Candidate Statements

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Carole A. (Kerwin) Kain, PhD, ARNP, PNP-BC, PMHS, Fellow: AANP

My career as a certified pediatric and psychiatric nurse practitioner has allowed me to work across the United States, from Hawaii to Florida. Through my clinical practice, teaching and Nurse Practitioner advocacy efforts, I have developed an understanding of the many issues that impact psychiatric nursing practice today. In addition to my professional practice roles and work, I have volunteered in many professional and community based organizations. In these organizations, I have served as a Board member, conference and committee chairman, as well as an elected officer. I look forward to working with the nurse leaders of our Chapter of the APNA to advance, support and increase recognition the role of psychiatric nurses in Florida.

Vision for the Chapter:  Drawing from my past experience and knowledge and with input from the members of the Florida Chapter of APNA, I wish to bring relevant professional educational offerings to our members. This education should be useful, current and cover information about clinical, research and practice topics relevant to our members.

Paulette Perlowin, ARNP-BC, PMH-NP, ANP, MSN, MA
Born & raised in South Florida. Married, divorced, & married again for 19 years. Son is age 30, he & his wife are teachers in Orlando. I love Great Danes and fruit tree gardening. I have a BSN, MSN in Psychiatric Mental Health Nursing, & Post Master’s Certificate in Adult Health all from Fl International University. I have a MA in Counseling Psychology from Lesley University. I’m a Fl Supreme Court certified Family & County Court Mediator, & a Florida Qualified Parenting Coordinator. I currently attend the Florida Atlantic University DNP program. Current jobs have me working with outpatient chronic long term mentally ill; women’s residential substance abuse; outpatient substance abuse; and inpatient psychiatric units. In a nutshell, that’s me…

Vision for the chapter:  I hope to learn about organizational structure & functioning to better help get a local active chapter up & running as part of my FAU DNP Capstone Project. I want become more politically savvy with - & in support of - Psychiatric Nurse Practitioners, because what I see politically in Florida are typically primary care issues being addressed and disseminated, not specialty issues. Though I am inexperienced, I’m willing to learn from my peers and colleagues who are willing to teach me! 

Nel Thomas, MSN, MA, RN
I have been a Nurse for 29 years, 20 of those years in Psychiatric Nursing, including 13 years as a Mental Health Educator.  I am currently Assistant Professor in Mental Health Nursing at Adventist University, Orlando, Florida.  I am a BSN graduate of Andrews University, and earned an MA in Counseling from North-Eastern Illinois University, and an MSN from Walden University, with summa–cum laude and nursing honors.  I am currently enrolled in a Ph.D. program, to be completed in 2015, at Barry University, Miami.

I worked on hospital behavioral health policies for 9 years and as Nurse Educator coordinated several educational programs. Recently I won second place honors for a poster presentation on Simulation in Mental Health Nursing at the 2012 APNA national conference.

Vision for the chapter:  The leadership of APNA, Florida Chapter, has provided excellent opportunities for Behavioral Health nurses in educational advancement, involvement in legislative changes, patient advocacy and in networking; for the enhancement of nursing practice and patient care.  I see this as a continued vision of the Florida Chapter.  As a Member-at-large I am planning to assist with chapter meetings in Central Florida, to provide information and support for members, and to encourage other nurses to join APNA, hoping to increase our presence in Florida.  I also plan to work with the team to organize the 2014 Conference in Central Florida.