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AdvancingPractice is a one-year fellowship that builds on nurse practitioner (NP) and nurse midwife (CNM) academic programs to prepare recently-graduated NPs and CNMs to become expert clinicians as well as nursing leaders. Erie Family Health Centers (Erie), a federally qualified health center in Chicago with over 80,000 patients, and the University of Illinois at Chicago College of Nursing (UIC Nursing) have partnered to create this program with the goal of expanding access to affordable, quality healthcare in under-resourced communities.
Our Mission: We cultivate quality care and nursing leadership to improve the health of communities through development and mentorship of advanced practice registered nurses.
Our Vision: Advanced practice registered nurses leading transformation to achieve health equity.


Our 2020 Cohort is currently in process. Please see below for information on our 2021 Cohort.
We are seeking 10 APRN Postgraduate Training Fellows for the second cohort of AdvancingPractice who are:
  • Recent graduates (January 2020 or later) from an accredited NP (family, adult-gerontological primary care or pediatric primary care) or CNM program with a minimum GPA of 3.0
  • Planning a career in community health working with diverse and under-resourced populations.
  • Licensed and certified or certified- license pending upon admission to fellowship
  • Competent in Spanish or open to learning medical Spanish.
  • Able to start the program on July 6, 2021.
The application period begins October 5, 2020 and will remain open until December 6, 2020. 
If you would like to learn more, please contact


Save the Date! Our first information session will be held on September 23rd at 6:30pm-7:30pm CST.

  • Learn from the best! Erie is a national leader in quality of care and top Chicago workplace. It employs over 50 APRNs within a truly collaborative practice model.
  • UIC Nursing—known for having one of the nation’s top 10 APRN degree programs—has developed a robust curriculum for the AdvancingPractice program that supports newly graduated APRNs in community heath practice.
  • The fellowship model was selected and funded by the US Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) from a competitive pool of applicants.
  • As the inaugural class, you’ll have a unique opportunity to shape and grow the program.
  • Serve patients across Erie’s 13 locations, including primary care, school-based and teen-only settings.
  • Participate in paid medical Spanish immersion.You’ll be able to travel abroad for two weeks to learn Spanish as part of the program.
  • Live and work in one of the nation’s largest and most vibrant cities.
  • Access UIC career services and the largest health sciences library in the Midwest.
  • Receive fellowship salary, benefits, continuing medical education allowance and paid time-off.

AdvancingPractice is a one-year intensive training program that builds on nurse practitioner (NP) and nurse midwife (CNM) academic programs to prepare recently graduated NPs and CNMs to become expert clinicians as well as nursing leaders. Key components include:
  • Precepted “Continuity Clinics”
    (4 sessions/week) These are the cornerstone of Advancing In precepted clinics, fellows develop their own patient panel while being precepted by an Erie APRN or MD.

  • Specialty Rotations:
    (2 sessions/week for 1 month) Specialty rotations in areas most commonly encountered at Erie. Select rotations include: Adolescent Health, HIV Care, Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT), Women’s Health, Pediatrics, Geriatrics, and others.

  • Mentored Clinics:
    (2 sessions/week) During mentored clinics, work alongside an experienced PCP on episodic or acute care and mastery of procedures.

  • Educational Sessions:
    (1 session/week) Evidence-based, didactic learning sessions on both clinical and leadership topics.

  • Quality Improvement Training:
    Participants will design and implement their own quality improvement project throughout the year.

Our Faculty

Natalie Raghu, MSN, FNP-C, APRN  
Program Director
Emily Bettencourt
Program Coordinator

Allison Clark Young, MSN, APRN, CPNP-PC
Fellow Development Lead

Kiersten Solis, MSN, APRN, FNP-BC
Faculty Development Lead

Sarah Quirk, MSN, APRN, CNM, FNP-C 
Women’s Reproductive Health Lead

UIC Partners

Charlie Yingling, DNP, FNP-BC, FAANP- Health Education Specialist
Kathy Rugen, PhD, FNP-BC, FAAN, FAANP- Evaluation Coordinator and Fellowship Consultant
Kelly Vaez, DNP, APN, FNP-BC – Fellowship Faculty
Mary McNamara, DNP, APRN, FNP-BC – Fellowship Faculty


Lucy Amaro, FNP
Meredith Berlin, FNP
Allee McDaniel, PNP
Erica McNealey, CNM
Laura Nozicka, CNM
Ana Perez, FNP
Maria Pirotte, FNP
Kelly Quaine, WHNP, AGPCNP