Advancing Practice

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 88,000 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.
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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.

Contact Us Today:

Learn More About Advancing Practice

How To Apply

The application cycle for the 2022-2023 Cohort is now closed. Information about applying to the 2023-2024 Cohort will be available in the Fall 2022.

Attend an Open House

Open houses will be offered again in Fall 2022.

Why Advancing Practice?
  • 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 health practice.
  • The fellowship model was selected and funded by the US Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) from a competitive pool of applicants.
  • Serve patients across Erie’s 13 locations, including primary care, school-based and teen-only settings.
  • Participate in paid medical Spanish training to better serve our patient population.
  • 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.
What is Advancing Practice?
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:
  • Continuity Clinics
    (4 sessions/week) Build your own patient panel and provide continuity of care to patients with the support and guidance of a preceptor.
  • Specialty Clinic:
    (2 sessions/week for 1 month) Rotate through sub-specialty clinics within primary care to better understand holistic care, such as Adolescent Health, HIV Care, Women’s Health, Pediatrics, Chronic Diseases, and others.
  • Mentored Clinics:
    (2 sessions/week) Work alongside an experienced PCP on episodic or acute care and mastery of procedures.
  • Educational Sessions:
    (1 session/week) Participate in evidence-based, didactic learning sessions on both clinical and leadership topics.
  • Quality Improvement Training:
    Design and implement your own quality improvement project during the Fellowship year.
  • Intrapatrum/On Call – CNM Fellows Only (One 24-Hour Call per Week) Provide intrapartum and postpartum care at Northwestern Memorial Hospital with support of midwifery mentors.
Program Accreditation

AdvancingPractice is in the process of seeking accreditation from the National Nurse Practitioner Residency and Fellowship Training Consortium. Visitors to our site are encouraged to provide public comment as part of our accreditation process. Please visit the Accreditation Status and Public Commentary Website.

Donate to Advancing Practice

Help support our mission in improving access to high quality care and join us in improving health equity. Donate today!

Our Faculty

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Kiersten Solis, MSN, APRN, FNP-BC
APRN Fellowship Director


Natalie Raghu, MSN, FNP-C, APRN
Faculty and Academic Practice Partnership Lead


Esther Sault, MSN, FNP-BC 
Development Lead


Emily Bettencourt
Program Administrative Manager


Jennifer Poell, MSN, CNM, WHNP-BC, IBCLC, C-EFM
Women's Reproductive Health Lead

UIC Partners

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Afrodita Salievska, DNP, APRN, FNP-BC
Fellowship Faculty

Sarah Fitz

Sarah Fitz, DNP, APRN, ACNP-BC
Health Education Specialist

Kathy R

Kathy Rugen, PhD, FNP-BC, FAAN, FAANP
Evaluation Coordinator and Fellowship Consultant

2022-2023 Fellows

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Jessica Alferez, MSN, FNP

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Cate Fisher, MSN, PNP

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Anisha Gill, MSN, FNP

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Bailey Hanselman, DNP, FNP

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Kate Kozeniewski, MSN, AGNP

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Maryan Saman, DNP, AGNP

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Casey Scott, MSN, FNP

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Kierra Stuvland, MSN, CNM, WHNP

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Kawana Tharps, DNP, FNP

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