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2022 Elections: Nominating Committee

Vote for up to three candidates. Click on each candidate to view their full candidate profile.

An APNA Nominating Committee member serves on the committee for one year. View Full Nominating Committee Description & Qualifications

  • Duties Include: Reviewing the nominations submitted and preparing a proposed slate of candidates based on considerations such as geography, gender, professional experience, and racial diversity in order to achieve a balanced Board of Directors reflective of the membership.
  • Qualifications Include: Knowledge of trends and issues influencing APNA programs, projects, and services; ability to work in a small group as a team member; willingness to commit the time necessary to fulfill the expectations of the role.

2023 Nominating Committee

Tony AmbergAlan ‟Tony” Amberg, MSN, MS, APRN, PMHNP-BC

Present Position
Owner, Alan Tony Amberg PLLC
MSN PMHNP, Rush University 2013
MS Nursing, DePaul University 2010
MS Instructional Technology, Gallaudet University 1987
BA Theatre, University of Maryland 1984

APNA Contributions

  • APNA Illinois Chapter
    • President (also President-Elect and Immediate Past President) 2015-2019
    • Headed up conference, helped to build it up to 310 participants, 20 posters, 60 student scholarships
    • Started chapter annual board retreat
    • Chapter meeting events at the APNA Annual Conference
    • Headed fundraising efforts that raised over $100,000 for the chapter.
  • 2009 Janssen Scholar

Other Experience

  • Northwestern Memorial Hospital Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner Liaison (2015-2021): spoke at many conferences and events. Provided nursing grand rounds at Northwestern Memorial and Northwestern Lake Forest Hospital. Hands-on training and consultation for APRNs/PAs, RNs and Techs across a wide variety of subject matter. Subject matter expert on introduction of revised Delirium screening across the hospital. Wrote same-day surgery suicide assessment protocol. During lockdown, provided over 300 stress reduction groups to staff hospital-wide (>2800 staff contacts). Media appearances on behalf of Northwestern on NBC, NPR and Bloomberg, local TV and print. Precepted 27 NP students, a 5-year training partnership with Spiritual Care to train Chaplain residents in psychiatry.
  • Rush Oak Park Hospital Sole Consult Psychiatric Provider (2014-2015): 135-bed community hospital of Rush University Medical Center.
  • 7 Hills Healthcare Center Part-time Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner (2016-2020): Outpatient Community Mental Health
  • Co-section advisor/ contributor (2019-2021)
  • NP Psych Navigator Advisory council/ contributor (2021-2022)
    Illinois Society of Advanced Practice Nurses: Conference speaker since 2015, Program Committee (2022)

APNA members should vote for me to serve on the Nominating Committee because a great board begins with great members. Health care is going through rapid evolution and Psychiatric Nursing is essential to meeting the psychiatric workforce needs of the country; physicians cannot do it all. We need out-of-the-box thinking, and ways to grow and support the chapters so that they don’t simply rely on a few incredible nurses who carry the water year after year. We also have too many states with weak or non-existent chapters. We also need representatives from the new and surging area of nurse entrepreneurship. The Nominating Committee is key to not only vetting interested members but reaching out to find members with key skills and experience in these areas.

I can help fulfill APNA’s purpose as a scientific and education organization by acknowledging and reaching out to all the nurses (both RN and LPN) in the psychiatric commercial chains and nursing homes who need us for education and advocacy and are not represented well. There is also a need for organized clinical education for APRNs beyond the master’s level. We have a preceptor shortage problem and no national voice to partner with universities to consistently help preceptors become good teachers of the science. I will be a voice in the Nominating committee for looking beyond the usual sources to see how we can recruit candidates that can diversify our viewpoints and help to meet these needs as well.

2023 Nominating Committee

Lucinda Easler

Lucinda ‟Lucy” Easler, PhD, RN, NEA-BC

Present Position
Director, Behavioral Care Services, Prisma Health-Midlands, Columbia, SC
Adjunct Faculty, Northeastern University-Charlotte Campus, Charlotte, NC

PhD, Walden University, 2020
MS, Indiana State University, 2014
BSN, Gardner-Webb University, 2001
ADN, Stanly Community College, 1997

APNA Contributions

  • Active Membership
    • Encouraging clinical nurses to become active members of their professional organization
    • Sharing many APNA resources over the years to guide professional practice.
  • Peer Reviewer/Abstracts, APNA Conference, 2022
  • Neuromodulation Task Force Advisory Panel
  • Research Council Advisory Panel
  • Council for Safe Environments Advisory Panel

Other Experience


  • Board Member, Mental Illness Recovery Center, Inc (MIRCI), Columbia, SC, 2020-Present

Publication/Dissemination of Research

  • Easler, L., Turner, J., Deas, V., & Sellers, S. (2022). The Beat goes On: Emergency Nurses’ Song of Resilience. Nurse Leader.
  • Easler, L.A. (2021). Nurses’ Aesthetic Responses and Emotional Judgements to Senior Leaders’ Use of Language, Action, and Behavior. Nurse Leader, August.

