nurse practitioner leaders who have made outstanding contributions to health care through clinical practice, research, education or policy. As part of the honor, fellows of the AANP meet annually to strategize about the future of nurse practitioners and health care.

Dr D’Aoust is a national expert on interprofessional education and practice initiatives who joined USF last summer. 

“This is a well deserved and prestigious honor,” said Dianne Morrison-Beedy, PhD, RN, WHNP-BC, FNAP, FAANP, FAAN, senior associate vice president for USF Health and dean of the College of Nursing.

In her letter sponsoring Dr. D’Aoust’s nomination, Dr. Morrison-Beedy noted:

“Dr. D’Aoust has a genuine passion for improving nurse practitioner practice through a commitment to the development of state-of-the-art advanced practice programs that prepare primary care and specialty nurse practitioners to apply evidence-based research, interprofessional collaboration and advanced technology as a foundation for providing high quality, cost effective, outcomes- focused health care. …

“The scope and influence of her work related specifically to education and practice is manifest by her numerous awards, nominations, educational research, and her successful attainment of external funding to support nursing education programs.”

Frances Sahebzamani, ARNP, PhD, FAANP, assistant professor and interim director of USF’s Doctorate of Nursing degree program, also provided a sponsoring nomination letter, in which she noted:

“She has significantly contributed to nursing practice and education through the development of innovative educational programs uniquely designed to promote interprofessional training and practice while incorporating advanced delivery models and simulation methodologies.”

Since joining USF, Dr. D’Aoust has taken roles in several interprofessional programs, including the Center for Advanced Medical Learning and Simulation (CAMLS). In addition, she received completed training in Team STEPPS, a national program developed by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality to improve patient safety through an evidence-based teamwork system to improve communications and teamwork skills among health care professionals. USF Health is adopting Team STEPPS as a common faculty teamwork approach to use in education and clinical practice — interprofessional education for interprofessional practice. Four nursing faculty,  including Drs. D’Aoust and Laura Gonzalez, and Erik Rausch and Melisa Belote, have completed this rigorous training and received Master Team STEPP Trainer certification.

“Integration of Team STEPPS in our nursing and health profession curricula will provide a collaboration ready workforce will the knowledge and skills to work in teams and  improve patient safety and quality,” Dr. D’Aoust said.

Dr. D’Aoust, who is one of 50 nurse practitioners chosen nationally to be inducted this year, will be honored at the FAANP’s induction ceremony this June in Las Vegas.

Story by Sarah Worth, photos by Eric Younghans, USF Health Office of Communications