Posted on Jun 21, 2013

Dr. Cindy Tofthagen Named Fellow of the American Association of Nurse Practitioners

Dr. Cindy Tofthagen Named Fellow of the American Association of Nurse Practitioners

University of South Florida College of Nursing Assistant Professor and Concentration Director, Oncology, Cindy S. Tofthagen, PhD, ARNP, AOCNP, was inducted as a Fellow of the American Association of Nurse Practitioners (FAANP) on Thursday, June 20, 2013 during the AANP national conference in Las Vegas, Nevada. A limited number of nurse practitioners are selected for this highly coveted distinction each year. Dr. Tofthagen is one of three USF Nursing faculty, and one of only 60 nurse practitioner leaders nationwide selected for induction in 2013.

Dr. Cindy Tofthagen Named Fellow of the American Association of
(Left to Right). USF College of Nursing Assistant Professor, Frances M. Sahebzamani, PhD, ARNP, FAANP. Dr. Cindy Tofthagen, and Chair, Fellows of the American Association of Nurse Practitioners, Elizabeth Barker, PhD, CNP, FAANP, FACHE, FNAP, FAAN, during the AANP national conference.
Photo provided by: Richard Ricciardi, AANP

The FAANP program was established in 2000 to recognize nurse practitioner leaders who have made outstanding contributions to health care through clinical practice, research, education, or policy. Priority initiatives of AANP are the development of leadership and mentorship programs for nurse practitioners and nurse practitioner students. Fellows of the AANP are visionaries committed to the global advancement of nursing through the development of imaginative and creative future nurse practitioner leaders, and as such, hold an annual think tank to strategize about the future of nurse practitioners and health care outside the confines of traditional thinking. Dr. Tofthagen will continue the tradition of contributing to the mission of the AANP and promoting the role of the nurse practitioner.

Cindy Tofthagen receives AANP Felloship
USF College of Nursing Assistant Professor and Concentration Director, Oncology, Cindy S. Tofthagen, PhD, ARNP, AOCNP

Dr. Tofthagen was nominated by USF College of Nursing Assistant Professor and Concentration Director, Pediatric Nurse Practitioner (PNP), Susan E. Kennel, PhD, PNP, FAANP, and USF College of Nursing Assistant Professor, Frances M. Sahebzamani, PhD, ARNP, FAANP. Dr. Sahebzamani said Dr. Tofthagen is an exceptional oncology nurse practitioner and leading nurse scientist who passionately blends her clinical and research expertise to inform, design and implement an innovative patient-centered program of clinical research focusing on patients suffering with chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy (CIPN).

“It gives me great pleasure to nominate Dr. Tofthagen for the AANP Fellowship,” Dr. Sahebzamani said. “She is one of the finest of nurse practitioner clinical experts and research scientists possessing the leadership skills and commitment to establish and nurture cross specialty scholarship, research, education and practice collaborations for professional peers and academic colleagues. Her innovative and clinically relevant patient-centered research will continue to provide the evidence to advance clinical practice as our profession strives to meet the challenges of the care of cancer survivors suffering from chemotherapy induced adverse effects over the coming decade.”

Dr. Tofthagen has dedicated the last 20 years of her professional life improving the health and well-being of people with cancer. Through her work, she has had the opportunity to be a national voice for people with cancer and CIPN by sharing their stories, advocating their needs, and help improve their lives as they go through cancer treatment.

“Over the last 4 years we have worked together at USF Nursing, I have been both amazed and impressed by all that she has accomplished in such a short period of time,” Dr. Kennnel said. “She has been very active in oncology nursing at the local, regional, and national levels.”

Dr. Tofthagen’s research focuses on discovering innovative ways to decrease symptoms and improve the physical and emotional health of persons with CIPN, and helping clinicians better understand the symptoms of CIPN and its deleterious effects on functioning and quality of life. She has published case studies, systematic reviews, and clinical guidelines that increase awareness on early recognition and treatment of CIPN. She currently holds leadership roles in several organizations including Oncology Nursing Society (ONS) and Neuropathy Association’s Neuropathic Pain Management Medical Advisory Council. Dr. Tofthagen is also a postdoctoral fellow at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and the University of Massachusetts Boston.

“As an oncology nurse practitioner, I continually see patients struggling with pain, neuropathy, and other symptoms as a result of their cancer or its treatment,” Dr. Tofthagen said. “I became a researcher, so that I could help develop and evaluate effective interventions to relieve symptoms and improve the quality of life for my patients and others like them. I am one of a handful of nurse scientists who study CIPN one of the main dose – limiting side effects of chemotherapy.”

Through her work with the Neuropathy Association, she has worked to bring national attention to cancer related neuropathies by developing educational materials, hosting online informational sessions, facilitating live and Web-based support groups, and providing education and information to individuals with cancer related neuropathy and their healthcare providers.

Dr. Tofthagen joins 2013 inductees Drs. Elizabeth A. Kostas-Polston and Cindy Munro, as well as current fellows Drs. Jean AertkerPonrathi AthilingamAdrienne BerarducciRita F. D’AoustPatricia A. GorzkaS. Joan GregorySusan E. KennelDianne Morrison-BeedyFrances M. Sahebzamani, and Patricia Quigley, as USF Nursing faculty Fellows of the American Association of Nurse Practitioners.

The American Association of Nurse Practitioners is the largest, full-service national professional organization for nurse practitioners of all specialties. With more than 45,000 individual members and 200 group members, AANP represents the interests of approximately 167,000 nurse practitioners around the country. AANP continually advocates for the active role of nurse practitioners as providers of high-quality, cost-effective, personalized, patient-centered health care. For more information, visit  To locate an NP in your community, go to

For the complete list of 2013 FAANP inductees see the announcement and list on the AANP website.

For related stories on Dr. Tofthagen click here.

 -USF Health-

USF Health’s mission is to envision and implement the future of health. It is the partnership of the USF Health Morsani College of Medicine, the College of Nursing, the College of Public Health, the College of Pharmacy, the School of Biomedical Sciences and the School of Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation Sciences; and the USF Physician’s Group. The University of South Florida is a global research university ranked 50th in the nation by the National Science Foundation for both federal and total research expenditures among all U.S. universities. For more information, visit