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2024 Elections: President-Elect

An APNA President-Elect serves a three-year term on the board: One as President-Elect, one as President, and one as Immediate Past President. View Full President-Elect Description & Qualifications

  • Duties Include: Representing the association as requested, mentoring current and prospective board members, assuming the functions of president in the absence of the president,
  • Qualifications Include: Informal and formal leadership experience, knowledge of APNA, ability to work with diverse styles and personalities to facilitate teamwork and consensus

Vote for one candidate. Scroll down to view the candidate profiles for Vonda Keels-Lowe and Allyson Neal.

Vote for These Candidates


Vonda Keels-LoweVonda Keels-Lowe, MSN, CPN, PMHNP-CNP

Present Position
PMHNP Adolescent Unit and Director of the Barbara Trueman Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner Postgraduate Fellowship Program, at Nationwide Children’s Hospital, Behavioral Health Pavilion, Columbus, Ohio


BSN, Capital University College of Nursing, Ohio
MSN, Wright State University College of Nursing, Ohio
Post-Master’s, The Ohio State University, College of Nursing, Ohio

APNA Contributions

  • Nominating Committee 2023 – APNA Board Appointment
  • Child and Adolescent Council – Advisory Panel
  • Neuromodulation Task Force -2020
  • Youth Suicide Prevention Position Workgroup – Steering Committee – 2023 Present
  • Annual Conference Poster Presenter and Contributor – 2018 & 2022
  • JAPNA Reviewer
  • Director / Contributor of APP Fellows that have presented Podium or poster presentations APNA
  • APNA Ohio Chapter Conference Presenter – 2021 & 2022
  • APNA Ohio Chapter Board Secretary 2018, Board Member 2019; President-Elect 2020; President 2021 & 2022

Other Experience

  • Society of Pediatric Nurses
    • Past President of the Ohio Chapter (OSPN) (2011-2016: 2.5 consecutive terms)
    • Vice-President of Ohio Chapter (2009-2011)
    • Board Member of Ohio Chapter (2007-09)
    • Secretary of Ohio Chapter (2005-07)
    • National Chapter Development Committee Member (2007; 2008)
    • National Chapter Education and Programming Committee (2011-2012)
  • Black Nurses Association Member
  • Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc. (Undergraduate and Graduate Chapter Member)
  • Sigma Theta Tau International Nursing Honor Society Member
  • Ohio Chapter International Association of Forensic Nurses (Certified Pediatric SANE Nurse), 2008
  • Ohio Association of Advanced Practice Nurses 2020-present

APNA members should vote for me to serve as President-Elect because today’s leader will need to be able to be fully present and adjust /evolve to the changing climate of healthcare, especially as it relates to conditions that are often overlooked and stigmatized. Listening is one of the most important skills to achieve. I enjoy coaching and mentoring others. My leadership style is participative and adaptive. The sharing of ideas and true collaboration is especially important to achieve better outcomes. I want others to have a voice and to feel they are being heard. I want to be that voice for our profession and for our organization. The ability to adapt when new challenges or even opportunities arise is essential. I will continue to provide support, respect, and enthusiasm for our PMH Nurses as they continue to lead the way to healthier and more sustainable outcomes in mental health care. I will remain consistent and in alignment with the standards set forth by APNA and its membership.

I would be honored, if elected, to be your next President-Elect.

I can help fulfill APNA’s purpose as a scientific and education organization by: sharing my experience as both a PMH RN and a current provider for many years. I also have experience as a faculty member of a graduate-level PMHNP program. As a Director of an APP fellowship program, encouraging and assisting with research projects related to mental healthcare is something I enjoy. I encourage PMH RNs to become involved in QI/Research projects on their units and to be a leaders in recognizing areas for change and producing better outcomes in mental health care. As a current member of the Youth Suicide Prevention Position Workgroup Steering Committee, I have gained additional insights into the organizational function and the use of multiple resources.



Present Position
University of Tennessee, Knoxville Assistant Dean, Graduate Programs

DNP, University of Tennessee Health Science Center, 2010
MSN, Emory University, 1996
BSN, University of Tennessee Chattanooga, 1995
ASN, East Tennessee State University, 1985

APNA Contributions

  • Child and Adolescent Steering Committee – January 2021- Present
  • Scholarly Review Committee Chair – November 2020-2022
  • Scholarly Review Committee Associate Chair – January 2019-October 2020
  • National Task Force (NTF) for Quality NP Education Criteria for Evaluation of NP Programs Representative – November 2019 – Present
  • Licensure, Accreditation, Certification, and Education (LACE Network) Representative –October 2018 – Present
  • Annual Conference Presenter
  • CE Reviewer
  • eLearning Center Faculty
  • APNA Foundation Donor

Other Experience

  • NTF for Quality NP Education Criteria for Evaluation of NP Programs-APNA Representative; Section leader 2019-2022
  • Tennessee Nurses Association: Director of Membership – 2016 – 2018 and District 4 President 2010 2012
  • National Association of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners – Tennessee Chapter President –Education Chair, Membership Chair -1998 – 2007

APNA members should vote for me to serve as President-Elect because I am excited to bring my national representation experience where I have advocated for education, licensure, accreditation, and practice standards. My background as a practicing clinician, academic faculty member, and assistant dean equips me with a unique perspective that encompasses the full spectrum of psychiatric-mental health nursing. I believe in our collective strength to achieve remarkable strides. The cornerstone of these efforts is active participation from our members at every level—community involvement, clinical practice engagement, committee service, stakeholder collaboration, and academic contribution. Our organization thrives when we harness the power of teamwork. By embracing each member’s input and leveraging our diverse experiences and skills, we can ensure that APNA remains at the forefront of advancing mental health care. Your voice matters, together as a unified team dedicated to excellence in psychiatric-mental health nursing, there’s no limit to what we can accomplish.

I can help fulfill APNA’s purpose as a scientific and education organization by: As an advocate for psychiatric-mental health nursing, I have been honored to serve as representative on both the Licensure Accreditation Certification Education (LACE) Network since 2018 and the National Task Force (NTF) on Quality Nurse Practitioner Education since 2019. My active participation in crafting regulatory responses concerning educational, accreditation, and practice standards has been pivotal in guiding the decisions of accrediting and licensing organizations—decisions that resonate profoundly with nursing practice. My tenure with LACE has involved direct engagement in shaping regulations that ultimately protect our profession and ensure public safety. The position statements have brought clarity to APRN core courses, defined age parameters for practice, and addressed changes in population—all critical factors in safeguarding our professional integrity. With the NTF, my efforts have been instrumental in recognition of psychiatric Clinical Nurse Specialists alongside Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioners as leading providers of mental health care. Moreover, I advocated for academic institutions to shoulder the responsibility of securing clinical placements for their students and simulation experiences before they enter clinical practicums to ensure success. My roles are not isolated facets but rather synergistic elements that enable me to promote psychiatric-mental health nurses vigorously. Through these avenues, I will work tirelessly to enhance mental health care among diverse populations. I am fully committed to continuing this vital work— ensuring APNA is the definitive voice in psychiatric-mental health nursing.