Peer Review

  • Member, Continuing Education Review Committee, South Carolina Nurses Association, 2020-Present
  • Abstract Reviewer, Research and Scholarship Day, U of SC, 2022
  • Peer Reviewer, Journal of Nursing Care Quality, 2021-Present


  • Mentoring DNP students as they develop and implement evidence-based practice applied projects, including the development and defense of manuscripts.

APNA members should vote for me to serve on the Nominating Committee because through more than 20 years of nursing leadership, I have served culturally diverse individuals, families, groups, and communities while pursuing quality and financial sustainability of behavioral care services. Service to others has equipped me with multifocal lenses and unique perspectives to aid in the APNA’s endeavors.

I can help fulfill APNA’s purpose as a scientific and education organization by supporting the APNA’s strategic plan, as the Nominating Committee assesses the needs of the APNA and the leadership qualities of future nominees. I will commit to objective and impartial decision-making while promoting the advancement of psychiatric-mental health nursing.

2023 Nominating Committee

Vonda Keels-Lowe

Vonda Keels-Lowe, MSN, CPN, PMHNP-BC, APRN

Present Position
Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner at Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus, Ohio
Adolescent Inpatient Unit (ages 12/13 to 17)
Outpatient Care with our Family Support Program, serving patients impacted by Trauma.
The Ohio State University: Faculty for the PMHNP Specialty Program.
Nationwide Children’s Hospital: Faculty Member, Preceptor, and Faculty Advisory Board member for the Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner Fellowship Program.

Bachelor of Science degree in Nursing 1992 – Capital University
Master of Science Degree in Nursing with a Child & Adolescent Health Concentration and Acute Care Pediatric Nurse Practitioner Eligibility June 2008 – Wright State University
Post-Masters Certification for Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner Program May 2014 – The Ohio State University College of Nursing.

APNA Contributions

  • APNA Ohio Chapter
    • President October 2020 – 2022
    • President-Elect 2020
    • Secretary 2018
    • Chapter Conference chairperson 2019 & 2020
  • Child and Adolescent Council Advisory Panel
  • Research Council
  • Neuromodulation Task Force Advisory Panel

Other Experience

  • Family Healthcare, Inc.
    • Director of Nursing (1996-2000)
    • Child & Family Health Services Director and Immunization Coordinator (1994-1996)
  • Society of Pediatric Nurses (SPN) Ohio Chapter – Immediate Past President (2011-2016); Vice-President (2009-2011); Board Member (2007-2009); Secretary (2005-07)
  • SPN National Chapter Development Committee Member (2007; 2008)
  • SPN National Chapter Education and Programming Committee (2011-2012)
  • Undergraduate and Graduate Chapter Member of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc. (Member of the Divine Nine): Service is promoted and provided on both local and national levels.
  • Franklin County and Delaware County Committee Member to combat Human Trafficking.
  • Pediatric Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner 2007; Certification 2008.
  • Designed Sensory Rooms for the Behavioral Health Pavilion and the Child/Adolescent Unit at Harding Hospital.
  • Nationwide Children’s Hospital Racial Justice Committee 2021 to Present
  • Other pertinent experiences include:
    • Grant writing
    • Articles for publication/peer reviewer Journal of Child and Adolescent Psychiatric Nursing.
    • Public speaking
    • Podium and Poster presenter at national/local conferences
    • Professional / Staff Development

APNA members should vote for me to serve on the Nominating Committee because my experience as a faculty member and instructor for graduate students as well as fellow candidates, has been very helpful and insightful in making decisions related to finding the best fit in a candidate for programs/positions. Leadership appointments have given me opportunities to connect and collaborate with others and to appreciate the contributions of others in selecting the appropriate candidate for various programs.

