Posted on Jun 21, 2013

Dr. Elizabeth A. Kostas-Polston Named Fellow of the American Association of Nurse Practitioners

Dr. Elizabeth A. Kostas-Polston Named Fellow of the American Association of Nurse Practitioners

University of South Florida College of Nursing Assistant Professor and Coordinator, Curriculum Development, Elizabeth A. Kostas-Polston, PhD, APRN, WHNP-BC, 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. Kostas-Polston is one of three USF Nursing faculty, and one of only 60 nurse practitioner leaders nationwide selected for induction in 2013.

Dr. Elizabeth A. Kostas-Polston Named Fellow of the American Ass
(Left to Right). AANP Director of Research and Education, Mary Jo Goolsby, EdD, MSN, NP-C, CAE, FAANP, Uniformed Services University Professor, Chair and Director of the Family Nurse Practitioner Program, Diane C. Seibert, PhD, ARNP, FAANP, Dr. Elizabeth Kostas-Polston, 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 

“Being inducted as an AANP Fellow is the ultimate acknowledgement of the difference that Advanced Practice Nurse Practitioners make in the lives of our patients,” Dr. Kostas-Polston said. “It is a great honor and is especially meaningful for me. My family immigrated to the United States from Europe when I was very young.  I would have never had the opportunity to pursue a career as a Women’s Health Nurse Practitioner and go on to earn a PhD, had it not been for the wonderful opportunities that this country offers those who are willing to work hard. Women’s Health is my passion!  In all that I do, it is my intent to make a difference in the lives of the many women that I am privileged to care with and for.”

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. Kostas-Polston will continue the tradition of contributing to the mission of the AANP and promoting the role of the nurse practitioner.

USF College of Nursing Dr. Elizabeth Polston to be Named Fellow
USF College of Nursing Assistant Professor and Coordinator, Curriculum Development, Elizabeth A. Kostas-Polston, PhD, APRN, WHNP-BC

Dr. Kostas-Polston was nominated by Uniformed Services University Professor, Chair and Director of the Family Nurse Practitioner Program, Diane C. Seibert, PhD, ARNP, FAANP, and American Academy of Nurse Practitioners Director of Research and Education, Mary Jo Goolsby, EdD, MSN, NP-C, CAE, FAANP. Dr. Kostas-Polston was nominated for her outstanding achievements in education, research, leadership, and clinical practice to improve women’s health – impacting the health of families and communities.

“Dr. Kostas-Polston’s contributions to women’s health at the local, national, and international level are substantial and accelerating at a breathtaking pace,” Dr. Seibert said. “Over her 26 years in Nursing, Dr. Kostas-Polston has leveraged virtually every professional resource within her power to advocate for women.”

Throughout her career, Dr. Kostas-Polston has demonstrated great commitment and leadership with a “clear vision and efficiency” for critical topics in women’s health, personally and professionally, making sure women world-wide gain increased access to healthcare services for better healthcare outcomes, notes Dr. Seibert.

“I have had the pleasure of being Dr. Kostas-Polston’s colleague, mentor, and a friend, and I am very proud to sponsor her for this distinguished award,” Dr. Goolsby said. “I am not only impressed by Dr. Kostas-Polston’s past accomplishments, but I envision a future where her talents will advance knowledge in the areas of women’s health.”

Dr. Kostas-Polston’s research, education, leadership, and clinical practice have focused on assuring the effective translation of knowledge for new approaches related to the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) and cancer of the mouth and tonsils.  Her research goals include developing tools for the detection of persistent HPV infection of the mouth and tonsils as well as identifying strategies which may be used to inhibit the cancer causing activity of high risk HPV strains.  In support of her research training in Genomics, Dr. Kostas-Polston was selected as an NIH Fellow and completed post-doctoral studies in Genetics, Genomics and Molecular Biology at the National Institutes of Health/National Institute of Nursing Research.

Dr. Kostas-Polston has influenced national policy through her service in various organizations as a Fellow of the American Society of Colposcopy and Cervical Pathology (ASCCP), as an educational affiliate of the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology (ACOG), and as a member of the American Head & Neck Society (AHNS).

She continues to hold many leadership positions and has served as Chair of the National Association of Nurse Practitioners in Women’s Health, Chair of the Women’s Health Research Section (Midwest Nurse Research Society), and served as a member on the Board of Directors for the Missouri Family Health Council.  She has also served as a member of the ASCCP Task Force, who along with many stakeholders, developed and updated cervical cancer screening guidelines for the U.S.

She is currently partnering with the International Council on Women’s Health Issues (ICOWHI) to launch the Blue Bra Campaign housed at the USF College of Nursing. The Blue Bra Campaign’s mission is to support the health and well-being of women globally- transforming the lives of women through education, research, advocacy and clinical practice.

Dr. Kostas-Polston is a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Nurse Faculty Scholar, and has received many other awards including the E.R. Murphy Charitable Lead Trust Research Award, the Sigma Theta Tau International (STTI) Rosemary Berkel Crisp Research Award, the National Association of Women’s Health Nurse Practitioners Women’s Health Research Award, and the Saint Louis University Beaumont Faculty Development Award.  Above all, Dr. Kostas-Polston says that one her greatest accomplishments is her family, and most importantly her sons, who she absolutely adores.

Dr. Kostas-Polston joins 2013 inductees Drs. Cindy Munro and Cindy S. Tofthagen, 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. Kostas-Polston 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