Posted on Aug 26, 2020

Advanced Practice Fellows Complete Year of Specialized Training

Advanced Practice Fellows Complete Year of Specialized Training

The College of Nursing celebrated three advanced practice providers on Friday — the newest graduates to complete a unique yearlong fellowship partnering with USF Health and Moffitt Cancer Center that provides extensive training in a specialty field.

Graduates Kristopher Johnson, Kinneret Ron and Zanhra Esteban were congratulated on setting the bar high and applauded for their amazing growth during the Second Annual Advanced Practice Provider Fellowship Celebration held virtually on Aug. 21.

The fellowships specialized in three specific areas. Johnson completed the neurological surgery fellowship with USF Health. Ron finished the inaugural otolaryngology fellowship with USF Health, and Esteban specialized in oncology at Moffitt.

Dr. Charles Lockwood, Senior Vice President of USF Health and Dean of the USF Health Morsani College of Medicine, heralded the trio for successfully completing the cutting-edge programs that were created from “a shared desire to create clinical competence and procedural skills to improve patient access and meet workforce demands.”

“Transitioning from academia to a specialty clinical practice is not always easy. But the knowledge, skills, and aptitudes, as well as evidence-based practice modeling experienced here will give you a compelling advantage throughout your careers,” he said.

College of Nursing Interim Dean Usha Menon echoed Dr. Lockwood’s sentiments and described the partnership as a stellar example of multidisciplinary training.

“You’re each graduating from this unique fellowship armed with more in-depth training and clinical competence in your specialty fields,” she said.

Johnson entered the fellowship with experience as a neurosurgical nurse and the program allowed him to build a strong nurse practitioner neurosurgery foundation. He also took a leave of absence in April and volunteered to work in a New York City hospital caring for COVID-19 patients during the height of the pandemic there.

“It has been a truly amazing program to be a part of, and I’m honored to have completed it,” Johnson said.

Ron worked as an advanced practice nurse in the emergency department prior to enrolling in the fellowship. She is the first fellow to specialize in otolaryngology.

“I thoroughly enjoyed it. There was definitely some COVID struggles, but that’s fine. We worked through them and it also pushed me to become more independent and comfortable on my own,” she said.

Esteban was a physician assistant and through the program, has increased her knowledge and expertise in caring for oncology patients.

The oncology fellowship’s first year has been a great collaborative effort, said David Johnson, the director of Advanced Practice Professionals Services for Moffitt Cancer Center.

“It’s really surpassed our vision. Hats off to you. You absolutely, beyond a doubt, did a remarkable job as an advanced practice provider fellow. I believe we learned from you, and I certainly hope you learned from us as well,” he said.

Story by Elizabeth L. Brown, USF College of Nursing