I hope the members of APNA will believe and trust that my experience and commitment to the growth of our organization is very important to me and that begins with selecting the best and most qualified candidates for each open position and bringing those candidates forward to our membership.

I can help fulfill APNA’s purpose as a scientific and education organization by continuing to support innovative research that meets APNA’s purpose. As we continue to evolve and grow, it will be important to discuss how we can best meet the needs of our membership and embrace change. If elected, I will continue to be an advocate for our profession and for APNA. It is important to promote the organization and provide education about who we are and our purpose at every level, from community to national.

2023 Nominating Committee

Traci Sims

Traci T. Sims, DNS, RN, CNS/PMH-BC

Present Position
Clinical Associate Professor at Georgia State University
Director of the Undergraduate Nursing Program at Georgia State University
Coordinator of the PMHNP program at Georgia State University

Doctor of Nursing Science from Kennesaw State University – December 2015
Master of Science from Georgia State University – Psychiatric Nursing – December 2005
Bachelor of Science from East Tennessee State University – May 1981

APNA Contributions

  • Education Council – Member since 2013
    • Associate Chair since 2019
    • Co-Chair of the Pre-Licensure Branch from 2017 to 2019
  • Personality Disorders Cluster C Task Force Steering Committee
  • Presented 14 posters or presentations at APNA Annual Conferences since 2009
  • Participated in the development of the Undergraduate Toolkit
  • Member of the APNA Georgia Chapter

Other Experience

  • Counselor at Image Bearers Ministries since 2007
  • Counselor for Epsilon Alpha Chapter of Sigma Theta Tau Nursing Honor Society since 2012
  • Dissertation – 2015: Testing the Reliability and Validity of Tools based on the Mayer-Salovey-Caruso Four-Branch Ability Model of Emotional Intelligence with Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurses
  • 2017-2018: “Emotional Intelligence and Nursing Students” – Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning (CETL) Faculty Teaching Fellowship for 2017-18

APNA members should vote for me to serve on the Nominating Committee because APNA gives psychiatric nurses a community to identify with and participate in for support and encouragement. I have thoroughly enjoyed meeting nurse educators through the APNA Education Council as we find support and comfort knowing that our own personal educational challenges are understood by nurse educators across the country. We find that we are not alone and together we can solve difficult problems.

It is such a privilege to teach psychiatric/mental health nursing on an undergraduate and graduate level. For me, psychiatric-mental health nursing content is the heart of nursing. We learn about ourselves and the importance of being mentally healthy to walk with others who are hurting.

I did not realize how isolated and stigmatized I had felt as a psychiatric nurse educator until I attended my first APNA Annual Conference. I kept hearing the word “psychiatric” and my head would jerk around to see who said that word. I was not alone anymore.

I look forward to continuing to be involved with an organization that cares about people…all people. I am a lifelong learner who has much to learn and know I am in the right place at APNA to grow. I bring a calm and quiet presence to encourage civility practices so we all can hear what our next plans will be.

I can help fulfill APNA’s purpose as a scientific and education organization by continuing to learn and hear what is happening across the country. Being a part of the Nominating Committee will allow me to uniquely experience more opportunities to see the challenges that affect psychiatric nurses and our clients. A strong APNA Board brings stability and strength to the organization so that growth can occur.

2023 Nominating Committee


Present Position
Associate Professor, PMHNP Program Coordinator: University of St. Augustine for Health Sciences
PMHNP clinical practice. Heroes Mile, VA

Doctorate in Nursing Practice, Concordia University, Mequon, Wisconsin, 2011-2012
Master of Science of Nursing, University of Michigan, Flint, Michigan, 2007-2010
Bachelor of Science in Nursing, Adult Nurse Practitioner and Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner, University of Michigan, Flint, 2006-2007
Associate Degree in Nursing, Registered Nurse, Mid-Michigan Community College, Harrison, Michigan, 2003-2005, LPN, 2001-2003
Registered Medical Assistant, X-Ray Tech, Echo Tech, Front Office, 1983-2003 – Ross Medical Education Center, Livonia, Michigan

APNA Contributions

  • APNA Florida Chapter
    • President 2022
    • President-Elect 2021
  • Education Council
    • Advisory Panel
    • Undergraduate Branch
  • Practice Council Advisory Panel
  • Scholarly Review Committee
  • APNA JAPNA Peer Journal Reviewer
  • APNA Annual Abstract Conference Judge and Scholarly review committee task force work
  • APNA, Podium Presenter at APNA Florida Conference. Reducing Disparity and Mitigating Depression for
  • Hispanic Older Adults Implementing the Hispanic Version of the PHQ-9 Screening Tool. (2019)

Other Experience

  • Author
  • PMHNP Preceptor and Nurse mentor
  • Nurse case manager/quality assurance leadership
  • Researcher and doctoral chairperson
  • SAMHSA Grant: Substance Use Education, integrated into advanced practice education curriculum (2018)

APNA members should vote for me to serve on the Nominating Committee because I would bring my 30 years of healthcare experience, 17 years as a nurse educator, and psychiatric nursing science leadership skills to the APNA organization at the National level. I am an advocate for nurses, and a leader for psychiatric clinical practice, inclusive of social justice which is crucial in the duty of representing the APNA members on the Nominating Committee. Voting for me would allow me to fulfill the APNA organization’s duty while upholding fidelity and beneficence within the NC members’ role in partnering and overseeing electoral and organizational processes.

I can help fulfill APNA’s purpose as a scientific and education organization by continuing to dedicate myself to APNA’s mission, and purpose for educational, charitable, and scientific purposes in the endeavor to promote and elevate psychiatric mental health nurses inclusive of student nurses. I have the passion and enthusiasm to provide services to the APNA organization that advances quality evidence-based mental health care for diverse individuals and populations locally, and nationally. When nurses benefit, their systems and patients benefit.

2023 Nominating Committee

Kimberly Williams

Kimberly A. Williams, DNS, RN, PMHNP-BC, PHNA-BC, ANP-BC

Present Position
Associate Professor, Community Mental Health Department, University of South Alabama, College of Nursing

Post-Masters PMHNP Child/Adolescent Focus, University of South Alabama 2010
Doctorate in Nursing Science in Public Health Nursing, University of Tennessee 2004
Master of Nursing Science, University of South Alabama, 1999
Bachelor of Nursing Science, University of South Alabama, 1994

APNA Contributions

  • Research Council Steering Committee 2013 to present.
  • Research Grant Review Committee 2019 to present
  • Research Grant Recipient 2011 – School Nurse Feasibility, Reliability and Validity Test of the SARA and SLICE® Tools for Self-Harm
  • Child and Adolescent Council Advisory Panel
  • Abstract Reviewer 2010-2011
  • Continuing Education Reviewer 2011-2019
  • JAPNA Reviewer 2016-2019
  • APNA Annual Conference Presentation 2008, 2012, 2013, 2017, 2021, 2022

Other Experience

  • Sigma Theta Tau Zeta Gamma Chapter
    • Secretary 2010-2011
    • President 2008-2010
    • Vice President 2006-2008
  • Mississippi Nurses Association District 6 President 2005-2007

APNA members should vote for me to serve on the Nominating Committee because in both leadership roles and serving as a member of organizational committees, my responsibilities with local, national, and international organizations have provided me with a solid foundation to serve on the APNA’s Nominating Committee. These activities have led to evidence-based knowledge that informed the practice of psychiatric nurses for best practices related to person-centered culturally competent care of individuals, families, groups, and communities. In these past and current positions, I have been part of a team working to achieve organizational priorities and goals. These lived experiences will inform my role as a Nominating Committee member to assist in the recruitment of potential nominees for leadership positions within the APNA aimed to promote psychiatric-mental health nurses, improve mental health care for culturally diverse individuals, families, groups, and communities, and shape health policy for the delivery of mental health services. Utilizing both experiences and knowledge I have gained over the years, I would be honored to serve in this role, and I am confident that I will be able to assist the committee with accurately assessing and recruiting individuals sharing the same goals and purposes of the APNA.

I can help fulfill APNA’s purpose as a scientific and education organization by sharing the many wonderful experiences I have gained as a member of the APNA over the last 23 years, allowing me to support the APNA’s ongoing work to achieve our goals and priorities. These experiences include committee work with the APNA Research Steering Committee, Grant Reviews, and Continuing Education reviews. Involvement in these activities has helped to disseminate nursing scholarship of evidenced-based knowledge that informs best practices of psychiatric nurses today. If elected as a Nominating Committee member, I will be honored to continue the work of the APNA by assisting the committee in selecting future nominees armed with the ability to support and promote psychiatric-mental health nurses, improve mental health care for culturally diverse individuals, families, groups, and communities, and shape health policy for the delivery of mental health services.